Slow Cooker Vietnamese Chicken

posted by Andrea | 01/14/2012
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Earlier this week I shared a few slow cooker receips I want to try in the coming months — and I mentioned that I already had one very successful and extremely delicious meal to share with you… Vietnamese Chicken!

As many of you know, Dave and I are hosting 2 international students for the entire school year… and one of those students is from Vietnam. She is very enthusiastic about cooking Vietnamese food, so our pantry is now filled with a foods such as dried seaweed, dried squid, spicy noodles, a variety of rice, fish sauce, and much more.

The other day, as I was searching for different slow cooker recipes, I found this Vietnamese Chicken recipe that included fish sauce… which we now have in our house!

Since I had all the other ingredients in our house — and since this recipe specifically calls for FROZEN chicken, I quickly whipped it up and threw it in the crock pot. I cooked it on “high” because I was running a little behind schedule, so I’m sure the flavors would mix even more if you cooked it on low.

Either way, the chicken was absolutely delicious, full of flavor, and actually quite “Asian tasting” — which is something I’ve never been able to achieve with other recipes!

If you’re wondering about the fish sauce, ours is straight from Vietnam… however, you should be able to find it in the ethnic isle of most grocery stores. It does have a VERY strong smell, but that goes away once you mix it with the other ingredients. Also, you can’t specifically taste the fish sauce once the chicken is fully cooked.

Recipe for Slow Cooker Vietnamese Chicken:

{print this recipe}


  • 4 frozen chicken thighs or breasts
  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • 2 T. fish sauce {available in the ethnic foods isles at most grocery stores}
  • 2 t. granulated sugar
  • 1 pepper
  • 4-5  cloves minced garlic
  • 2 T. canola oil
  • 2-4 c. chopped carrots, cabbage, peppers, onions or other veggies {optional}



  • Place FROZEN chicken in the bottom of a slow cooker
  • Mix soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, pepper, garlic and oil together and pour over the chicken
  • Set on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours
  • You can mix sliced carrots, cabbage, peppers, onions, or other veggies with an hour left
  • Shred chicken with 2 forks and serve over rice

This recipe has a delicious Asian taste; and I’m almost positive that even your pickiest eaters will devour the yummy sauce and tender chicken… especially if you let them try to eat it with chopsticks!  

Have you made any great ethnic or slow cooker recipes lately?

Visit my virtual recipe box for more simple, delicious, family friendly, recipes!

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  1. Jen R


    That looks great, so easy but tasty, bit hot here at the moment for the slow cooker but have jotted it down for the cooler months for sure. Love fish sauce use it often in thai currys, stirfrys etc alittle goes along way :)


  2. holly


    Thanks so much for this recipe. I love your blog! I am trying to do more slow cooking to have more afternoon time with my kids. Keep them coming!


  3. Christelle


    I made this for my boys last night, held my breath as my hand was a little strong on the soy and fish sauce…but the absolutely loved it! Will go from the to-try-pile into my permanent recipe book :-)


    Andrea Reply:

    yes, the fish sauce is very smelly!! But glad you liked the finished product!


  4. Judy


    A little lemon grass added to the dish will cut the over powering fish sauce smell/ taste, if you are not a big fan of fish sauce. It still gives that Asian flavor w/ no fishy aftertaste. A tip I learned from my Thai friends.


  5. Genevieve


    so yummy! only alterations i made was using just 2 (giant) chicken breasts and adding steamfried noodles to the slowcooker and turning on high for the last 7 minutes. so good and easy!


  6. Cathleen


    Loved it! Kids loved it too! Simple and delicious.
    We had fish sauce in the fridge and just weren’t using it up and needed a few excuses to use it.
    It does smell strong, but finished product – YUMM


    Andrea Reply:

    Yay — so glad you guys like the recipe!!


  7. Amy


    This was a huge success tonight! Everyone asked for seconds, even my pickiest eater. Thank you!!


    Andrea Reply:

    yay –thanks for sharing Amy!


  8. Kim {Pinspired Home}


    I’ve been looking for some easy crock pot recipes and of course, you deliver once again, Andrea! Thanks for posting this to Facebook. :)
    I do have one question: why does it have to be frozen chicken? I prefer to use thawed for food safety reasons.


    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Kim! As with all my recipes, feel free to tweak them for whatever you prefer. They are all so simple, it would be hard to mess anything up :)

    I just use frozen because we keep all our meat in the freezer and that’s one less step of defrosting.


    Kim {Pinspired Home} Reply:

    Thanks for the quick response! I only asked because you emphasized that it should be frozen. I didn’t think that should be crucial to the recipe, but just wanted to be sure. Now, I need to get some fish sauce the next time I’m at the store. :)