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Vietnamese sticky rice with chicken, or xoi ga, is a popular dish in Vietnam that features sticky rice topped with shredded chicken, fried shallots, and various herbs and seasonings. It’s a simple, yet flavorful dish that is easy to make. The perfect solution for busy weeknight dinners!
Xoi means sticky rice in Vietnamese, but it usually refers to a sweet or savory dish made with glutinous rice and other ingredients. There are many variations of xoi, including with flavored rice, fried and fresh vegetables, or xa xiu (Chinese roast pork).
Vietnamese sticky rice with chicken (xoi ga) is especially popular in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It’s common to see chefs make Vietnamese sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves. You can even find street vendors that have been around for over 40 years!
Why You’ll Love This Vietnamese Chicken Sticky Rice Recipe
Vietnamese chicken & sticky rice is a satisfying and comforting dish that is perfect for any time of the day. It’s a typical Vietnamese breakfast food or lunch on the go, but you can enjoy it for dinner or even as a snack to share.
It is easy to make, packed with flavor and can be customized to your liking. You can choose your favorite protein, adjust the seasonings, and add any vegetables and herbs you like.
Making this xoi ga recipe is a great way to use up leftover chicken. You can boil or bake chicken breast at home or you can buy a rotisserie chicken at the market.
What Do I Need For This Vietnamese Xoi Ga Recipe?
You’ll need a few ingredients that you can find at your local Vietnamese or Asian market. Or order them online from an online Asian market.
- 3 cups dry sticky rice (sweet rice)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. chicken bouillon powder
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 1 pound cooked chicken, shredded (rotisserie works well)
- 3 Tbsp. sweet soy sauce
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup fried shallots
- 1/2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
- Optional: sweet chili sauce (for serving)
How to make Vietnamese sticky rice with chicken (xoi ga)
Step 1: Soak, rinse, and cook the rice
Put the sticky rice in a pot and cover it with water. Let it soak for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Rinse the sticky rice in cold water using a fine mesh sieve until the water runs clear.
Step 2: Cook sticky rice in a rice cooker
Add the sticky rice to a rice cooker with 1 ½ cups of water, and salt.
Cook until done, let it rest for 10 minutes, then open the lid and fluff it up with a rice spatula or chopsticks.
Step 3: Heat vegetable oil and add chopped shallots in a pan
While the rice is cooking, heat the vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the chopped shallots to the pan and cook until translucent, then add minced garlic and cook until fragrant.
Step 4: Make the shredded chicken mixture
Add the shredded chicken, soy sauce, salt, sugar, chicken bouillon powder, and black pepper to the pan and stir until well combined. Let it cook and caramelize for about 5 minutes.
Step 5: Assemble and serve
Once the sticky rice is done cooking, distribute it amongst four serving plates and top it with the chicken mixture.
Garnish with chopped green onions, fried shallots, cilantro, and optional sweet chili sauce or soy sauce. Enjoy!
Notes & Tips
- Use a non-stick pan to prevent the chicken from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Stir now and then so that it browns evenly.
- Soak the sticky rice for at least 4 hours. Soaking the sticky rice ensures that the grains absorb enough moisture in advance. Then you won’t have any rogue hard rice grains after cooking.
- Make sure you have all the ingredients ready before you start cooking. It may seem faster to chop and measure as you go but trust me, mise en place will make your life so much easier.
- If you don’t have a rice cooker, you can cook the sticky rice on the stovetop following the package instructions.
- Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your liking. You can add more sweet soy sauce, salt, or black pepper based on your preference.
- You can also add other ingredients like diced carrots, peas, or mushrooms for more texture and flavor. And more nutrients!
Variations & Substitutions
Feel free to experiment with different types of protein. Chinese sausage and sweet soy shredded chicken pair well together. You can also add some shrimp or pork belly pieces.
For a vegetarian version, you can substitute the chicken with tofu or mushrooms. Or texturized vegetable protein (TVP). You may need to add more seasoning.
Sticky rice, also known as glutinous rice or sweet rice, is naturally gluten-free. To make this xoi ga recipe fully gluten-free, use a gluten-free sweet soy sauce and make sure your fried shallots don’t contain gluten.
If you can’t find sticky rice, you can make this dish with another type of rice. But it won’t be the same. You won’t be able to call it xoi Vietnamese sticky rice either.
If you don’t have fried shallots, you can make your own by thinly slicing shallots, patting them dry, and frying them until crispy. Or you can replace them with Homemade Crispy Fried Leeks.
Vietnamese chicken & sticky rice is a complete meal on its own, but you can serve it with a side of pickled vegetables or a simple salad. Such as this Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad.
Add some spice by serving with sweet chili sauce, chili garlic sauce, or sriracha on the side. Or top your xoi ga with fresh chili pepper slices.
I also like to add some chopped roasted salted peanuts or cashews on top for an extra crunch and hint of nuttiness.
For a more authentic Vietnamese experience, serve with a cup of hot tea or Vietnamese coffee. Perfect if you’re making this xoi ga recipe for breakfast.
If you like this recipe, you should try this incredibly comforting Vietnamese Chicken Rice Porridge (chao ga). It hits the spot on cold days or whenever you feel like you’re about to catch a cold.
- 3 cups dry sticky rice sweet rice
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. chicken bouillon powder
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil divided
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 shallots finely chopped
- 1 pound cooked chicken shredded
- 3 Tbsp. sweet soy sauce
- ¼ cup chopped green onions
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup fried shallots
- ½ tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
- Optional: sweet chili sauce for serving
- Cover the sticky rice with water, and let it soak for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Rinse the rice in cold water using a fine mesh sieve until the water runs clear.
- Add the sticky rice to a rice cooker with 1 ½ cups of water, and salt.
- Cook until done, let it rest for 10 minutes, then open the lid and fluff it up.
- While the rice is cooking, heat the vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat.
- Add the chopped shallots to the pan and cook until translucent, then add minced garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add the shredded chicken, sweet soy sauce, salt, sugar, chicken bouillon powder, and black pepper to the pan and stir until well combined. Let it cook and caramelize for about 5 minutes.
- Once the sticky rice is done cooking, distribute it amongst four serving plates and top with the chicken mixture.
- Garnish with chopped green onions, fried shallots, and cilantro. Enjoy!