Braised Duck and Congee (Cháo Vịt) in Saigon, Vietnam

Braised Duck and Congee (Cháo Vịt) in Saigon, Vietnam
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Cháo vịt is the Vietnamese version of duck congee rice porridge. Read more about it here:

Congee is a rice porridge soup that commonly eaten throughout Asia. It’s often a breakfast dish, and the rice soup is often served with a few pieces of minced pork or some organs, or a soft boiled egg inside. But when I was in Vietnam, along with Kyle Le (, we went to a restaurant called Cháo Vịt Thanh Đa (Gốc Nhà Lá) to eat a feast of Vietnamese congee and braised duck.

The restaurant is located within the horseshoe shaped island of the river just north of Saigon and we got there by taxi, which probably took about 20 minutes or so – and let me tell you, the pilgrimage was well worth it. There were two restaurants next to each other, each serving congee and duck, but we chose to eat at the restaurant on the left side (if I remember correctly), as that’s the restaurants we thought was the original one – things can sometimes be a bit tricky in Vietnam.

We ordered a family sized feast of cháo vịt for the three of us, including a big communal bowl of congee, a platter of sliced braised duck, a plate of duck organs, a few side salads, and some sauces to go with the duck. Starting with the Vietnamese congee, I really loved it. It was more soupy and thinner than other versions that I’ve had, and it was flavored with a lovely meat broth flavor, and then topped with a handful of fragrant green onions and a sprinkle of black pepper. The congee was light and fluffy and really flavorful.

The duck was braised in probably a mixture of soy sauce and some mild spices, and the meat was moist and succulent. I’m not a big fan of skin when it’s boiled – I do like it when it’s crispy but not when it’s soft – so I peeled off most of the duck skin and just ate the meat underneath. The duck was lean and juicy and really flavorful. The duck was served with a side sauce that tasted like Vietnamese sweet fish sauce filled with pureed ginger. It was salty and sweet and nicely gingery – maybe just a bit too sweet overall for me, but really good with the ginger flavor. We also ordered a plate of duck organs which included gizzard, heart, and liver. All the organs were quite good, rich and creamy, and were especially good with the ginger sauce applied.

One of the things I loved about the cháo vịt we ate was that it was also served with a side plate of herbs and vegetables on the side – a fresh Vietnamese touch. It included shaved banana flower, Vietnamese coriander, mint, carrots, daikon, and some peanuts to top it off. The salad was dressed in a light dressing that was just slightly sour and sweet. I thought the salad went extremely well with the rice congee and the duck. Additionally, another Vietnamese touch to our meal at Cháo Vịt Thanh Đa (Gốc Nhà Lá) was that both duck was sprinkled with a handful of fragrant crispy shallots, which gave the duck a nice crispy oniony flavor.

I really enjoyed our meal at Cháo Vịt Thanh Đa (Gốc Nhà Lá), and if you’re interested in trying wonderful Vietnamese chao vit duck congee, this is an excellent restaurant to try when you’re in Saigon.

Cháo Vịt Thanh Đa (Gốc Nhà Lá)
Address: 118 Bình Quới, P. 27, Ho Chi Minh City
Open hours: 7 am – 11 pm daily
Price: Everything we ate in this video cost 283,000 VND (about $13) – it was a pretty good deal for the amount and quality of food we ate.

Get more details about this restaurant here:

Music in this video is courtesy of

Mark Wiens and Ying Wiens: &


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About the Author: Mark Wiens


  1. Please could you answer me honestly you're not embarrassed cuz the guy is laughing at you when you're making that retarded face you dumb jerk look how the guy is laughing he's dumb f***

  2. hey Mark, that's Teochew braised duck… as opposed to Hainanese broiled chicken… and you can find it in Thailand, Singapore too… wherever Teochew Chinese immigrated to

  3. One of my favorite food in the world omg.. but in Vietnam we don't put goi (salad) into chao (congee). The chilly is supposed to go into the ginger sauce imo.

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