Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 Servings
  • Chicken thigh – 500 gms, boneless & skinless, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Fish sauce – 4 tbsp
  • White sugar – 1 tbsp
  • Corn flour / cornstarch – ½ tsp
  • Lemongrass stalk – 2
  • Vegetable oil – 2 tbsp
  • Garlic cloves – 8-10, minced
  • Fresh red chilli – 1, finely chopped (Replace with green chilli if you can’t find red)
  • Onion – 1, small, thinly sliced
  • Tender coconut water – 1 cup
  • Freshly chopped coriander leaves / cilantro – ¼ cup to garnish (optional)
  1. Discard the tough outer layer of the lemongrass stalks. Cut off the upper green leafy parts and use only the tender white bulb from inside. Smack the white part with the back of a knife and then chop it finely or grind in a food processor.
  2. Transfer half of the chopped lemongrass to a large bowl and reserve other half for later use. Add fish sauce, sugar and corn flour to the same bowl of chopped lemongrass. Give a good whisk.
  3. Drop the chicken cubes into this lemongrass mixture and mix well using a spatula. Leave the chicken on countertop to marinade for about 20 minutes.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in wok over high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the reserved lemongrass, minced garlic, chopped red chilli & sliced onion and stir-fry on high for couple of minutes. You don’t need to brown the onion, but just soften them a little.
  5. Once the onion is softened, push them to one side and add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the marinated chicken cubes to wok along with all the marinating liquid. Spread the chicken in single layer and let them cook undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes on medium flame.
  6. Once the chicken starts to brown on the edges, flip them over and stir fry with everything together on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes more.
  7. Next add the coconut water and bring the liquid to boil. Then reduce the heat to minimum and let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and chicken is completely cooked through.
  8. The sauce will also thicken at this point. Check and adjust for seasoning if needed. The fish sauce is quite salty already, so you may not need any additional salt.
  9. Remove the wok from heat. Serve the lemongrass chicken with steamed rice, topped with freshly chopped coriander leaves and some crunchy cucumbers on the side. Enjoy!
Tip: When buying lemongrass, look for firm stalks which don’t look dry or brittle. Avoid soft or rubbery stalks. Lower stalk should be pale yellow (almost white) in color while upper stalks are green. Do not purchase those with crusty or brown outer leaves.
Recipe by Flavor Quotient at