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Coconut Braised Chicken
Thompson Tran Good Eats

Executive Chef/Owner – Wooden Boat Food Company
Nuoc Cham sauce & other fine Vietnamese Foods

Originally from Langley, B.C., Tran’s culinary career began as a dishwasher & busser at the age of 14 at his family’s restaurant. He spent several years cooking throughout the Vancouver restaurant circuit, and at several prestigious food institutions namely Bishop’s and Il Giardino. In 2017, he moved to Kitchener ON to expand his reach for his award-winning flagship sauce Nuoc Cham and Ot (Sweet Chili) and opened 2 restaurants.

Currently, Thompson is currently the owner and executive chef of Kitchener’s award-winning Wooden Boat Food Company, a hidden gem serving up casual Vietnamese-inspired food in an eclectic and unique industrial restaurant. He believes deeply in sustainability and localism and strives to be zero waste through active leadership and community participation. His restaurant also happens to be one of the only restaurants in the world that is saran, foil, Styrofoam & parchment free.

As a former teaching chef instructor Chef Thompson has worked in both the private and public sector of the food industry and has spent many years honing his skills. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in classical guitar performance, a Bachelor of Education, a diploma from Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, and his level Level 2 Wine and Spirit Education Trust. In his pursuit of happiness, he also took a two-year hiatus from both cooking and teaching to pursue a musical dream that culminated in a Grammy Award nomination in 2010.
Thompson now lives in the close-knit community of Kitchener, Ontario with his lovely wife, two darling children, and their lovable fur ball Jetson. For further inquiries or general information, please email call 519-489-0123, or visit our website at




Coconut Braised Chicken

Coconut Braised Chicken with Scented Jasmine Rice and Spinach Soup

Yield: 4-5 people


  • 5 pieces of chicken (legs and or thighs)
  • 2 tsp of canola oil
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 whole onion (sliced)
  • 4 tsp of fish sauce
  • 1 litre of coconut water
  • 1 tsp of Ginger (finely sliced)
  • 4 cups of Jasmine Rice
  • 1 tsp of canola oil
  • 1 bunch of spinach (washed, cut into 3rds)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 litre of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1-2 tsp of fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cucumber (cut into slices)
  • 1 bunch of green onions (cut into rings)


    Step 1 – To cook the chicken in a medium pot on med/high heat in oil. Add sugar and caramelize to light brown colour. Add chicken and sauté until golden brown.

    Step 2 – Add garlic, cook for 1 minute add fish sauce and reduce by half.

    Step 3- Add coconut water, sugar, and cook on medium heat for 25 minutes or until tender.

    Step 4 – To cook the rice, wash jasmine rice in warm water and drain 3 times. Fill water 1 cm above the rice in medium pot. Bring to a boil and cover with lid. Simmer on low for 15 minutes. Take off the heat with the lid on and rest for 10 minutes.

    Step 5 – To cook the SPINACH SOUP in a separate pot on medium heat , add oil, and sauté garlic and spinach for 2 minutes. Add chicken stock, fish sauce and sugar and simmer for 5 minutes

    Step 6- Garnish chicken with green onions and ginger

    Step 7 - Serve with cooked jasmine rice and side bowl of soup and sliced cucumbers


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