This Vietnamese air fried chicken with rice is one of the best mid-week dinners for the family. The air fried chicken is served on a bed of rice, topped with a fried egg, fresh vegetables and a Vietnamese sauce to tie it together. This simple dish will deliver on taste and satisfaction.
Vietnamese Air Fried Chicken with Rice
This post was inspired by the popular Vietnamese dish broken rice and pork chops (com tam). I absolutely love com tam but it is a bit of work to put together. So, I decided to do a quicker/lighter version using the air fryer.
The best part of this recipe is most of the elements can be prepared many days in advance. This is particularly good when you need to pull together a quick dinner at the drop of a hat. Also, most of this is passive cooking which frees your time up to do other important things!
We hope you love this dish as much as we do!
What Cut of Chicken to Use
My cut of choice for this dish is chicken thigh cutlets (bone in) as they are cheap, meaty and have a good amount of skin. Having a decent amount of skin is important since the crispy chicken skin will provide a lot of wow factor to this dish.
However, we all have different tastes and produce availability. So any cut of chicken with a little bit of skin will be fine. Do note though that cooking times will change for smaller cuts.
Preparing the Chicken
The chicken in this recipe is kept simple. It is only seasoned with salt and oil since most of the flavour will come from the sauce.
So, the goal with the chicken is to be cooked through, moist and have a crispy skin.
Here’s how to prepare the chicken:
- Rinse the chicken under a tap to get rid of any loose bone and gunk. Pat dry with paper towels.
- Salt the top of the skin, and underneath. To salt underneath the skin find a spot where the skin is separated from the meat. Gently lift the skin off the meat, sprinkle some salt inside then use your fingers to rub it in. Seasoning both the skin and the meat is crucial to great tasting chicken. Be careful not to peel the skin completely off!
- Spray or brush the chicken and the rack with oil.
Air Frying the Chicken
Spray your air fryer oven racks to prevent the chicken from sticking.
You may need to adjust the recipe depending on the type of air fryer you have, and the cut of chicken you are using. I have a large air fryer with multiple racks, which means I can cook larger quantities at a time. It’s really important you don’t overcrowd your oven racks, so cook in batches if you need to.
This recipe uses chicken thigh cutlets, which is a larger cut of chicken with the bone in. You’ll need a shorter cooking time if you are using a smaller cut, or a cut that has been de-boned. If in doubt check your air fryer instruction manual for suggested cooking times, and always cut open a piece to see if it’s done.
Getting a Crispy Skin
Here are my top tips for getting crispy skin on your chicken:
- Do not stack the chicken on top of each other. Always have a single layer of chicken, which may mean you’ll need to cook in batches.
- Do not flip the chicken, just leave it skin-side up. This will mean you will have to cook the chicken a bit longer to cook it through, but it will be well worth it.
- Keep the heat at 200 C / 390 F all the way through.
- Do not add anything to the skin other than salt and oil. Keep it simple!
How to Serve
The key to this dish is to have everything ready to go before the chicken comes out of the air fryer. This is because the chicken will be at its best straight out of the oven.
Here’s how I make this dish:
- Make the the Vietnamese dipping sauce. For best results, make it a day to a week early. I know… CRAZY!
- Prep the garnishes and vegetables 1 -2 days in advance. Leave in the fridge until needed. You can also do it on the day.
- Start your rice cooker 40 minutes before your planned serving time (it should roughly take 30-35 minutes to cook but allow a little leeway).
- Prep your chicken.
- Roughly 20 minutes after you started your rice, put the chicken into the air fryer.
- Ready the vegetables, garnishes, sauce, plates and cutlery.
- Fry the eggs (optional)
- Take the chicken out of the air fryer once done.
- Put the sauce into the microwave for 60 – 90 seconds and place on the table.
- Add the rice, egg, vegetables, garnishes and chicken to the plates.
How to Prepare this Meal in Advance
Everything can be made in advance except for the chicken and the fried egg. The chicken and egg should be cooked just before serving.
- The Vietnamese dipping sauce (dressing) can be made weeks in advance. I always keep a jar of this in my fridge since I use it so often.
- The vegetables can be cut and stored in a container 1-2 days in advance.
- The pickled carrots can be made weeks ahead.
- The chicken can be washed and seasoned the day before and left covered in the fridge until needed.
- The rice can be cooked up to three days in advance.
Other Similar Recipes You Might Enjoy
- Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Chops in Air Fryer
- Crispy Roast Pork Belly in Air Fryer
- Quick Rice Noodle Salad with Vietnamese Ham
- Vietnamese Beef Noodle Salad Bowls (Bun Bo Xao)
- Spring Roll Noodle Bowls – Bun Cha Gio
Scruff & Steph
Vietnamese Air Fried Chicken with Rice
- 4 chicken thigh cutlets or your choice
- 1/4 tsp salt or to your taste
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- 2 tomatoes, sliced
- 2 batches Vietnamese dipping sauce (can sub with soy sauce)
- 4 eggs (optional)
- 2 cups jasmine rice
Spring Onion Oil
- 2 spring onions roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp neutral oil (e.g. canola oil)
- pickled carrots
Can be Made in Advance Or Done First
- Make the Vietnamese dipping sauce (dressing) and keep in the fridge. Can be made up to a week in advance.
- Prepare the fresh vegetables. Store in containers in the fridge until needed.
On the Day
- Cook the rice in a rice cooker 40 minutes ahead of planned meal time.
- Rinse the chicken under a tap then pat dry with kitchen paper towels.
- Season the chicken on the outside and under the skin. Cover and leave in the fridge until needed.
- 20 minutes after the rice was started, preheat the air fryer to 200 C / 390 F for 2 minutes.
- Take the chicken out of the fridge. Spray / brush the chicken and racks with oil and cook for 24 minutes at 200 C / 390 F.
- 10 minutes before the chicken is cooked, take out all the components and have them ready for plating.
- In a small bowl, add the spring onions and oil. Cook in the microwave for 40 seconds on High.
- Warm the sauce in the microwave for 60 – 90 seconds.
- Fry the eggs (optional).
- Once the chicken is done, take one of the thighs out and check for doneness. If cooked then take them all out and plate. If not, leave in the air fryer until done.
- Plate the rice, egg, vegetables, chicken and the garnishes.
- Serve with the Vietnamese sauce.