Spicy Chicken with Coconut Milk & Vietnamese Fish Sauce

I cook chicken with coconut milk and Vietnamese sweet and sour fish sauce every time I am craving for my mom’s bun tam bi because I like the blend of coconut milk and nuoc mam chua ngot together in that cuisine. I made some homemade spicy chili paste using a combination of Thai dragon chilies, habanero, ghost, and carolina reaper chilies today. It’s very spicy and delicious. I luckily reserved four drumsticks for my kids before I added the chili paste near the end of the cooking time. I love cooking in my 14-inch Hexclad wok!

  • prep time: 30 minutes
  • cook time: 30-40 minutes


  • 8 chicken drumsticks or however fits in my wok without piling over
  • 1/2+ cup or 1/2 can of Coconut cream milk
  • 1/2+ cup homemade VN sweet and sour fish sauce (nuoc mam chua ngot)
  • 1/2 Tbsp lemongrass powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • some white pepper
  • 1 Tbsp homemade chili pepper paste (I used a combination of Thai dragon chilis, habanero, ghost, and Carolina reaper)
  • iceberg lettuce
  • lime wedges


1. In my 14-inch Hexclad Wok, I toss in the chicken drumsticks with the coconut milk, Vietnamese sweet and sour fish sauce, and other ingredients but the chili pepper paste. Let it marinate for 30 minutes in the wok.

2. Close lid and cook on medium for 15 minutes. Take lid off and turn the drumsticks over to the other side. Simmer on medium low for about 20 more minutes or until chicken is done.

3. I took some chicken and sauce out for the little kids. Then I added in the homemade chili paste into the wok. Stir and simmer for another minute or two. Done.

4. Serve with iceberg lettuce, steamed jasmine rice, or those big rice noodles.

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