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Vietnamese sticky baked chicken

This is a crowd pleaser, for sure! Sweet, sticky, super fragrant chicken thighs with coconut rice, quick pickled cucumber and crunchy veg. Fresh and totally moreish. Thighs with or without bone work equally well, as long as you have the skin on.

Serves 4


Marinated chicken:

  • 900g chicken thighs, skin on
  • 1 stem lemongrass, white part only, roughly chopped (blends easier when frozen whole)
  • 1 large thumb ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 10g coriander stems (leaves also fine), washed and roughly chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup sunflower oil
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar or palm sugar
  • 1 tsp Chinese/Vietnamese 5-spice powder

Fresh raw stuff:

  • Finely sliced crunchy veg – whatever’s available, carrots, red cabbage etc.
  • 1-2 Thai chillies, finely sliced (optional)
  • 10g coriander leaves for garnish, washed and kept whole
  • Fresh lime (optional)

Quick pickled cucumber

  • ½ an English cucumber, peeled (in stripes, if you like)
  • ½ a small red onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt 


  1. To make the marinade, blitz together all the marinade ingredients with a stick blender or normal blender until fine. Cover thighs completely and marinate overnight if possible - at least a couple of hours.
  2. Make the cucumber pickle an hour or two before serving. Dissolve the salt and sugar in the water and vinegar by warming all together slightly. Pour liquid over the cucumber and onion, and cover with a double layer of disposable kitchen towel, pushing down into the liquid so the towel is soaked and the top layer of cucumber and onion is properly covered. Put in the fridge to keep chilled - drain just before serving.
  3. Set oven to 180*C. Shake off marinade and space chicken out on a lined baking tray, skin side up. Bake for 50-60 minutes until golden and sticky, and well cooked. I always bring the leftover marinade to the boil so we can use it as a sauce. Serve with the pickle, fresh stuff, some rice and a wedge of lime.

Happy days!

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