A local oriental restaurant used to sell "Vietnamese Chicken", a hot plate dish of big chunks of chicken breast with onion and spices. The distinguishing feature of the dish was a deep red tint of the chicken meat (on the surface; the inside was normal chicken meat color), even stronger than in the photo: enter image description here

At one point they must have changed their recipe and the chicken is no longer red, just common yellowish typical to any fried chicken:

enter image description here

I can't really notice a difference in taste (maybe because it was a couple months since I had "red" until I bought "Vietnamese Chicken" and it was now yellow) - still, I'm curious what spice (or whatever other means) can give chicken meat this red coloration, and try making this dish myself.

(there's a bunch of recipes for this dish, but as I want the "red" variant, I'd like to be able to tell the "red" ones apart from the "yellow".)

Can you help me?

  • Perhaps a stupid question, but: Have you asked them?
    – Stephie
    Mar 6, 2017 at 15:53
  • @Stephie: No - I actually had only contact with the server, and these changed a couple times since, never got to talk to the cooks.
    – SF.
    Mar 6, 2017 at 15:56

1 Answer 1


My Vietnamese girlfriend uses "hạt điều màu" (annatto). She heats the nuts in oil and then uses the oil without the nuts to fry the meat in.


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