Steamed Chicken with Vietnamese Coriander (Ga Hap Rau Ram)

Steamed Chicken with Vietnamese Coriander (Ga Hap Rau Ram)

Steamed Chicken with Vietnamese Coriander (Ga Hap Rau Ram)

Looking for beer food or simply good Vietnamese food that’s quick to put together?

Look no further than Vietnamese steamed chicken with coriander (Ga Hap Rau Ram). It’s the perfect food to share among friends while sipping beer, or in my case, a nice cold glass of sparkling water. This steamed chicken is lightly seasoned then steamed with lots of Vietnamese coriander (rau ram). It is also served with plenty of fresh coriander and a lemon-salt-pepper dipping sauce on the side.

Vietnamese coriander, also known as Vietnamese mint, is a type of herb whose leaves have a sharp spicy flavor that goes beautifully with chicken. When chicken and Vietnamese coriander are eaten with the tart salt and pepper dipping sauce, it’s a harmonious explosion of flavors.

To make Ga Hap Rau Ram, free-range chicken is preferred for a more authentic Vietnamese flavor and texture. However, regular chicken will also do. Start with washing the chicken thoroughly. I cover the chicken with plenty of salt and use the coarse texture to abrasively scrub the chicken skin. Exfoliate! Exfoliate! If needed, run a knife along the skin to scrape off any remaining residue. The chicken gets a good rinse then pat dry with paper towels. I also use the organs and feet (no waste here) so make sure to clean those off as well. If using chicken feet, chop off the toe nails because toe nails in food are not too appetizing ;-)

Next, chop the chicken into little pieces using a large meat cleaver. Season the chicken with salt, sugar, black pepper, chicken/mushroom bouillon stock powder (the quintessential Vietnamese home cooking ingredient), garlic and shallot.

Place the chicken on a shallow heat-proof bowl that will fit your steamer. Lay the chicken in a single layer. Otherwise it will not cook all the way through. Place half of your Vietnamese coriander on top of the chicken then steam for about 30 minutes. Remove from the steamer and serve immediately for best results.

Yum. I love the gelatinous and chewy skin of free-range chicken. So Vietnamese, I know.

Yum. I love the gelatinous and chewy skin of free-range chicken. So Vietnamese, I know.

Steamed Chicken with Vietnamese Coriander (Ga Hap Rau Ram)

Steamed Chicken with Vietnamese Coriander (Ga Hap Rau Ram)

Steamed Chicken with Vietnamese Coriander (Ga Hap Rau Ram)

Serves 3-5

Ingredients

    Chicken / Vietnamese Coriander

  • 1 whole chicken (free-range preferred)
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt (divided; half for washing chicken)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chicken or mushroom stock powder
  • 3 cloves garlic (peel chop finely)
  • 1 small shallot (peel chop finely)
  • 1 bunch Vietnamese coriander/mint leaves (rau ram)
  • Lime, salt and pepper dipping sauce

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3-5 lemon or lime wedges

Instructions

  1. Start with washing the chicken thoroughly. Cover the chicken with 1 tablespoon salt. Use the coarse texture to abrasively scrub the chicken skin. If needed, run a knife along the skin to scrape off any remaining residue. Rinse then pat dry with paper towels. You can also the organs and feet so make sure to clean those off as well. If using chicken feet, make sure to chop off the toe nails.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together salt (remaining 1 tablespoon), sugar, chicken/mushroom bouillon stock powder, garlic and shallot.
  3. Chop chicken into little pieces using a large meat cleaver. Marinate with seasoning mixture for at least 15 minutes. Overnight in fridge for best results.
  4. Place marinated chicken on a shallow heat-proof bowl that will fit your steamer. Make sure to lay the chicken in a single layer. Otherwise it will not cook all the way through. Place half of your Vietnamese coriander on top of the chicken then steam for about 30 minutes. Remove from the steamer carefully.
  5. Serve with fresh coriander and a small sauce dish of salt, pepper and lemon or lime wedges.
Steamed Chicken with Vietnamese Coriander (Ga Hap Rau Ram)

Steamed Chicken with Vietnamese Coriander (Ga Hap Rau Ram)