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Delicious Vietnamese grilled chicken [So Tasty!]

 5 from 1 reviews

The Vietnamese Grilled Chicken is delectable. This spice rub makes your taste buds sing with only a few ingredients! This garlic pepper chicken with a hint of sweetness is perfect for banh mi’s noodle bowls or just over rice!

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Grilled Vietnamese Chicken with grilled green onion
Vietnamese grilled chicken

This Vietnamese grilled chicken is delicious served straight from the grill, in Pho, rice bowls, or salads. The marinade penetrates the chicken, making it succulent, distinct, and delectable.

The marinade of ginger, garlic, soy, lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, and cilantro imparts slightly sweet, tangy, salty, and savory flavors to the grilled chicken. With the addition of chili flakes, you can make it as spicy as you like.

For those who are unable to consume fish sauce due to dietary restrictions or who are uneasy about it (as I was until recently), there are some substitutes listed below under Tailor To Your Taste.

I strongly recommend boneless chicken thighs over breasts because they are juicier, more flavorful, and less likely to dry out. However, I know many people who will not eat thighs (despite my best efforts to persuade them), so use boneless breasts instead. They’ll also be delicious if you don’t overcook them.

The ingredients for this recipe can be found in the Asian cuisine section of most mainstream grocery stores or, if you live in an Asian community, in your local Asian market.


If you are not accustomed to fish sauce, or think you will hate, try again! 

  • Fish sauce is simply salt added to many Asian dishes. It also adds incredible umami (pungent irresistible flavor) to any dish!
  • I am a very picky fish eater…any kind of fish taste and I run for the hills. Even as far as my palate has progressed from its picky beginnings. Fish sauce even smells funkylicious, but once in your food and cooked, it makes dishes truly sing…so if you’re wary, stick with it!
  • You’ve probably had fish sauce if you’ve ever eaten Thai or Vietnamese food.

Alternative Video Recipe: Vietnamese Grilled Chicken

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Yes, fish sauce is required, and I prefer to use a Vietnamese brand rather than a Thai brand. This, in my opinion, gives the chicken a more authentic flavor profile.

  • Sugar. Brown sugar or white sugar?
  • Garlic. Because, after all, garlic is good in everything, right?
  • Shallots. Shallots are becoming more common in grocery stores, and they have a distinct flavor that differs from that of an onion. A little sweeter than an onion, but if you can’t find them, use a yellow onion instead.
  • This recipe calls for light soy sauce. It is not as thick as dark soy sauce and has a milder soy flavor. It is frequently referred to as “thin” or “superior.”
  • This spice paste requires freshly ground black pepper. For maximum flavor, use a good 5 or 6 turns of the pepper mill.
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Vietnamese grilled chicken


  • Fresh lemongrass is optional. If you have it and want to use it, add one stalk of only the tender white core, chopped fine.
  • Alternatively, keep a tube of lemongrass paste in the fridge and use about one-sixth of the tube, or to taste!
  • This Vietnamese grilled chicken recipe is then transformed into a fantastic Vietnamese lemongrass chicken recipe!
  • Grill the chicken directly on a gas grill over medium-high heat. It’s also fine if you want to thread the chicken onto skewers and make chicken skewers.
  • Because this paste-covered chicken has a tendency to stick to the grill, make sure to oil or spray it with cooking spray. Not that it detracts from the flavor in any way!
  • Even when I’m not making Vietnamese sandwiches, I always serve this chicken with pickled carrots.
  • Even if you’re not making a rice noodle bowl, it’s delicious as a dipping sauce with nuoc cham.
  • However, a vermicelli noodle bowl, a banh mi, or even rice bowls are delicious with fresh herbs like cilantro and Thai basil, as well as a squeeze of lime juice and some chopped peanuts.
  • With the addition of some hot red pepper flakes in the form of fresh, sliced jalapenos, this becomes one of my healthiest recipes.
  • I adore Asian cuisine, particularly Vietnamese.


  1. Knees should be pounded to an even thickness. I do it with the heel of my hand.
  2. In a small mixing bowl or measuring cup, combine the ingredients for the Vietnamese grilled chicken marinade.
  3. Marinate the chicken in the Vietnamese chicken marinade for 30 minutes or overnight.
  4. On medium-high heat, grill the thighs for 3-4 minutes per side. Along with the chicken, I like to grill green onions.
  5. If desired, drizzle the marinade over the chicken or use it as a dipping sauce. To remove impurities, it must be boiled for 2 minutes.
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yummy grilled chicken


Here are a few variations and substitutions for this Vietnamese Grilled chicken.


  • Fish sauce is made from fermented fish and shellfish that has been salted. If you’re wondering, it doesn’t taste like fish when mixed in a sauce. If you can’t or don’t want to eat it, here are some alternatives:
  • Worcestershire (county) (note this has anchovies in it). 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons is all you need.
  • Soy sauce (but not to the same depth of flavor).
  • Food52’s Vegan Fish Sauce recipe.
  • Cook’s Illustrated’s recipe for Vegetarian Fish Sauce with Mushrooms.
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  • If desired, set aside the marinade and reduce it to a sauce by boiling or microwaving it for 2 minutes. Drizzle it on top of the grilled chicken or use it as a dipping sauce. T
  • When served with rice, the sauce is especially tasty.
chicken marinating in ziploc
Vietnamese grilled chicken marinated


  • If you don’t like cilantro, substitute Italian parsley.


  • Not a problem. The boneless chicken thighs can be baked in the oven. The instructions are included in the recipe notes.


  • The Vietnamese Grilled chicken can be marinated up to a day ahead of time and then grilled for 6-10 minutes before serving.
  • Cooked chicken can also be served cold or at room temperature. If desired, use the boiled marinade as a dipping sauce.
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IMG 5104 1

Vietnamese grilled chicken

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)


  • Author: Emily Roselyn
  • Prep Time: 6 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 14 minutes
  • Yield: 23 1x



The Vietnamese Grilled Chicken is delectable. This spice rub makes your taste buds sing with only a few ingredients! This garlic pepper chicken with a hint of sweetness is perfect for banh mi’s noodle bowls or just over rice!


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (or breasts)
  • garnish (optional) – 2-3 green onions

Vietnamese Chicken Marinade

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon lime juice (about 1 small lime)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon neutral or vegetable oil (vegetable, canola, olive oil-but not extra virgin)
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce (low sodium is fine)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Fish sauce (Note 1)
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic (2 garlic cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger – or more if you like (or pinch of ground ginger)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (medium to medium-mild heat)
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro (and more for garnish if desired)


  • PREPARE THE CHICKEN: Trim the fat from the larger pieces of chicken (don’t worry about the smaller pieces; they’ll burn off). To ensure consistent cooking, pound the chicken to an even thickness. I use the pot’s bottom or the heal of my hand.
  • MARINATE CHICKEN: In a ziploc bag or airtight container, combine all marinade ingredients. To blend well, mix or squeeze the bag. Add chicken, Seal bag/container and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or overnight in fridge.
  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Using a paper towel or spray, lightly oil the grill.
  • REMOVE THE CHICKEN FROM THE MARINADE AND GRILL IT (reserve marinade for sauce if desired Note 2). If using a low-sodium soy sauce, season the chicken lightly with salt. Depending on the thickness of the chicken, grill it for 3-5 minutes per side. The instant thermometer should read 160 degrees Fahrenheit. If using, add green onions for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking. Place the chicken on a plate. Allow to rest for 5 minutes after loosely covering with foil. If preferred, garnish with green onions and chopped fresh cilantro. Note 3: Baking
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  • Substitutes for Fish Sauce. Fish sauce is created from fermented fish and shellfish combined with salt. If you can’t or don’t want to eat fish sauce, here are some alternatives:
  • Worcestershire (note this has anchovies in it). Use only 1 -1 1/2 teaspoons. 
  • Soy sauce (but it won’t have the same depth of taste).
  • Recipe for Vegan Fish Sauce from Food52.
  • Recipe for Vegetarian Fish Sauce using mushrooms by Cook’s Illustrated.
  • To make sauce from marinade: While chicken is resting, boil reserved marinade in small microwave safe measuring cup or bowl for 90 seconds. Or boil in small pot on stove. This will remove any bacteria. Drizzle over chicken or use as a dipping sauce.
  • To bake the Vietnamese chicken (instead of gas grill), heat oven to 425F/218C, place chicken on pan lined with parchment (or even better, on a wire rack over the pan), then bake for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches says 160F/71C with an instant read thermometer. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  • Make Ahead: 
  • The chicken can be marinated a day ahead, then grilled for 6-10 minutes before serving.
  • The cooked chicken is also delicious cold or at room temperature. Use the marinade (cooked) as a dipping sauce if you like.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: Vietnamese


  • Serving Size: 2-3
  • Calories: 429kcal
  • Sugar: 12g
  • Sodium: 1569mg
  • Fat: 20g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 15g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 46g
  • Cholesterol: 215mg

Keywords: Vietnamese Grilled Chicken, Grilled Chicken, Chicken, Dinner

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Chicken popular in Vietnam?

The chicken version is also popular among Vietnamese locals, but it lacks the richness of flavor that the beef version does. On the street, the price is 40,000 VND. A Chicken Pho Noodle Soup contains the following ingredients: broth (onions, ginger, chicken, fish sauce, salt, sugar, coriander, cloves, cilantro, and water).

What is Gia Nuong?

Vietnamese Roast Chicken (Ga Nuong) Vietnamese grilled chicken (Ga Nuong) is a quick weeknight meal. The chicken is seasoned with five spice, fish sauce, soy sauce, and other pantry staples.

Does Vietnam eat chicken?

A common lunch in Vietnam, grilled chicken, usually a leg, is served over broken rice with vegetables.

How many calories are in Vietnamese lemongrass chicken?

1 serving of Vietnamese LemonGrass Chicken has 40g total carbs, 40g net carbs, 1.8g fat, 9.5g protein, and 214 calories.

How many calories are in a Vietnamese grilled chicken?

1 serving of Vietnamese Grilled Chicken contains 190 calories.

More Recipes to try!

Vietnamese Chicken Curry Recipe (Cà Ri Gà)

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Delicious Vietnamese grilled chicken [So Tasty!] 20

Cà ri gà (Vietnamese chicken curry) is a hot, flavorful bowl of comfort. Although the marinade for seasoning the chicken and frying the potato and carrot to keep their shape take some time, this curry recipe is difficult to mess up.

This is yet another recipe that I was fortunate enough to enjoy as a child. I enjoy dipping the curry in freshly toasted baguette and, on occasion, topping it off with rice instead of bread.

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Vietnamese Chicken with Ginger

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Delicious Vietnamese grilled chicken [So Tasty!] 21

This meal uses a traditional Vietnamese braising method in which the braising liquid is made from caramelized sugar. If you can locate Chinese brown sugar (for more information, see its Ingredient Discovery profile), it will give the braise a rich, complex flavor.

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