9, Nov 2010
Grilled Lemongrass Chicken

This chicken was inspired by a good Vietnamese vermicelli bowl and is meant to be good served that way or over rice. Would work well with nuoc cham or barbecue sauce (or this one) for dipping. I tried to cut the chicken in chunks and thread them on metal skewers, but they worked slightly better on bamboo (less slipping), and threading them in strips like satay might have been better overall. I chose chicken thighs for flavor and juiciness but this could be done with breast pieces as well, probably brined to stay moist.


1.5 lb boneless chicken thighs, cut into skewer-sized chunks
2 stalks lemongrass
2 cloves garlic
1 shallot
1/4 c fish sauce
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tbsp brown sugar
sriracha or other chili sauce/paste to taste
vegetable oil
chopped scallions
sesame seeds


Remove the extra-fibrous outer layers from the lemongrass and mince in a food processor. Add and mince the cloves of garlic and shallot. Add fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, and chili sauce to make a thinnish paste (adjust the fish sauce to taste and consistency) and mix well. Pour into a sealable container and toss thoroughly with chicken. Marinate overnight, mixing occasionally.

Heat grill to as hot as possible. Remove chicken pieces from marinade and thread on skewers, leaving a little space between pieces. Oil grill grate and grill uncovered until nicely charred, turning every 1-2 minutes to keep from sticking. If necessary, finish with grill closed. Total cooking time should be 10-15 minutes depending on thickness of pieces.

Serve with scallions and sesame seeds.