Vietnamese Hai Nan Chicken

  • Author: Guest Post by May Ly of


  • 2 whole chickens (approx 2.5 pounds each)
  • 1 onion, peeled & halved
  • 1-inch knob fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 spring onions
  • small bunch cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • water

To make Dipping Sauce:


To Make Chicken:

  1. Wash and pat dry the 2 whole chickens and place them in a large pot.
  2. Fill the pot with enough water to just cover the chicken. Add the onion, ginger and salt and bring to a boil. Once the water starts boiling, reduce to a low simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  3. After 30 minutes, take it off the heat and allow it to rest for another 30 minutes
  4. Remove the chickens and chop with bone in or debone (I prefer bone in, you need a meat cleaver to do this, I start with kitchen scissors and cut the chicken in half lengthways, then slice off the drumstick & wing, then thigh, then slice off the breast and chop in smaller pieces and finally chop the rest of the chicken in pieces).
  5. Assemble on 2 plates and drizzle 1 tablespoon of sesame oil over each plate of chicken. Sprinkle the spring onions, cilantro and freshly cracked black pepper on top.
  6. Serve with the dipping sauce.

To Make Dipping Sauce:

  1. In a small bowl, combine fish sauce, water, coconut sugar & vinegar, stir to dissolve sugar
  2. Add the lime juice, and adjust if necessary (more water, sugar or vinegar to get the right balance of sweet, sour & salt to your taste).
  3. Add the ginger and chilli if using.