Chao Ga is our favourite traditional Vietnamese breakfast recipe.
Easy and healthy Vietnamese Rice Porridge is typically served in the morning. The popular comfort food bowl features shredded chicken and rice that is cooked in a savoury ginger broth.
Every Chao Ga recipe is unique as the spirit of the dish allows each person to add a variety of toppings and garnishes based on their personal preferences. Typical toppings include fresh herbs, lime, fried garlic or shallots, and chili sauce.
The authentic Vietnamese Rice Porridge recipe is a simple and affordable dish to serve at brunch when company is coming. We suggest doubling the recipe so you can enjoy leftovers all week long!
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What IsChao Ga?
The traditional congee is a staple at most Vietnamese hotels, offered as a DIY breakfast bowl on buffets.
Chao Ga is one of my favourite dishes to eat in the morning when on holiday in Vietnam. Hotel chefs typically display a diverse and colourful selection of toppings and sauces so guests can prepare their own unique bowl based on their personal preferences and tastes.
My family loves to cook homemade Vietnamese Rice Porridge the morning after we enjoy a roast chicken or turkey dinner. We gently remove all of the meat from the carcass, chop it up and then add it to our simmering Chao Ga pot.
You can also make this Chao Ga recipe from scratch by poaching chicken breasts or chicken thighs.
Best Rice For Chao Ga
Authentic Chao Ga is prepared with white rice. Long grain white rice like jasmine is preferred but you can also use basmati.
You can get creative with your Vietnamese Rice Porridge recipe by mixing different proportions of rice. My family once used 50% long grain rice (Thai) with 50% short grain rice (Korean).
Short grain rice releases more starch into the porridge so you’ll have a thicker soup consistency featuring softer and less distinct grains.
Feel free to have some fun with your Chao Ga by adding coloured rice, like the purple variety popular in Korea. This adds an eye-popping splash of colour to your Vietnamese breakfast menu.
Vietnamese Rice Porridge Toppings & Garnishes
Vietnamese Rice Porridge is a fun breakfast recipe because it allows you to make your own breakfast bowl based on the toppings you add on top.
Our favourite version of Vietnamese Rice Porridge is garnished with shredded chicken breast, chopped cilantro, crispy garlic chips, spicy sliced red chili, sweet red chili sauce and a lime wedge.
Travel to Vietnam by Cooking Chao Ga at Home
I love traveling through Asia.
I spent over a month traveling by bus through Vietnam. I started in the south, spending a few days in Saigon before exploring the floating markets in the nearby Mekong Delta. I then took a series of night buses north making stops in Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hue, Halong Bay and Hanoi.
What I found most fascinating is Vietnam’s distinct regional food cultures. Much like the regional cuisines found in France, Germany, Italy or Spain, each town in Vietnam had its own local speciality.
I fell in love with the exciting street food culture while eating in bustling cities like Hanoi and Saigon. Some of my most memorable Vietnamese meals in the morning featured Chao Ga slurped with a spoon while teetering on the curb of a busy intersection.
Where To Eat Traditional Chao Ga
Haven’t traveled to Vietnam before? It may be helpful to first sample Chao Ga at a local Vietnamese restaurant to better understand how the dish is served. You can determine the best garnishes and toppings to offer, ideal portion size and perfect side dishes to compliment the meal.
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Our easy Chao Ga recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!
Chicken is high in protein and provides B vitamins such as niacin, which helps your body access the energy in foods.
Nearly 50% of the people in the world get over 50% of their daily calories from rice. If eating brown rice featuring nutritious bran you’ll enjoy health benefits like cancer risk reduction and diabetes control.
Ginger contains at least 14 phytochemicals, many of which have impressive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also has a good source of copper, which supports your bones, blood and nervous system.
Onions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of onions can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.
Chili has been proven to help reduce the duration of sickness, prevent heart disease, and promote weight loss.
A good source of bone-strengthening vitamin K, cilantro is also rich in antioxidants that help protect the eyes from damage by free radicals.
A rich source of phytochemicals and vitamin C, limes help boost your immune system and neutralize free radicals that cause disease and skin aging. Lemons also protect against heart disease and help improve blood flow to the brain.
Vietnamese Rice Porridge Recipe Cooking Tips
This yummy Chao Ga recipe is quick and easy to make at home. We’ve included a few tips for first time Vietnamese cooks!
- Use a large pot or Dutch Oven to simmer Chao Ga and avoid splatter on the stove when cooking.
- We’ve used short grain rice in this recipe but you can also use long grain rice like jasmine or basmati rice.
- We’ve used red long chilies in this recipe but you can substitue for any of your favorite hot chilies. Remove the seeds if you can’t tolerate spicy foods or add them to the wok if you’re keen for a fiery experience.
- We’ve used scallions in this recipe but you could substitute with shallots.
- We’ve poached chicken breasts and shredded them into the Chao Ga. We suggest making Vietnamese Rice Porridge the day after you roast a chicken or turkey as it’s a great way to use the leftover meat.
- We like to garnish the porridge with a lime wedge, fresh herbs, shredded chicken, crispy garlic chips and sweet chili sauce. Other popular toppings include Youtiao fried donut, salted duck egg, sambal and tiny dried salted fish.
What To Serve with Chao Ga
Vietnamese Rice Porridge is typically enjoyed as a meal all on its own, the ultimate comfort food breakfast bowl. We love serving Chao Ga at brunch with Vietnamese Coffee and a bowl of fresh fruit.
If you’re hosting a Vietnamese dinner party or potluck, we suggest pairing this Chao Ga recipe with Bun Cha Vietnamese Noodle Bowls, Vietnamese Grilled Pork “Bun Thit Nuong”, Goi Xoai Vietnamese Mango Salad, Goi Ga Vietnamese Salad, Shrimp & Pork Vietnamese Egg Rolls, and Vietnamese Crepe Bánh Xèo.
Rice Porridge keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days so store it in an airtight container and enjoy as leftovers. Store leftover garnishes in individual containers or Ziplock bags to keep them fresh.
You May Also Enjoy These Rice Recipes…
- Healthy Adas Polo Persian Lentil Rice
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- Vegetarian Gorgonzola Risotto al Radicchio
- Crispy Roast Chicken and Leek Risotto
- Vegan One Pot Indian Thakkali Tomato Biryani
- Spicy Gukbap Korean Rice & Beef Soup
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- Romanian Soup Ciorba de Perisoare
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How To Make Traditional Chao Ga Vietnamese Rice Porridge
Chao Ga Vietnamese Rice Porridge
- Large pot
- French knife
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- 2 L Chicken Broth
- 1 cup Short Grain Rice
- 3 Garlic Cloves minced
- 2 tsp Fresh Ginger grated
- 4 Scallions sliced, green and white parts separated
- Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
- 2 Skinless Boneless Chicken Breasts
- 1 tbsp Fish Sauce
- 1/2 cup Cilantro chopped
- 1 Lime sliced into wedges
- 1 tbsp Red Thai Chili Sauce
- 1 tbsp Red Thai Chile sliced
- 1 tbsp Garlic Chips
- In a large pot over medium heat combine the broth, rice, garlic, ginger, scallion whites and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to boil, then add the chicken breasts, fully submerging them in the liquid. Cover, reduce to low and cook, for 18-20 minutes.
- Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a bowl and set aside. Bring the rice mixture to a slow boil over medium heat, then stir in the fish sauce. Cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the broth is thickened with the grains, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, shred the chicken and set aside. When the rice and broth are ready, taste and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into soup bowls and top with shredded chicken, scallion greens, cilantro, sliced red chile, garlic chips and lime wedges. Drizzle with Red Thai Chili Sauce and serve hot.
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