Hoi An chicken rice (Com ga) is one of the best signature dishes of Hoi An ancient town, Da Nang, Vietnam. Tourists visiting this old town should not miss this stunning food. This dish is considered the pride of the Hoianese people. 

In this blog post, we would like to introduce to you the best chicken rice Hoi An, its history, and the special recipe that is kept from this generation to another by Hoi An people.

Chicken-rice-in-Hoi-An-is-a-must-try-dish-for-every-visitor
Chicken rice in Hoi An is a must-try dish for every visitor

General information

Visitors can find Hoi An chicken rice anywhere in Vietnam but the chicken rice in Hoi An is very outstanding. Now let’s explore this dish’s specialties. 

History

Hoi An old town was formerly a bustling harbor with traders from all across Asia, including Japan and China. Many traders were from the island of Hainan, China, about 300 kilometers to the Northeast of Hoi An. 

These people came bringing new food to the town: Wen Chang chicken dish – chicken cooked in water with aromatics. After the chicken is cooked, it is chopped into pieces. When eating, people dip it in a mixture of salt and spice. 

Creation and variations 

The chicken rice was first found in Tam Ky, Quang Nam. This is the reason why people call it Tam Ky Com Ga. This original dish that started to become popular in the 90s is fairly plain with boiled chicken, golden-colored rice, herbs, along with the spicy sauce. 

A-variation-of-Hoi-An-chicken-rice
A variation of Hoi An chicken rice

Now, there are different variations of Hoi An chicken rice that you can find all over Vietnam. However, Hoi An is still the best place to try this wonderful dish.

Unless otherwise requested, Com Ga is always served with shredded chicken. However, you can always ask for a whole or half chicken, as well as specialty parts like a chicken thigh.

Besides chicken rice, you can find “goi ga” (chicken salad) at the same restaurants. This consists of shredded chicken, onions, herbs such as Vietnamese mint (“rau ram”), Thai basil, and mint along with a gingery dressing. 

Hoi An chicken rice during tourism’s time

It is easy to find the sheer number of vendors selling Com ga. Some restaurants are open all day, while others are only open in the evening. 

Tourists may find several kinds of chicken rice Hoi An. Particularly, the tourist-friendly version is slightly different to suit the tastes of visitors. You may notice the locals’ plates might have chicken intestines, congealed blood, or heart. If you want to try these, kindly ask for “long ga”.

Hoi An chicken rice in Hoianese culture

This special dish is not only a popular food but it also indicates a cultural trait of Hoianese society. This small ancient town is where different cultures meet. Therefore, Hoianese cuisine blends cultural influences from the Southeast and East Asia region into Vietnamese taste.

A-tasty-and-beautiful-dish-of-Com-ga
A tasty and beautiful dish of Com ga

Hoi An’s refined gourmet culture and locally produced products make Com ga Hoi An a delicious, exceptional experience that cannot be found anywhere else.

Cooking guide

Chicken rice in Hoi An is full of flavors and textures. The plate includes juicy shredded chicken, crunchy onions, invigorating Vietnamese coriander, and stunning turmeric rice. 

Hoi An chicken rice recipe and ingredients

You will need a whole chicken or chicken parts with bones to make this dish from scratch. Jasmine rice, onion, Vietnamese coriander (“rau ram”), limes, and turmeric powder will also be required.

Chicken

First, you need to wash the chicken thoroughly with salt and rinse well. Then, boil the chicken until cooked and add 1 teaspoon of turmeric into the broth for a beautiful yellow color. The chef will take the chicken out and let it cool on a rack.

The-chicken-is-cut-into-small-pieces-after-cooked
The chicken is cut into small pieces after cooked

After that, the chicken flesh is shredded into small pieces. Slice the onion as thinly as you can and soak it in iced water with some lime juice for at least 15 minutes to remove the strong flavor. 

Mix chicken flesh, onion, and herbs, seasoned with salt, pepper, sugar, and a dressing made from the broth following the secret Hoi An chicken rice recipe. The mixture is put on top of the turmeric rice to be served.

Rice

You should mix white rice and glutinous rice together for a better texture. Then, wash it under running water for 30 seconds and put it into the chicken broth to cook. Remember to add a little salt to the rice and simmer it with low heat until cooked. 

The result is soft, glossy yellow, and aromatic rice. You can taste the richness in the rice from the chicken fat in the broth.

The-perfect-rice-with-yellow-color- softness-and-glossiness
The perfect rice with yellow color, softness, and glossiness

Slaw

Seasoned shredded green papaya is a side dish to Hoi An chicken rice. The papaya is soaked in water first and then added sugar, salt, and lime to create a sweet and sour taste. To add some color to the papaya, people often mix it with shredded carrot.

Herbs

Com ga, like most Vietnamese meals, is incomplete without herbs. The Vietnamese mint (“rau ram”) is the most common herb in chicken rice. This kind of herb creates a unique flavor to the dish. Depending on the chef’s decision, peppermint, or coriander can be added as well.

Soup 

The rice dish often comes with a small bowl of soup made from chicken broth. On top, you might see the fat, as well as a yellowish color from the chicken. Your soup is completely transparent since the chef uses no artificial cooking liquid.

How to eat

Chicken rice Hoi An is served on a large dish. Rice is in the middle and then people put the mixture of chicken, onion, and herbs on top or on the side. Some restaurants put lettuce and tomato slices for decoration. Some put extra sauce on top of the chicken to add flavor.

The-colorful-dishes-of-Com-ga
The colorful dishes of Com ga

When you eat, put both rice and chicken into one spoon and you can taste the richness, savory, and sweetness in your mouth. You can add chili or sauce for extra flavor. And do not forget to have some slaw as well. 

Tips and costs

Where are the best chicken rice Hoi An restaurants

You can find many places to try Com ga in town but you might not know which ones are actually the best and preferred by both locals and tourists. Let us recommend some to you.

Com ga TY 

Located at 27 Phan Chu Trinh street, this small business has been selling delicious chicken rice that is loved by many locals for ages. Arriving at the restaurant, you can find metal tables and plastic stools both inside the house and outside the alley. 

Yellowish-turmeric-rice-and-chicken-mixed-with-onion-and-herbs
Yellowish turmeric rice and chicken mixed with onion and herbs

This simple restaurant serves tasty chicken rice in Hoi An along with a small bowl of soup. This rich and savory soup is cooked in a local style and includes chicken giblets. The price for a dish of chicken rice here is VND 30,000 ($1.25).

Com ga Ba Buoi 

Operated in the 1950s, Ba Buoi’s Hoi An chicken rice is one of the oldest eateries in town. Recently this spot has become much more popular with tourists for its delicious stunning chicken rice. One dish of Hoi An chicken rice here costs VND 35,000 ($1.50).

Although the space here is modest, it is always busy. Sometimes, during the rush hour, they set up temporary tables and stools outside to serve more customers. 

Com-ga-Ba-Buoi-is-a-very-famous-spot-in-town
Com ga Ba Buoi is a very famous spot in town

Com ga Ba Buoi is the top famous restaurant in Hoi An so we recommend you should not miss this place. The address of Ba Buoi’s chicken rice Hoi An is 22 Phan Chu Trinh.

Long Com ga Chicken rice

This Hoi An chicken rice restaurant is in the middle of the alley – 53/16 Phan Chu Trinh. If you do not notice the signs, it is very easy to miss. The place has three main seating spaces with colorful lanterns and tinsel decorations.   

Long Com ga has wooden tables and chairs with an air-conditioned space in the middle. Thus, if you want to eat the well-known Hoianese dish in a proper restaurant then this place is suitable for you. It is also a good choice for families as it has high chairs available.

Different-restaurants-have-different-ways-of-serving-their-Com-ga
Different restaurants have different ways of serving their Com ga

There are English menus here, with more chicken alternatives, vegetarian salads, and a variety of beverages. Their sauce with quail eggs is delicious. This place serves the best chicken rice Hoi An that only costs VND 35,000 ($1.50) in a restaurant style but with a streetside flavor. 

Costs

It only costs you about $1.50 for a stunning dish of chicken rice in Hoi An. Also, if you have the chance, try other amazing dishes such as “Goi ga” (chicken salad), chicken congee, or some local beverages such as lotus seed milk.  

All of the places we recommend above are loved by both locals and tourists. But remember to check the opening time of these restaurants. Com ga TY opens in the evening only until they sell out. Com ga Ba Buoi and Long Com ga are both open from 11 a.m. to about 10 p.m.

A-family-having-chicken-rice-together
A family having chicken rice together

Conclusion

Hopefully, after reading this blog post, you can have an idea about Hoi An chicken rice recipe, history, variations, and where to have the best chicken rice Hoi An. Let’s put the recommended restaurants into your checklist when you are traveling in Hoi An. People often say that if you have not tried chicken rice in Hoi An, it means you did not come to this old town.