Vietnamese Chicken Rice (Com Ga Hoi An)
Com Ga Hoi An (Vietnamese Chicken Rice) is one of the signature dishes of Hoi An, a small ancient town in Central Vietnam. It features shredded chicken tossed with Vietnamese coriander, onions, and lime juice dressing. The chicken salad is then served with turmeric rice cooked directly in chicken stock. So tasty and refreshing!
Servings: 3 people
Homemade Chicken Stock and Shredded Chicken for Hoi An Chicken Rice (with leftover)
- 1 whole chicken (about 2.5-3 lbs)
- 8 cups hot water
- 2-inch long piece of ginger, roughly peeled
To Assemble Hoi An Chicken Rice
- 3/4 cup long grain rice
- olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 1/4 cup homemade chicken stock
- half a medium onion
- 3/4 cup iced cold water
- 4 1/2 tablespoons lime juice, divided (juice of about 2 limes)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, divided (divided)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 3/4 cups packed shredded chicken
- 3/4 cup lightly packed Vietnamese coriander leaves
- freshly cracked black pepper
- soy sauce
- bird's eye chili, thinly sliced (optional)
- 3 small bowls of hot chicken stock
- thinly sliced scallions
Making Homemade Chicken Stock and Shredded Chicken
In a stock pot, add plenty of boiling water then add the whole chicken and a pinch of salt. Bring back to a boil and parboil for a minute. Discard the liquid and clean the pot.
Add the chicken back to the pot, and add ginger, a teaspoon of salt and 8-9 cups of hot water (enough to barely cover the chicken). Bring to a boil and then lower to a gentle simmer.
Cook for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked through. Remove the chicken from the stock and you can place it in a bowl of cold water for a couple of minutes to stop the cooking process.
Separate the meat from the bones. Add the bones back to the stock and continue to simmer for about 40 minutes (or longer for a stronger stock if you have time). Chill the chicken meat in the refrigerator.
Making Turmeric Rice with Homemade Chicken Stock
Once the chicken stock is ready, place a pan over medium heat and add some olive oil. Add rice and sauté for about 30 seconds then add turmeric powder. Stir and sauté until rice is evenly coated with turmeric powder.
Transfer rice to your rice cooker pot. Add enough chicken stock you just made as indicated by the rice cooker. I need about 1 1/4 cups of chicken stock with my rice cooker. Choose the regular program you usually use to cook the rice.
Assembling Hoi An Chicken Rice
While the rice is cooking, slice half of an onion as thinly as you can. We need about half a cup of onion slices. Soak them in 3/4 cup of iced cold water plus 2 tablespoons of lime juice and 1 1/4 teaspoons of sugar. Soak for at least 15 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix together 2 1/2 tablespoons of lime juice, 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of sugar (the sugar is completely optional) to make the lime juice dressing. Tweak the ratio of ingredients to your liking.
Take the chicken meat out of the refrigerator and shred. We need about 1 3/4 cups of shredded chicken. Mix the shredded chicken with onion slices and lime juice dressing. Set aside to let the flavors meld.
When the rice is ready, add Vietnamese coriander leaves and plenty of freshly cracked black pepper to the shredded chicken and onion. Gently toss to combine.
Fluff the rice with a spatula then add rice to serving plates. Top rice with the chicken salad. Serve immediately with soy sauce on the side and a small bowl of hot chicken stock as soup for each person. You can add bird's eye chili to the soy sauce and some scallions to the soup. Taste and flavor the soup with some salt or a dash of fish sauce.
The leftover chicken stock and chicken meat can be refrigerated. You can make another meal of Hoi An Chicken Rice with it the next day or make chicken noodle soup. If you don't want to have leftover, you can cook half a chicken.
Vietnamese coriander is an essential ingredient in this dish and it can be found at Vietnamese grocery stores. If you cannot find it, you may use cilantro or maybe Thai basil, but the dish will taste a little different.
If you don't have time or already have shredded chicken on hand, it's fine to use store-bought chicken stock. However, the rice would taste best with homemade chicken stock.
Traditionally, Hoi An chicken rice also has a sauce made from sautéing chicken giblets with garlic and chicken stock to drizzle on top. Not everyone likes chicken giblets. I personally don't make it.
This dish is also served with julienned green papaya and carrots on the side in Hoi An. You can also serve it with pickled carrots and daikon radish if you want.
Calories: 373kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 1063mg | Potassium: 363mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 35IU | Vitamin C: 6.8mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1.7mg