Sweet Five-Spice Ginger Chicken

Sweet Five-Spice Ginger Chicken: Served Vietnamese-style over rice with sliced tomato and cucumber, this quick and easy stir-fry is made with boneless chicken thighs, garlic, ginger, scallions and a sweet-and-salty sauce made with fish sauce and honey.

This quick and easy chicken stir-fry has its roots in Vietnamese cuisine. Tender chunks of boneless chicken seasoned with five-spice powder are stir-fried with garlic, ginger and scallions and coated in simple, sweet-and-salty combination of fish sauce and honey. Served Vietnamese-style with steamed rice (we used brown), sliced tomato, cucumbers and a drizzle of Nuoc Cham (recipe included), it makes a distinctively different, satisfying dinner.

Sweet Five-Spice Ginger Chicken

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 to 1-1/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder (plus more to taste)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons fish (or soy) sauce
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, very finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 scallions, sliced
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Trim any excess fat from the chicken thighs, cut them into 3/4-inch pieces and transfer to a mixing bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil, season with five-spice powder and toss to coat.

In a small bowl, whisk together the fish (or soy) sauce, honey and water until well blended. Set aside.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Add the garlic and ginger, and stir fry just until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the chicken and stir-fry until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes longer.

Add the fish sauce-honey mixture and toss to coat the chicken thoroughly. Cook for 1 minute, taste and season with freshly ground black pepper and a little more five-spice powder if desired.

Stir in the sliced scallions and remove from the heat.

Plate individual servings over steamed white or brown rice, garnish the plate with slices of fresh tomato and cucumber and spoon a little Nuoc Cham (recipe follows) or fish sauce over top.

Makes 4 servings

Nuoc Cham

Nuoc Cham is the most common of all Vietnamese dipping sauces. It's pungent flavor enhances a wide variety foods and is especially good drizzled over steamed rice or noodles.

  • Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or very finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (or more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha (or more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon shredded carrots (optional)

Combine the warm water and sugar stirring until sugar has dissolved completely. Add the garlic, fish sauce, lime juice and Sriracha. Stir to combine, taste and adjust the flavors as desired. Add the carrots just before serving.

Makes about 1/2 cup (recipe can be doubled)

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