Ga Tan – Recipe of the month


Ga Tan, stewed sweet herbal chicken soup, is a Hanoi specialty and a deeply-guarded traditional recipe incorporating a special mixture of secret herbs and spices handed down from parent to child over generations. The result is a quarter of chicken bobbing in a tasty broth, which is believed to be something akin to a health tonic by Vietnamese connoisseurs. A bowl will impart energy and vitality; give strength to your tendons and bones; help you sleep better; and ease backache and asthma. Preparation centers on choosing the right chicken for the job. An old chicken will be too tough and a spring one may not impart the right flavor. But once the perfect chicken has been found, it is drawn, quartered and marinated in salt and spices for about 30 minutes before being simmered with medicinal herbs, nuts and seeds.

• Chicken (Vietnamese chicken)
• Wormwood
• Chinese herbs (available from Asian
supermarkets and Chine pharmacies)
• Turmeric
• Vietnamese wine
• Salt, pepper, seasoning
half (600g)
200 g
1 package

20 ml

Dipping Sauce
• Salt
• Pepper
• Lemon
• Chili
1/2 tbsp
1/8 tbsp
3 cloves


1. Wash the chicken well. Rub with salt, pepper, seasoning. Marinate inside and out for 30’.

2. Wash the fresh green wormwood, removing any wilted leaves.

3. Prepare the chicken, Chinese herbs, turmeric, wormwood leaves.

4. Place the wormwood layer in the bottom of a clay pot, adding the chicken, Chinese herbs, and turmeric. Top with another layer of wormwood leaves, add 100ml of water, and cover with lid.

5. Put the clay pot into a larger saucepan with water. Steam over medium heat for 30’. After that, turn off heat but leave the clay pot for another 30’.

6. 10’ before serving, bring this mixture to a boil again and add 20ml of rice wine, continuing to steam for another 5’.

gan tan sauce

Dipping Sauce

Mix the pepper, salt, chili and lime juice well. This dish is good for your health, especially when you have the flu.

BIO: With an eye for visual beauty as well as a discerning palate, Ngoc Tran has undertaken to collect and present Easy To Cook: 40 Delicious Vietnamese Dishes As Listed By CNN. Ngoc has personally traveled around her native Vietnam in search of the most outstanding variety of every recipe featured in her book. Find her book at all Phuong Nam bookstores ( or on Kindle at Amazon.

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