Vietnamese Chicken Rice Porridge

Here is this month’s post for the “Recipe of the Month” series.

Spending money on ready-made food and ingredients can be one of the largest expenses in your budget. My household has the mainstays that are generally budget-friendly, tasty meals that don’t make you feel deprived in the slightest. My goal with this series is to share my cost-effective go-to recipes that couples and families will enjoy.

I made this recipe twice in December.

Vietnamese Chicken Rice Porridge is so darn easy to make you will wonder how you ever did without. Growing up, my Mom didn’t make her variation often enough. Hands down the best soup I ate growing up!

My take on this Vietnamese porridge is very close to the traditional recipe. Here’s how it is a tad different:

  1. I use additional chicken stock
  2. Fish sauce is the only added salt used
  3. I don’t care too much what type of rice I use – as long as it is the white variety

December 2017

Recipe of the Month

• Vietnamese Chicken Rice Porridge •

(Chao Ga)

Vietnamese chicken rice porridge

Vietnamese Chicken Rice Porridge

A comforting meal that is sure to satisfy.

Best time to enjoy:

Anytime you need a cold remedy

Course Dinner
Cuisine Asian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings 8


  • 1 Chicken (whole, uncooked) $10.00
  • 4 Baby bok choy (or sub spinach) $5.00
  • 1 Onion (yellow or white) $1.25
  • 1 bunch Cilantro $1.25
  • 1 bunch Green onion $1.25
  • 2 12 oz. can Chicken broth $2.50
  • 1 1 lb. bag (16 oz.) White rice $4.00
  • 1 bottle Fish sauce $3.50 (one -time cost, will last a long time)
  • _________________________________
  • Total $28.75
  • Cost per serving $3.59




    1. Chop the onion into quarters.

    2. Rough chop the cilantro and green onion into small pieces to be stored for served with the porridge.



      1. Place a stockpot over medium heat.

      2. Add the chopped onions to the stockpot.

      3. Put in the whole uncooked chicken (make sure to take out any giblets).

      4. Pour in all of the chicken broth, then add water to cover the chicken entirely.

      5. Cook over medium heat for 1 hour or until the chicken is fully cooked (use a meat thermometer).

      6. Take the chicken out (carefully) and let it cool.

      7. Pour in the rice, and add bok choy. (If you are using spinach, add it at the end since it does not need to be cooked as long.)

        Add 2 1/2 cups water and stir.

      8. Once the chicken is cool, pull off all the meat and put it in a container for storage

      9. After 30-45 minutes, the rice should be fully cooked. It will thicken to a porridge-like consistency.

      10. Ladle into a bowl and add some chicken on top.



        1. Stir in ground pepper and fish sauce to taste*, then add cilantro and green onion. Voila!

        Recipe Notes

        *Please note, fish sauce it is very salty. If you are not familiar with it, add it to your soup in small amounts and taste it at regular intervals until it reaches your desired saltiness level. Too much can ruin your meal.

        Enjoy, and share your thoughts if you try this recipe!

        vietnamese chicken rice porridge

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        • Mrs. Defined Sight

          I just did a palm to forehead moment – I can’t believe I don’t keep any fish sauce in my cupboards. I have lots of friends that cook with it and love it! It’s one of those ingredients I never think to get until I want to use it. One of my new year’s resolutions is to eat healthier (less carbs, no gluten, no sugar) so I’m going to have to get out of my usual cooking habits/comfort zone. Currently adding fish sauce to list right NOW! Thanks for sharing!

          • Full-Time Dollars

            Fish sauce is definitely good for a lot of recipes. I don’t use it enough. I may make pork and eggs which is a really simple dish for January.

            I’m always looking to be healthier and cut out carbs and sugar, but I love pizza so it’s really hard.

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