Vietnamese Bamboo Shoot and Chicken Recipe: Authentic Gà nấu măng Guide

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Written By Hot Thai Restaurant

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Imagine diving into a dish that brings together the earthy crunch of bamboo shoots with the tender juiciness of chicken, all wrapped up in a flavorful Vietnamese embrace. This bamboo shoot and chicken recipe isn’t just a meal; it’s a journey through the vibrant culinary landscape of Vietnam. Known locally as Gà nấu măng, this dish is a beloved staple, especially in the northern regions where bamboo shoots are plentiful and cherished for their fresh, distinct texture.


As you embark on this culinary journey, here are all the ingredients you’ll need to create the flavorful Vietnamese dish, Gà nấu măng. Make sure to gather fresh bamboo shoots and quality chicken to capture the authenticity of this regional favorite.

For the Chicken

  • 500 grams (about 1 pound) of chicken thighs, boneless and skinless, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the Bamboo Shoot

  • 300 grams (approximately 2 cups) of fresh bamboo shoots, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt (for pre-boiling the bamboo shoots)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly minced ginger
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
  • 1 red chili, thinly sliced (optional for extra heat)

Required Tools and Equipment

To prepare Gà nấu măng efficiently and safely, you’ll need a few essential tools and pieces of equipment. Making sure you have these items ready before you begin cooking will not only make your cooking process smoother but also enhance your dish’s quality. Here’s what you’ll need:

Cutting Tools

  • Sharp Chef’s Knife: Essential for properly cutting the chicken into even pieces and finely chopping ingredients like garlic, onions, and ginger.
  • Cutting Board: Preferably two boards – one for handling raw chicken to avoid cross-contamination and another for your vegetables and other non-meat ingredients.

Cooking Utensils

  • Large Pot or Dutch Oven: A heavy-bottomed pot is crucial for distributing heat evenly, ensuring that all the ingredients cook thoroughly without burning.
  • Wooden Spoon or Spatula: Necessary for stirring the ingredients gently, helping them to cook evenly while maintaining their integrity.
  • Ladle: To add and remove broth easily during the cooking process.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: For accurately measuring your soy sauce, fish sauce, and spices to ensure perfect flavor balance.
  • Fine Mesh Strainer: Useful for rinsing the bamboo shoots thoroughly, which is vital to remove any grit and to reduce their natural bitterness.
  • Serving Dishes: To serve your Gà nấu măng beautifully. Opt for deep bowls to accommodate the broth comfortably.

Gathering these tools before you start cooking puts you in the perfect position to tackle the recipe with confidence, leading to delicious results.

Prep Work

Before you start cooking, prepare your ingredients to streamline the cooking process and enhance the flavors of your Gà nấu măng. This preparation ensures that the cooking stages flow smoothly without any hiccups.

Preparing the Chicken

  1. Clean and Cut the Chicken: Begin by rinsing 1.5 pounds of chicken thighs under cold water. Pat them dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. This ensures better browning and texture in the cooking process.
  2. Marinate the Chicken: In a large bowl, combine:
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce,
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce,
  • 2 minced garlic cloves,
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger.

Add the chicken thighs to this mixture, ensuring each piece is well-coated with the marinade. Let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or up to 2 hours in the refrigerator for deeper flavor.

  1. Trim and Slice the Bamboo Shoots: If you’re using fresh bamboo shoots, peel away the tough outer layers and trim any hard ends. Slice the tender parts into thin strips. This increases the surface area, allowing them to cook quickly and absorb flavors more effectively.
  2. Boil the Bamboo Shoots: To remove any bitterness, boil the bamboo shoots in water for about 20 minutes. After boiling, drain and rinse them under cold water to stop the cooking process and to remove any lingering bitterness. This step is crucial for achieving the perfect texture and taste in your final dish.

Cooking Instructions

Now that you have prepared your chicken and bamboo shoots, it’s time to bring all these fresh flavors together in a delicious Vietnamese-style symphony. Follow these steps closely to ensure your Gà nấu măng is authentic and flavorful.

Sautéing the Chicken

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add two tablespoons of vegetable oil.
  2. Once the oil is hot, add the marinated chicken pieces to the skillet. Don’t overcrowd the pan to ensure each piece gets a nice, golden sear.
  3. Cook the chicken for about 5 to 7 minutes on each side until they turn golden brown and are nearly cooked through.
  4. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set it aside on a plate. Keep it covered to retain warmth.

Cooking the Bamboo Shoots

  1. In the same skillet, add another tablespoon of oil if needed. Toss in one finely chopped onion and two minced garlic cloves. Sauté these until the onion becomes translucent, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the pre-boiled bamboo shoots to the skillet. Stir well to combine with the onion and garlic.
  3. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bamboo shoots are tender and have absorbed the flavors of the garlic and onion.
  1. Return the chicken to the skillet with the bamboo shoots.
  2. Pour in half a cup of chicken broth and two tablespoons each of soy sauce and fish sauce over the mixture. This will not only add moisture but also enhance the depth of the dish’s flavors.
  3. Stir everything gently to combine and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat.
  4. Let it all cook together for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is fully cooked and the flavors are well integrated.
  5. Check seasoning and adjust with more soy sauce or fish sauce, if needed.
  6. Serve hot, garnished with freshly chopped cilantro or scallions to add a fresh touch.

Assembling the Dish

Combining the Ingredients

Once your chicken is thoroughly sautéed and the bamboo shoots have been softened with the onions and garlic, it’s time to bring all the elements together. Pour the chicken and bamboo shoot mixture into a large skillet or wok. Stir in the chicken broth, carefully measured soy sauce, and aromatic fish sauce to the skillet, ensuring that all components are evenly distributed.


Increase the heat to medium and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. This step is crucial as it allows the flavors to meld beautifully. Keep the heat at a level where the sauce simmers softly, bubbling around the edges of the skillet. Allow it to cook for about 20 minutes. As it simmers, you might notice the sauce gradually thickens and the chicken becomes perfectly tender.

Final Touches

After the dish has simmered and the sauce has reduced to your liking, it’s time for the final touches. Turn off the heat and sprinkle freshly chopped cilantro or scallions over the top. These fresh herbs will add a burst of color and a fresh, crisp flavor that contrasts wonderfully with the rich and tender textures of the chicken and bamboo shoots.


Serve the Gà nấu măng hot, ideally over a bed of steamed rice. This not only makes for a fulfilling meal but also helps soak up the delicious sauce. Ensure each plate has an ample serving of both chicken and bamboo shoots, and drizzle extra sauce over the top for added flavor.

Following these steps should help you achieve an authentic and flavorful Gà nấu măng, perfect for any day that calls for a comforting and exotic meal.

Serving Suggestions

Once your Gà nấu măng is ready, the way you serve this Vietnamese delight can enhance the dining experience. This dish is traditionally enjoyed hot, and serving it correctly is key to its enjoyment.

To start, ladle a generous portion of the chicken and bamboo shoots over a bed of steamed jasmine rice. The rice not only complements the flavors but also absorbs the rich sauce, making every bite a perfect mix of texture and taste.

For a truly authentic feel, consider accompanying your dish with a side of fresh cucumber slices or pickled vegetables. The crispness of the cucumber contrasts beautifully with the tenderness of the chicken, while pickled vegetables add a tangy kick that cuts through the richness of the sauce.

Finally, don’t forget to sprinkle over some freshly chopped cilantro or scallions before serving. This not only adds a burst of color but also introduces a fresh aroma and flavor that lifts the whole dish.

Using these serving suggestions, you’ll bring a touch of Vietnamese culinary tradition to your table, making your Gà nấu măng a memorable meal for family and friends.

Make-Ahead Tips

When preparing Gà nấu măng, you can apply a few make-ahead strategies to simplify your cooking process without sacrificing the fresh taste and authentic flavors of the dish.

Marinade the Chicken in Advance

Begin by marinating the chicken the night before you plan to cook. Combine your chicken pieces with soy sauce, fish sauce, and the required spices in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. This not only saves time on your cooking day but also allows the chicken to absorb the flavors deeply, resulting in a more tender and flavorful dish.

Preparing Bamboo Shoots

If you are using fresh bamboo shoots, prepare them a day ahead. Peel and slice the bamboo shoots, then blanch them in boiling water for two minutes to remove any bitterness. Drain and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This step ensures they are ready to go directly into the skillet, saving you valuable time.

Sauce Mixture

You can also pre-mix the sauce ingredients—soy sauce, fish sauce, and any additional spices you’re using—in a small jar or bowl. Keep this mixture refrigerated, and when you’re ready to cook, it’s just a matter of pouring it over your other ingredients, simplifying the steps during actual cooking.

By following these tips, you ensure that your meal not only maintains its cultural authenticity but also adheres to your busy schedule without stress. Opt for these make-ahead strategies to enjoy a delicious, hassle-free Gà nấu măng meal.


Now that you’ve got the scoop on crafting a delicious Gà nấu măng it’s time to bring a taste of Vietnam right into your kitchen. Remember the magic lies in the freshness of the bamboo shoots and the depth of flavor from the marinated chicken. Don’t shy away from experimenting with the herbs and adjusting the spices to suit your palate. Whether you’re preparing a meal for a cozy family dinner or a special cultural feast this dish is sure to impress. So gather your ingredients and let the aroma of Vietnam fill your home. Happy cooking!

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