Chao Ga recipe (Vietnamese Chicken Rice Porridge / Congee)

Cháo Gà recipe – There is nothing that heals your body as well as the mind and soul as much as a warm bowl of chicken soup , even when you’re not under the weather. Vietnamese Chao Ga is another tasty version of chicken soup and rice that can provide a large number of people with and provide a tasty meal at the cost of a small amount.

This was a meal I used to eat all the time when I was growing up in my home as well as in Chinese restaurants. Also, on my recent trip to Vietnam prior to the time when the world went into a state of shutdown in the year 2000, we enjoyed Vietnamese rice porridge for each breakfast in the hotel.

Strangely enough, it was the most reliable and safest offer at hotels, offering a wide variety of extras, which varied based upon the location of the hotel. There are a variety of ways to spice up the chicken rice porridge but at the root of it all is chicken, rice, onions and ginger. It’s also very simple and tastes better cooked at home, I think so :). Let’s see!

Traditions of Vietnamese rice porridge

Around the time of the winter holidays is when my large paternal side family comes together to be thankful. This means presents, little kids running around, being pestered by people about whether they are overweight or too thin and, of course there will be food.

My parents’ generation all came from Vietnam which means that my cousins are all the first generation born here. Although typically, the parents have cooked the entire Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners We’ve made it American manner, using the stuffing and cranberry sauce honey-glazed ham and of course a huge turkey.

The turkey is always said to be three times as large that we don’t end up eating it all on one day. But that’s fine! This leftover turkey is the basis for our annual ritual of breakfast following Christmas Chao Ga.

The turkey, chicken, and the broth

turkey and hambones, as well as Kitty looking on to the left

The leftover turkey is a great way to make porridge. Cut off and take out the majority of the meat right now when it’s not boiling hot, and you’ll be able to clearly see what’s in it. When the bird is simmered, it becomes very hot and soft, making it difficult to separate the meat from the numerous bones inside is more difficult.

Freshly cut and cooked turkey or chicken – in the event that you don’t have a left-over bird obviously, this is also possible. You can make use of a whole bird, or choose the parts you prefer. I prefer skin-on and bone-in thighs, for darker meat as well as more flavor due to the fat. Bones will give an extra flavor to your broth.

Broth – If you have canned broth lying around then you can make use of it as a supplement to the chao and enhance the flavor, if that you don’t have enough meat. You can also make use of canned broth and won’t be left with any turkey or chicken that normally is served with this dish.

Different types of rice that you can make

Make use of white rice. My family typically consumes long-grain white rice in their meals, such as jasmine rice, which is the rice they use for their porridge. However, you can mix it with other varieties of rice, such as Basmati rice for a great soup , too.

Recent versions I’ve cooked with this method of replacing 50 percent of the long grain with 50percent short-grain rice. I typically only have short-grain rice because I like the fact that it’s much more sticky and that it holds more moisture than long-grain as sushi or ordinary rice dishes. Short-grain is able to release more starch in the porridge or chao, which means you get an even thicker soup with less distinct and soft grains.

I’ve seen it in places like mom’s where they’re using broken rice, too. This isn’t something I’m keeping in the pantry, however it could be delicious!

Aromatics and seasonings

Whatever bird species you prefer, simply place the bird in a large pot including a halved onion chopped garlic, salt and and fish sauce and let it simmer for 2 to 4 days or till the bird is tender that it is falling from the bone.

Peel the onion and cut it into half. Because it is simmering for a long time the entire onion will be cooked and then release everything it’s got to the broth after two or more hours.

You’ll need to cut the ginger into pieces and wash it thoroughly to ensure it’s completely clean. I prefer using the spoon for scraping it because you can perform the task quickly and without the danger that you’ll cut yourself. Cut or smash the ginger to ensure that a larger surface area is open for the broth.

Final add-ins & accoutrement

Fried doughnut, giò chéo quẩy or youtiao the “donut” is usually in the form like a stick however, it is always sold in pairs. It’s essentially fried bread. With an almost endless number of ways to spell it in Vietnamese it’s obvious that the name and food is Chinese. It’s amazing when it’s fresh: chewy, crispy fat, and delicious, an excellent ingredient to add texture and flavor to the Chao. We usually get it at our local Chinese restaurant, but we I’ve been ordering it through a food delivery services.

Salty duck eggs This is an amazing ingredient that’s very salty. If you’re planning for serving this with it, you should consider reducing the fish sauce or salt amounts in the congee to ensure it’s not overpowering with this egg. They look just like normal chicken eggs. Sometimes, they are sealed. I buy my eggs from the nearby Ranch 99 market.

Deep-fried shallots, or garlic slices Crispy little bites of allium. There are very few food items that don’t get more delicious by including these. They are great with Vietnamese Chao!

Sambal Sambal is that red chile paste which is found present in many Vietnamese recipes, mostly in the fish sauce or marinade, or anytime you’d like to add garlicky chile paste in anything. It’s on the side of the sauce that is used for dipping Vietnamese Spring rolls, pork chops, or Bo Bia in the sauce that goes with lemongrass chicken, or even in Vietnamese macaroni and chicken soup.

Chopped scallions, cilantro and chopped scallions – the most well-known combo of herbs which is the hallmark of Vietnamese cuisine. It is also found on the menu of Viet macaroni and chicken soup or chicken Pho.

Serving and storage

It is possible to serve the soup immediately, however since it’s hot right off the heat, liquid within it is likely to continue to evaporate, and the soup will begin to thicken. Keep an eye on this, and add water as required to achieve the consistency and salt levels that you would like.

It can be stored in the refrigerator within an airtight container 4 to 6 days, however generally speaking, the fresher it is the more flavorful.

Another delicious chicken soup to try

Cháo Gà – Vietnamese Chicken Rice Porridge / Congee

A healthy, simple Vietnamese rice porridge known as Chao Ga. Ideal for those who are sick or simply desire a delicious rice porridge that will easily serve a large number of people.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Course Breakfast, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine vietnamese
Servings 12 bowls
Calories 689 kcal


  • 1 Stock pot



  • 3 lb turkey or chicken bone in, raw, or cooked
  • 28 c of filtered water
  • Fresh ginger root of 87 g removed, cut in 1/4" pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion Halved
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 335 grams (2 scoops) long grain white rice
  • 335 grams (2 scoops) white rice with short grain


  • 3-4 tbsp ginger peeled finely julienned
  • 3 stalks of green onions thinly cut
  • 1 bunch cilantro chopped into 1/3" pieces
  • sambal chile paste
  • youtiao / gio cheo quay / chinese donut


  • If you're cooking leftovers from roasting turkey or chicken take away around 75 percent of the meat. save the rest for your soup or chao after serving.
  • In a large pot put in the turkey or chicken as well as 85% of filtrated water, ginger, onion, salt, and fish sauce in a high-heat oven. When it reaches boiling, reduce the heat to the medium to low simmer. The water should nearly be able to cover the bones and meat. If the pot is extremely large, remember that you could be using more than stated, and you may have to lower the quantity in the next step in order to adjust for consistency. Clean any scum off if required during the boil. Continue adding more water into the pan until it evaporates, so that the bones are completely covered.
  • After 90 to 120 minutes or until the meat is soft enough that it is able to be easily pulled away from its bone take the chicken and allow it to cool for around 10 minutes. Utilizing either your fingers or fork take the remaining meat from the bone. Put the meat back in the pot. Get rid of the bones, the onion and ginger, as they've all contributed to the broth to this point.
  • Rice Method A (saves your time): While your broth is simmering,cook your rice in the rice cooker. Utilize equal amounts of rice to water. It should be cooking by the time your broth is ready. The cooked rice should be added to the pot and cook at medium-low to soften the rice. It should take between 10 and 20 minutes.
  • Rice Method B (less dishes to be washed): Add all the rice in the pot, and then turn the high heat until it comes to a boil. Reduce temperature to a moderate heat until the rice has cooked and has reached the desired soft consistency. It can take 45-60 minutes, depending on the type of stove. The consistency will be the same after the boiling however, before adjusting it by adding more water.
  • After the rice has been cooked to the degree you desire, and it should be extremely soft and well beyond al dente, and also beyond the point at which you'd like to eat it in a soup alter the amount of water. Fun fact: for my family, soup thickness is a major point of dispute. You can do what you you want. Personally, I do not want my soup to be it's a thick paste. However, I equally, I don't want it to be too thin that you just notice water when looking on the dish. I would like the soup to be somewhat spongy and feel full.
  • The soup should be reseasoned. Reseason with just salt, or fish sauce, or equal amounts of both depending on your preference. The above seasoning is a little less salt than what we require, therefore we should reseason it depending on the thickness you've decided in making the soup.
  • Remove the dish from the oven Serve with garnish and other accoutrements, and take a bite!


For the scoop for rice I made use of the rice scooper supplied in the rice cooker. To ensure that you are following the correct method to follow this recipe, you must weigh your rice using grams.
Update: Added the rice cooker step for speeding up the process. We have clarified the steps of the recipe, included garnish ingredients.
Keyword cháo gà, chao ga recipe, Vietnamese Chicken Rice Porridge / Congee

One Response

  1. Linda June 10, 2022

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