Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken

Our routine for preparing meals on a monthly basis involves the creation of this Vietnamese lemongrass chicken recipe, which is a recipe that we use frequently and that we return to time and time again. Lemongrass chicken is a Vietnamese dish that can be produced in less than half an hour, and we like the fact that it is a recipe that is not only straightforward but also flavorful and quick to create. You can find it on our website.

When chicken thighs are marinated in lemongrass, garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, five spice, honey, brown sugar, and lime juice, the resulting dish has the ideal combination of sweet, sour, savory, and umami flavors. Using lemongrass as a marinade, the chicken thighs are prepared. The fact that the recipe for this straightforward Vietnamese chicken meal may easily be multiplied by another two or three times is the feature that I enjoy the most about it.

Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken
Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken

This makes it possible for you to swiftly accommodate the production of meals or to serve a large group of children. In the event that you are looking for a nutritious alternative to protein that does not compromise on flavor, then this chicken lemongrass recipe is the ideal supper for you to test out. You might also appreciate my other recipes, which include Vietnamese pork chops, Vietnamese chicken wings, and bo luc lac, which is a form of Vietnamese shaking beef. If you liked this recipe for Vietnamese chicken, you might also enjoy my other recipes.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe.

Cheap and simple. This lemongrass chicken recipe is easy to prepare, and all of the ingredients are inexpensive.

Healthy and nourishing. Vietnamese lemongrass chicken is created from genuine ingredients and is an excellent protein source.

Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken

Perfect for meal preparation or large groups. You can easily double or treble this recipe and cook the lemongrass chicken in large batches on the stove or at a barbecue for meal prep or large gatherings.

This Vietnamese chicken lemongrass recipe requires all of the following kitchen equipment.

Tenderizer: Use a tenderizer to smash the lemongrass before mincing it. This will result in the release of lemongrass oils.

Food processor: You may use a food processor to easily grind the lemongrass. Alternatively, you can mince the lemongrass with a knife.

You’ll need a large mixing basin to make the lemongrass chicken marinade.

Large Skillet: To cook the lemongrass chicken thighs, use a large skillet or cast iron skillet.


You can find all of the ingredients for this Vietnamese lemongrass chicken recipe at any Asian grocery store or in the Asian aisle at your local grocery store.


  • Chicken Thighs: you can use bone-in or boneless chicken thighs. Alternatively, you can also use chicken breast or tenders!
  • Shallot and Garlic: serve as the main aromatics for this recipe for lemongrass chicken.
  • Lemongrass: lemongrass is the star ingredient! It adds a hint of citrus flavor with a hint of ginger to this Vietnamese chicken recipe.
  • Fish Sauce: this wouldn’t be a Vietnamese chicken recipe without fish sauce. It is a staple ingredient in almost every Vietnamese recipe. It adds a savory umami finish.
  • Soy Sauce: soy sauce adds additional salty umami flavors to the Vietnamese chicken marinade.
  • Lime Juice: fresh lime juice adds a layer of brightness to the Vietnamese chicken.
  • Salt: salt seasons and enhances the flavor of the chicken.
  • Five Spice: five spice adds complex layers of flavor to the lemongrass chicken marinade.
  • Brown Sugar: brown sugar balances out the salty flavors from the soy sauce and fish sauce.
  • Honey: honey coats the lemongrass chicken thighs with a layer of sweetness.
  • Sambal Oelek or garlic chili paste: a little dash of garlic chili paste adds a touch of heat to the lemongrass chicken marinade. This is optional.
Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken
Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken
  • White rice or vermicelli noodles: you can serve this Vietnamese lemongrass recipe with either white rice or vermicelli noodles!
  • Nuoc Cham (Vietnamese Dipping Sauce): this wouldn’t be an authentic Vietnamese recipe without nuoc cham! Click on the link for my flavorful iconic Vietnamese garlic fish sauce recipe.
  • Tomato, Cucumber, Lettuce: add some vegetables to the plate for a well-balanced healthy meal.
  • Fried Egg: you can optionally add a fried egg to your Vietnamese chicken dish for more protein and flavor!

Substitutions and additions.
You can make the following substitutions and additions to this Vietnamese lemongrass chicken dish.

Instead of boneless chicken thighs, choose bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, chicken breasts, or chicken tenders! Just keep in mind that cooking times will vary depending on the cut of chicken.
Lemon juice: If you don’t have lime juice on hand, you may easily replace lemon juice.
Sriracha or hot sauce: You can substitute your preferred hot sauce for sambal oelek or garlic chili paste

Do chua, or Vietnamese pickled daikon and carrots, are a great way to spice up your dish!
Crushed peanuts can be used for extra crunch and nutty flavor!
Mint: If you want to create a more traditional Vietnamese dish, add mint to the lettuce.

How to Make Lemongrass Chicken

Here is how to make this lemongrass chicken recipe. Once you mix the marinade and marinate the chicken for 2 hours the rest is so easy to finish!

Prepare the lemongrass. Cut the lemongrass into 2-inch pieces, then pound the lemongrass until flat. Finely mince the lemongrass or place the lemongrass pieces into a food processor and chop until finely minced.

Marinate the chicken. In a large mixing bowl, add the minced shallots, minced garlic, minced lemongrass, fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, salt, five spices, brown sugar, honey, and sambal oelek. Mix until combined. Add the chicken and marinate for a minimum of 2 hours, or overnight.

Cook. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a hot pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until each side is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side.

Rest and slice. Remove the chicken from the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing it into thin pieces.

Serve. Serve with steamed rice or vermicelli noodles, fresh vegetables, and a fried egg. Top with nuoc cham sauce and enjoy!

Tips for the Best Lemongrass Chicken.

Prepare the lemongrass. Use only the white part of the lemongrass. Also, use a tenderizer to pound the lemongrass before chopping it in the food processor. This allows the fragrant oils of the lemongrass to seep throughout the marinade.

Marinate chicken. Marinate the lemongrass chicken for a minimum of 2 hours, preferably overnight. This allows the lemongrass chicken marinade to tenderize, provide moisture, and give the chicken time to absorb all of the aromas.

Add the chicken to a heated pan. Heat the pan and oil over medium-high heat for 3 minutes, or until hot, before adding the chicken. This will ensure you get a lovely caramelized sear on the outside of the chicken.

Rest the chicken before chopping. Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before cutting so that the liquids within the lemongrass chicken can redistribute themselves throughout the meat.

Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken FAQ

1. What is Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken?

  • Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken is a popular dish in Vietnamese cuisine made with marinated chicken cooked with lemongrass, garlic, and other flavorful ingredients. It is known for its aromatic, citrusy, and slightly spicy taste.

2. What ingredients are typically used in Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken?

  • Chicken: Boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts.
  • Marinade: Lemongrass, garlic, shallots, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and sometimes chili for heat.
  • Other Ingredients: Oil for cooking, and garnishes like fresh herbs (cilantro, mint), lime wedges, and sometimes chopped peanuts.

3. How do you prepare Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken?

  • Marinate the Chicken: Combine the marinade ingredients and mix with the chicken. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes, but preferably a few hours or overnight for best flavor.
  • Cook the Chicken: Grill, pan-fry, or stir-fry the marinated chicken until it is fully cooked and slightly caramelized.

4. Can I make Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken ahead of time?

  • Yes, you can marinate the chicken ahead of time. The marinated chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before cooking. Cooked Lemongrass Chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and reheated before serving.

5. What can I serve with Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken?

  • Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken is often served with steamed jasmine rice, vermicelli noodles, or in a banh mi sandwich. It can also be accompanied by fresh vegetables, herbs, and dipping sauces like nuoc cham (Vietnamese dipping sauce).

6. Is Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken spicy?

  • The dish can be mildly spicy, depending on whether you add chili or not. You can adjust the spice level to your preference by adding or omitting chili peppers.

7. Can I make Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken gluten-free?

  • Yes, to make this dish gluten-free, use gluten-free soy sauce or tamari instead of regular soy sauce. Ensure all other ingredients, like fish sauce, are also gluten-free.

8. What is the best cut of chicken to use for Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken?

  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are preferred because they remain moist and tender when cooked. However, boneless, skinless chicken breasts can also be used for a leaner option.

9. Can I cook Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken on a barbecue grill?

  • Yes, grilling the chicken adds a wonderful smoky flavor. Ensure the grill is preheated and well-oiled to prevent sticking.

10. What if I can’t find fresh lemongrass?

  • If fresh lemongrass is unavailable, you can use lemongrass paste or dried lemongrass. Fresh is best for the most vibrant flavor, but substitutes can work in a pinch.



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