Every time I reminisce about Grandma’s Vietnamese Chicken Ragu with rich tomato sauce, succulent chicken and fragrant vegetables, my mouth INSTANTLY waters. This ragu marries the best of two worlds – the Vietnamese and the French – to bring out a dish that completely warms the soul. It’s pure comfort food!
Whenever you look out the window and see a cold, rainy day, Vietnamese ragu is the perfect dish to add some well-deserved heat back into your home. The sight of the rich sauce will instantly lift anyone’s mood (mine especially)!
All you need is a bowl of steaming hot rice and you’ll be set for an incredibly homey meal. Grab your wok to recreate this for your next dinner!
What you'll need to make Vietnamese chicken ragu
Vietnamese ragu doesn’t discriminate when it comes to which part of the chicken to use. Occasionally Grandma buys the wings or the thighs. In fact, sometimes we even use pork spare ribs if that’s what we have in our fridge! Regardless of the meat you use, it’s guaranteed to be incredible.
- 1 kg chicken (thigh, drumstick, wing or breast)
- 4 potatoes
- 4 carrots
- 1 onion
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 carton Leggo’s pure tomato paste tub
- 850 mL water
- 3 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp chicken bouillon powder
- 2 cans baked beans in tomato sauce (optional)
How to make the chicken ragu
Start by cutting up the chicken. We used drumsticks this time, so Grandma halved them to cook faster.
Peel and chop the vegetables. Keep in mind that they will be simmering for some time. It’s best to keep them bigger rather otherwise they’ll disintegrate in the sauce.
Chop the potatoes roughly into 3cm x 3cm (or 1″ x 1″) pieces and the carrots 2cm (about 1/2″) thick. You can also halve the carrots length-wise to cook faster.
To add depth of flavour when cooking, finely chop the garlic and roughly cut up the onion.
Heat up your wok or pan, then pour in the oil. Throw the garlic and onion in and let the aromas take you to paradise.
After a minute, add the chicken (or whichever meat you had) and give it a quick stir.
This is the part where it gets exciting! All the beautiful colour and rich flavour you find in this dish comes from the pure tomato paste.
Pour the tomato paste in and stir it into the chicken. The idea is to have the puree lightly cover all the chicken pieces, which means that you might need to add more or use less.
Now that the chicken is being infused with the tanginess of tomato concentrate, you can throw in the potatoes and carrots.
I guarantee you they will retain their structure throughout the whole cooking process, but they will absorb all of the sauce’s essence. It’s a two-way exchange because while they’re busy taking on new flavours, they’re also adding an natural sweetness to the ragu as well! Wonderful, right?
This is the part where we adjust the consistency of the tomato puree so that there is extra sauce to pour onto our bed of rice! Simply fill the tomato paste tub with water, pour that into the pot and add another 700 mL.
To balance our the tanginess, add the salt, sugar and chicken powder. Give it a stir and let the chicken cook on a high heat until it bubbles, then simmer it on a medium heat for 20 minutes before serving.
Keen for baked beans?
This next part is completely optional (but will take your Vietnamese ragu to a whole new level): add the baked beans in tomato sauce and continue to simmer. It will enrich the tomato flavour even further!
After 10 minutes, voilà! You’re done!
You can eat this incredible chicken ragu with rice or with crusty Vietnamese baguettes (also an inspiration from the French) and use it to dip into the thick sauce.
Make it this week to see what the rave is all about! You won’t be disappointed with this favourite!
Vietnamese Chicken Ragu (Ga Ragu)
- Cut the chicken into chunks.
- Peel and wash the potatoes and carrots.
- Chop the potatoes into 3cm x 3cm (or 1″ x 1″) pieces and the carrots 2cm (about 1/2″) thick.
- Finely chop the garlic and roughly cut up the onion.
- Heat up your wok or pan, pour in the oil. Throw the garlic and onion in.
- After a minute, add the chicken and give it a quick stir.
- Pour the tomato paste in and stir it into the chicken. The idea is to have the puree lightly cover all the chicken pieces, so you might need to add more or use less.
- Throw in the potatoes and carrots.
- Fill the tomato paste carton with water, pour that into the pot and add another 700 millilitres.
- Add the salt, and chicken powder.
- Let the chicken cook on a high heat until it bubbles, then simmer it on a medium heat for 20 minutes before serving.
- Optional: Add a can of baked beans in tomato sauce and continue to cook for an additional 10 minutes.
SHARE YOUR CREATION!
If you recreated this authentic recipe, I’d love to see it! Tag @wokandkin on Instagram with the hashtag #wokandkin! See you there!
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