Buôn Đôn Roasted Chicken (Gà nướng Buôn Đôn)

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Save Recipe Buon Don Roasted Chicken
  • 4Servings
  • 40 mPrep Time
  • 60 mCook Time
  • 1:40 hReady In
Print Recipe

This roasted chicken dish is originated from the Ê Đê people in Buôn Đôn (also known as Bản Đôn) in Đắk Lắk, a province in Vietnam’s Central Highlands. So this dish is called Gà nướng Buôn Đôn, or Gà nướng Bản Đôn, and another name for this dish is gà sa lửa which literally means chicken falling into fire.

The original meat for this dish is junglefowl, but in modern life, the dish is adapted with free-range chicken so that the meat is soft but not friable. Marinated chicken is roasted with some lime leaves and is served with a condiment made of salt, chili pepper, lemongrass and a specific white sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum var. pilosum, Vietnamese: é) leaves.

Ban Don Roasted Chicken with Sweet Basil Salt
Ban Don Roasted Chicken with Sweet Basil Salt

Traditional way of roasting is by using a handmade bamboo food clip over hot charcoal. Alternately, you can adapt the recipe with your electric oven. The roasted chicken is often served with bamboo rice (rice cooked by roasting in a bamboo tube).

Roasting chicken with bamboo sticks
Roasting chicken with bamboo sticks


Step by step method

  • Marinating

    In a mortar, grind green bird's eye chilis, salt and sweet basil. Mix the paste with lemongrass juice, and some honey. Spatchcock the chicken by spreading the legs out and pressing the backbone. Rub the chicken inside out with the marinade for 30 mins.

  • Roasting

    Clip the chicken with some lime leaves using bamboo sticks and roast the chicken until golden brown. If you roast with an oven, wrap the chicken in a tin foil with some lime leaves. Roasting over charcoal may takes 2-3 hours, but about 1 hour in oven.

  • Making dipping condiment

    In a mortar, grind green bird's eye chilis, coarse salt, lemongrass slices, some MSG (if you wish) and some sweet basil leaves.

Tips & variations

  • You may grind the lime leaves in the marinade paste.

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