Oct 2008

Cơm Gà Xối Mỡ – Vietnamese Fried Chicken


The fast food landscape in Saigon is dominated by KFC, a questionably finger lickin’ good American fried chicken import that can be found on every one of the city’s major arteries. KFC is incredibly popular with Vietnamese youths and the rising middle class because it represents modernity and Western tastes (not to be confused with good taste). The establishments are also spic and span, air conditioned and offer free parking and Wi-Fi—amenities that are becoming increasingly important to locals. While I haven’t eaten at KFC in years, I’m pretty sure the Original Recipe hasn’t changed one bit since the last time I dug into a 10-piece bucket.



District 3’s Su Su restaurant specializes in cơm gà xối mỡ, a type of Vietnamese fried chicken that’s loads better than the Colonel‘s, but doesn’t draw the kind of crowds and birthday parties it ought to. I would most definitely rock the big 2-7 at Su Su if I were still in Saigon. What’s unique about Su Su’s chicken is the style in which it is fried. Hot grease is unleashed upon wings (canh) and thighs (dui) to order, and they’re served dangerously piping.

The chicken is prepared al fresco, which causes the air outside the eatery to smell like an intoxicating brew of bubbling fat and seared spices. This unique frying technique yields chicken with crispy skin and moist meat.


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The fried chicken is served on a platter with a scoop of com do, a mild tomato-flavored rice, rau ram (Vietnamese coriander) and slices of fresh tomatoes and cucumbers. There’s also a savory dipping sauce made of drippings, soy sauce and garlic that really brings the chicken and rice up a couple of notches. A minor tweak that would make Su Su even better is the addition of gizzards to their menu. Although gizzards may be a turn off to many, I love their chewy, unyielding texture.

And speaking of awesome fried chicken, my mom makes a killer lollipop fried chicken. Check out her recipe here.

Su Su
59 Tu Xuong Street
District 3, Ho Chi Minh City

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9 thoughts on “Cơm Gà Xối Mỡ – Vietnamese Fried Chicken

  1. I guess this kind of chicken didn’t originate from Orange County,Ca.
    Here in OC there is this $1.99 Restaurant that serves chicken and rice like in Vietnam but the chicken in deep fried versus that rain of death ;-). I guess $1.99 is the copy cat in OC, well it is $3ish now but still tasty especially with the dip.

  2. Wow. That torrent of oil scares me and intrigues me, all at once. It is mesmerizing in a wholly dangerous way!

  3. yeah that shot of the cascading hot oil is fascinating and compelling. If there was a local Su Su I’d be in line sniffing the aromas. I always think I love KFC for the first few bites then it starts to gross me out…

  4. Haha this does look like an even more dangerous way to make fried chicken. But then again, that probably makes it more fun and tasty!

  5. Does anyone know how to make the vietnamese fried chicken? I have been trying to look in the internet to no avail. Please send it to me if you have it . I would appreciate it very much.

  6. Hi! I wanted to let you know that I read this article before my trip to Saigon this past summer and I went to SuSus.
    And your recommendation did not steer me wrong. I walked to find this place, and it was worth the hike so much so I ate two plates of this.

    Thanks so much for the find and I love finding out about new places to eat based on your blog.

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