Caramel Chicken — A Tried & True Recipe

This Caramel Chicken recipe is a favorite in my house. Anytime it’s made, there never seems to be enough for everyone. With a mix of salty, sweet, and spicy, it’s sure to be a hit anywhere it’s served.



To start it off, you want to make the sauce first.

Whisk together the brown sugar (dark brown is best for this recipe, it has a deeper flavor), water, fish sauce, rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger together in a bowl. Often when I make this sauce it turns out a little more watery than I would like. So, it might not be a bad idea to reduce the amount of water if that’s not what you’re looking for, but it’s good either way.

Note that the fish sauce can be a bit intimidating to start with (the smell is not the most pleasant), but trust me, the end result is delicious and won’t taste anything like how the fish sauce smells!

Be aware of the fish sauce…it’s much needed for the flavor, but can fill up your kitchen with a fishy smell fast!

Once the sauce is mixed, it’s time to chop the chicken and heat the oil in the wok or skillet over high heat.

My wonderful boyfriend assisting with the food prep.

Once the chicken is chopped and the oil is hot, stir in the chicken and pour about 1/3 of the sugar mixture over the chicken. Cook and stir until the mixture has a syrup-like consistency, around six to seven minutes. This is where it can remain a little more watery than desired. To thicken it up you can add in some corn starch, if desired.


Next, add in the rest of the sauce mixture and cook until the chicken is tender and cooked through.


Stir in some chopped jalapeños and green onions, cooking until warmed through, and that’s it! Just serve over some rice and garnish with cilantro and enjoy!

Be sure to download the free recipe cards and let us know how it turns out. You can also check out our previous food posts here for more healthy dinner options.


Caramel Chicken


  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 1/3 cup fish sauce
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 fresh jalapeño peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish


  1. Whisk brown sugar, water, fish sauce, rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger in a bowl until brown sugar is completely dissolved, about one minute. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil over high heat in a skillet. Stir in chicken.
  3. Pour one-third of a cup of the brown sugar mixture over chicken; cook and stir until the brown sugar mixture has a syrup-like consistency, six to seven minutes.
  4. Pour in the remaining brown sugar mixture; cook until chicken is tender and no longer pink inside, about five minutes.
  5. Stir in jalapeños and green onion; cook until warmed through, about two to three minutes.
  6. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Blog Post Updated March 15, 2021

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