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Friday, May 09, 2008

Ga Hap (Vietnamese Steamed Chicken)

So let's say you don't have the patience to make a proper Hainanese chicken, you can do my quickie short-cut and make ga hap (Vietnamese steamed chicken).

This was a cheap (less than $2) chicken, about 2.5 pounds.

Ga Hap 1

My secret is this steamer. My mom bought if for me when I got my first apartment in college. For a long time, it was also my rice cooker. You can also steam on the stove, but with this steamer, I don't have to worry about burning anything and it rarely overcooks.

Ga Hap 2

Ga Hap (Vietnamese Steamed Chicken)

You'll need:
1 chicken
1 tsp of salt per lb of chicken

Wash chicken. Rub 1 tsp of salt per pound of chicken all over outside and inside of bird. Put in steamer for 25 minutes until chopstick pricked in meat runs clear.

If you don't have a steamer, then use a steamer tray or place a bowl bottom-side up on the bottom of stock pot, then a plate on top. Fill water just to below the steamer tray or plate. After the water boils, turn heat down to medium or medium-low and let chicken steam for about 25 minutes.

Chop and serve with rice.

Ga Hap 3

So simple, but that's because all the flavor comes when you dip it into the Nuoc Mam Gung (Vietnamese Ginger Fish Sauce).

Ga Hap 4


Who made my Vietnamese steamed chicken?
Christine of Kits Chow said, "I tell you, this is a brilliant idea. The chicken was cooked perfectly in the electric steamer."

1 year ago today, a video and my not-so-pretty but oh-so-yummy Spam Musubi.


  1. Oh mmmm. Serve a bowl of rice with that and I'm all set. Since I'm kinda dieting, I wonder if this would be good for a low fat dinner one of these nights.

  2. Ahh so succulent!! Hungry now...
    Hey you should do a tutorial on how to chop a whole chicken neatly.

  3. I think this may be one of my favorite meals...especially when the quality of the chicken is good and the meat has that nice, firm texture. As much as I love Hainan chicken, this one is right up there. Thanks for posting your recipe for the dipping sauce too - I'll be making it soon.

  4. Jaded,
    I need to diet too. :( We should work on low cal recipes together!

    Ha! This was not chopped that neatly. It was just cleverly disguised for the photo. ;)

    Yeah, this is the lazy person's chicken. Different consistency though. More tender.

  5. hi,
    Can u please advise when steaming via electric steamer - whether to steam the whole chicken breast side up? or down?


  6. Susanna,
    I do breast side up since it looks nicer for final presentation and I haven't noticed any difference in cooking times with the electric steamer.

  7. Thks for sharing this recipe - the steamed chicken was soo....good!! My family enjoyed this steamed chicken for dinner last night. I usually poach the chicken but could never get it quite right - either over cooked or undercooked. Using the electric steamer method is easy and more importantly - great results! My daughter and i usually dislike chicken breasts but this time, it was so smooth, moist n tender - we loved it!


  8. Susanna,
    That was quick. So glad you liked this recipe. It's super simple but sometimes that's what I want for dinner. You can also rub soy sauce into the skin for flavor and color.


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