The style of cooking the chicken is very similar to the Chinese method of cooking Hainanese chicken, but the finished dish is closer to a chicken salad. It is traditionally served with fresh green papaya and earthy turmeric rice.






Skill level

Average: 5 (1 vote)


  • 1 1.8 kg (4 lb) free-range chicken
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 400 g (14 oz/2 cups) jasmine rice
  • 50 g (1 ¾ oz/¼ cup) white glutinous rice


  • 200 g (7 oz) shredded green papaya
  • 1 brown onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch Vietnamese mint, leaves picked

Pickled carrot and daikon (to serve with salad)

  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) white vinegar
  • 100 g caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 kg carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 300 g daikon (white radish), cut into matchsticks

Nuoc mam dipping sauce (to serve)

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 brid's eye chillies, finely chopped or sliced
  • 150 ml fish sauce
  • 100 ml white vinegar
  • 140 g caster (superfine) sugar

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


This recipe needs to be started 2 days in advance if making the pickled carrot and daikon component.

1. To make the pickled carrot and daikon, combine the vinegar and sugar in a bowl and add 100 ml water. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Rinse the daikon and carrot under warm running water for 5 minutes, then drain thoroughly and pat dry with paper towel. Transfer to a large plastic container or non-reactive bowl. Pour the pickle liquid over the vegetables and set aside in the fridge for 2 days, after which time the pickles will be ready to use.

2. On the day of serving, rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towel. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add the chicken, salt and turmeric and poach the chicken for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the chicken in the liquid for a further 25 minutes, then remove the chicken and cool on a wire rack. Reserve the poaching liquid.

3. Combine the rice and glutinous rice and rinse under cold water for 2 minutes, moving the rice the whole time to ensure each grain is well rinsed. Drain and transfer the rice to a saucepan and pour in enough poaching liquid to cover the rice by about 2 cm (¾ in). Place over medium heat, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender.

4. Meanwhile, make the dipping sauce by combining the ingredients and 200 ml water in a bowl and stiring through until the sugar has dissolved. Makes 600 ml, the remainder can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

5. Remove the chicken thighs from the chicken and chop into small pieces. Remove the breast meat from the bone and thickly slice. Place the thighs, chicken breast and wings on a serving platter.

6. Combine the salad ingredients in a bowl. Divide the nuoc mam among individual serving bowls.

7. To serve, spoon the rice onto plates, along with the salad. Invite guests to help themselves to the poached chicken and add their own nuoc mam.


Recipe from Street Food Vietnam by Jerry Mai, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99