Vietnamese Caramel Chicken


Asian-style chicken with steamed rice.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
35 mins
6 servings


  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

  • ground black pepper to taste

  • 3 pounds chicken thighs

Caramel Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons water

  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce

  • ½ tablespoon white sugar

  • 3 teaspoons rice vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 jalapeno peppers, sliced


  1. Combine sugar, fish sauce, and black pepper in a shallow plate and turn chicken in the marinade. Set aside for 10 minutes.

  2. Combine water, fish sauce, sugar, and rice vinegar in a bowl. Set caramel sauce aside.

  3. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and pan-fry chicken, skin-side up, until bottoms turn slightly crispy and brown, about 5 minutes. Turn and cook until skin is slightly charred, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken from skillet and transfer to a plate.

  4. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet and cook garlic for 30 seconds. Return chicken to the skillet and add caramel sauce. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until chicken is no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear. Caramel sauce should be reduced and turn amber in color. Add jalapenos and cook for 1 more minute.

Cook's Note:

You can also use apple cider vinegar in place of rice vinegar.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

464 Calories
30g Fat
7g Carbs
39g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 464
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 30g 39%
Saturated Fat 8g 39%
Cholesterol 141mg 47%
Sodium 676mg 29%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 39g
Vitamin C 3mg 15%
Calcium 27mg 2%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 380mg 8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

You’ll Also Love