Asian/ Chicken/ Gluten Free

Vietnamese Mint and Ginger Chicken (Gà Chiên)

Vietnamese Mint and Ginger Chicken (Gà Chiên) ~ The Complete SavoristMy last trip to Southern California was this past May/June.  Which means the last time I had Vietnamese food was in late May, early June. That’s entirely too long ago.  But sadly, despite all the wonderful culinary offerings of my small town, we do not have Vietnamese food, nor do we have any Southeastern Asian food.  One Chinese restaurant offers a few Thai dishes, but that’s about it.

When I was in college this past time (I’ve been a few times, I like degrees that do nothing for me apparently), I had to give a presentation in my cultural diversity class and picked my hometown of Garden Grove/Westminster, CA.  In doing my research, I came across a cookbook that I knew was going to be mine upon reading its title. The Little Saigon Cookbook. Yeah, a cookbook full of recipes from my hometown, it had to be mine.

Well, this cookbook has been sitting on my shelf for a few years now, wondering why if I needed it so badly that I have never used it. I wondered the same thing.  So, I took it off the shelf and started reading it. Yes, I read cookbooks like regular books.

While reading, I came across a recipe for “Pan-Fried Spicy Chicken with Mint and Ginger (Gà Chiên).  I have had this dish many, many times in my life and knew I could make it using the book as my guide. I took the base recipe the book had and made my own adaptations.  Nothing shocking or over the top but the results were fantastic and I am extremely pleased.

I will say, if you do not like fish sauce, this dish might be difficult for your palate. The combination of fish sauce, ginger, and mint is truly terrific, but the taste of fish sauce is distinct.  I had some fresh-from-the-garden cucumbers (right before our first freeze) and made my sweet chili cucumbers and onions salad to add to the top of the dish.  The cool, crispness of the salad really added to the ginger and mint chicken.

I took my first bite with slight trepidation.  I am not going to lie, I was nervous.  While I love eating Vietnamese food, I have not made many dishes before.  But after the first bite, I was transported back to any of my favorite restaurants on Bolsa Ave.Vietnamese Mint and Ginger Chicken (Gà Chiên)

Vietnamese Mint and Ginger Chicken (Gà Chiên)

Vietnamese Mint and Ginger Chicken (Gà Chiên) ~ The Complete SavoristThis dish has been adapted from The Little Saigon Cookbook by Ann Le.

Vietnamese Mint and Ginger Chicken (Gà Chiên)



  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/ 2 tsp white pepper
  • 3/4 tsp sugar
  • 6 garlic cloves; minced grated
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint/ chopped
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic chili sauce
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 1/2 lbs chicken; cubed
  • 5 tbsp high heat cooking oil (+/- to taste)
  • Sweet Chili Cucumber and Onion Salad
  • Cooked Jasmine rice


  1. Cut chicken and place in a zip seal bag
  2. In a bowl, combine olive oil, white pepper, sugar, garlic, mint, ginger, fish sauce, chili sauce, and onion powder; whisk until combined
  3. Pour liquid into bag, squeezing out the air and seal
  4. Shake the bag, coating the chicken in the sauce
  5. Allow the chicken to marinate a minimum of one hour, turning the bag every 15 minutes, but can marinate up to overnight, turning every few hours if possible
  6. Heat a wok or large pan over high heat
  7. Add the 5 tbsp oil, and heat
  8. Once the oil is hot, pour the entire contents of the bag into the wok/pan and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally
  9. Reduce head to medium high and cook an additional 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through
  10. Serve over jasmine rice, or any rice of choice and top with Sweet Chili Cucumber and Onion Salad
  11. Enjoy

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  • Lauren @ Healthy Delicious
    November 19, 2014 at 9:39 am

    I love the flavors of Vietnamese food. I’m definitely going to have to try this recipe soon. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Michelle
      November 19, 2014 at 10:03 am

      Oh yay! I love finding others who love Vietnamese food. I live in a pretty homogenous area now and know so many who have never tried a Vietnamese dish. 🙂

  • Sharon @ What The Fork Food Blog
    November 19, 2014 at 11:33 am

    I’m intrigued by the mint… I’m not used to using it in savory dishes. It sounds wonderful though, definitely will be trying this 🙂

    • Michelle
      November 19, 2014 at 11:52 am

      Sharon, mint is used a lot, I have found, in Asian cooking. It’s definitely different but delicious. Hope you enjoy it.

  • Olivia Schwab
    November 19, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    I love mint and would like to try it on chicken! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Michelle
      November 19, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      Thank you for stopping by Olivia.

  • Kelly @ TastingPage
    November 19, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    This combination of flavors is right in my wheelhouse. I love Vietnamese food and never seem to go out for it enough. I think I need to bring it into my home as well. Thanks for getting me started. Looks great!

    • Michelle
      November 19, 2014 at 1:11 pm

      At least you are in Cali to get it easily! I’m super jealous of that. I think you will enjoy this dish!

  • Michela @ From Italy With Food
    November 19, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    It’s always a challenge for me to think how to cook chicken differently and you gave me an idea! It looks fantastic! 🙂

    • Michelle
      November 19, 2014 at 11:07 pm

      Thank you Michela, I love Vietnamese food, hope you enjoy the dish too.

  • Debra Clark
    November 20, 2014 at 5:46 am

    I’m glad to see I’m not alone as I read cookbooks also, LOL! Back to the recipe – big fan of Asian food and this sounds terrific! Turkey would also be a great substitute – printing this off for next week for turkey leftovers, thank you!

    • Michelle
      November 20, 2014 at 12:43 pm

      Thank you Debra, cookbooks have some great info. Hope you enjoy the recipe.

  • christine
    November 20, 2014 at 7:42 am

    I’m not very familiar w Vietnamese cuisine, but this looks delicious.

    • Michelle
      November 20, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      Thank you Christine. If you’ve not had a lot of Vietnamese food, start with a hearty bowl of Pho.

  • Becky Winkler
    November 20, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    This sounds delicious! I am lucky to live in a neighborhood with lots of Vietnamese restaurants and shops, but still want to try making this at home.

    Also, I am like you in that I read cookbooks like novels–they’re by far my favorite thing to read!

    • Michelle
      November 20, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      You are lucky!!! There are not a lot of things I miss about living in SoCal but the food (plus the beach and my family) is one of them.

  • Linda (Meal Planning Maven)
    November 20, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Your photos are stunning! I can only imagine how delicious this dish must be!

    • Michelle
      November 20, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      Thank you Linda. It was a really good dish, transported me back to my youth.

  • Sandra Shaffer
    November 20, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    I think you hit a home run with this dish! I always get a little intimidated with Vietnamese food because I’m not always familial with the ingredients, but not with your recipe! The only thing I would need to purchase is the fish sauce. I gotta try this! Thanks!

    • Michelle
      November 20, 2014 at 11:11 pm

      Thank you Sandra. Fish sauce is easy to find these days on the Asian aisle at your local grocery store. I hope you enjoy it.

  • Lovefoodies
    November 21, 2014 at 2:53 am

    What a fabulous recipe Michelle! I love Vietnamese and all South East Asian food! You are very right about the use of fish sauce, and it really does make a huge difference to the dish, so hopefully everyone will give it a go!

    • Michelle
      November 21, 2014 at 10:18 am

      I think fish sauce is in the same category as cilantro; you like it or you don’t. I’m glad to find another who loves SE Asian cuisine like I do. I’d love to see it become more mainstream and available.

  • Foodies Network » Vietnamese Mint & Ginger Chicken Ga Chien
    November 21, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    […] Vietnamese Mint & Ginger Chicken Ga Chien […]

  • Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen
    November 22, 2014 at 12:31 am

    Oh yum! I love flavors like this! I need to try this soon, but it looks delish!

    • Michelle
      November 22, 2014 at 1:05 am

      Thank you so much Kristi! Hope you enjoy it.

  • Jillian
    November 23, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    This looks awesome, just like take out!

    • Michelle
      November 24, 2014 at 1:11 am

      That’s the goal Jillian! Thank you.

  • Des @ Life's Ambrosia
    November 23, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    Yum! I am loving everything about this!

    • Michelle
      November 24, 2014 at 1:09 am

      Thank you! It’s tasty.

  • Sandi Gaertner (@sandigtweets)
    February 8, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Wow, I love this recipe and the fun flavors you combine 🙂 Our family often dines out for Vietnamese foods but with your recipe I realize I can make it at home as well!

    • Michelle
      February 8, 2015 at 2:05 pm

      If you love authentic Vietnamese food, then you all will love this. So fishy-saucy…I make up words. 🙂

  • Christie
    April 21, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    This has all the flavors we love. My family would love to have this for dinner.

    • Michelle
      April 21, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      So happy to hear that Christie, I love Vietnamese food and am really trying to make more of it at home. Enjoy.

  • Gerry @ Foodness Gracious
    January 29, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    What an interesting dish, I love the flavors!!

    • Michelle De La Cerda
      January 29, 2016 at 2:50 pm

      Do you have much experience with Vietnamese cuisine?

  • Sara
    January 29, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    I love vietnamese food and would love to try making it at home, this looks so delicious!

  • Ashlyn @ Belle of the Kitchen
    January 30, 2016 at 12:40 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever made any Vietnamese cuisine at home, but I do enjoy eating it! This looks like one I need to try. 🙂

    • Michelle De La Cerda
      January 30, 2016 at 1:16 am

      It is really easy to make at home. Hope you enjoy it.

  • Valerie | From Valerie's Kitchen
    January 30, 2016 at 9:47 am

    It’s fun to try new and different flavor combos and I’m really loving the flavor combos here.

    • Michelle De La Cerda
      January 30, 2016 at 9:49 am

      They are strong and unique but go really well together.

  • Katerina @ Diethood
    January 31, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Mint + Ginger… wow. That’s a combo I really need to get my hands on. This chicken sounds SO good!!

  • Justine | Cooking and Beer
    January 31, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    I don’t know if I’ve ever put mint and ginger together in a dish. Loving the idea of it though! This chicken looks seriously addicting!

  • Sweet Chili Cucumbers and Onions - The Complete Savorist
    May 27, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    […] I did just eat it on my own. And then I made it again when I made a traditional Vietnamese dish, Mint and Ginger Chicken. This might be one of my new favorite dishes when I have left over cucumbers from the summer […]