Vietnamese chicken with bamboo shoots soup recipe – Canh Măng Gà

This Vietnamese chicken soup with bamboo shoots (Canh mang ga) is a common home-style soup served with rice that my mom used to cook for the family.   My mom would use just white sugar, salt, and black pepper.   This is my toddler-approved version of how I seasoned this soup.

Cooking size: Use 4-quart pot

Total Prepping and Cooking time: 40 minutes


7 chicken wings (1.5 pound)

3 – 4 bamboo shoots

palm sugar (2 pieces: 8 pieces are equivalent to 16 oz so do your math)

1.5 Tablespoon pink Himalayan salt

3 garlic cloves or 1 teaspoon minced garlic

2.5 quarts of water

1/2 bunch of cilantro

2 Tablespoon vegetable oil

black pepper to taste


1.  Rinse and soak bamboo shoots in water to release the brine out as much as possible.  Cut bamboo in symmetrical halves and slice it horizontally so it forms half circle shapes. Slice it about one-fourth inch thickness. Set aside.
(I remember digging up my friend’s bamboo shoots from the ground and taking it home to mom one day to make the soup.  She got mad and said it’s not the same.  Apparently, I have to buy the yellow bamboo shoots at the Asian market that has been soaked in a special brine.)
2.  Chop the chicken wings.  Rub the chicken with one teaspoon of salt, black pepper, and minced garlic. Set a side for at least 30 minutes while you prep the other stuff.
3.  Minced the garlic and chop the cilantro coarsely.


4.  Heat up oil in 4-quart pot.  When oil is very hot, add in the chicken wings.  Stir around and cook it for two minutes or until wings turned color.
5.  Add in the water.
6.  Add 2 pieces of palm sugar, 1 tablespoon of pink salt, and some black pepper to your taste.  Cook for ten minutes.
7.  Then add the bamboo shoots. Bring the soup to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes on medium heat (constant light boil).  Discard scum to make the broth clear.
8.  Add more salt or sugar to your taste.  Turn off stove and put the cilantro into the soup.  Serve with rice or bean thread.  Enjoy!

Behind the scene: My little foodie requested bean thread so she grabbed some from the pantry and soaked it in water all by herself.  This mommy had to go back and soak it in hot boiling water after she finished her part of “helping mommy cook” since bean thread won’t be soft until you soak it in hot boiling water for 1 minute.

After eating, she went outside for ten seconds and came back running excitedly to me showing me how she caught her first butterfly.  Life is full of unexpected surprises.

Recipe documented 7/11/12.
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