Grilled Lemongrass Chicken- bursting with Vietnamese flavors. Use this in Vietnamese Rice Noodle bowls (Bun Ga Nuong) or on its own over rice. There is a secret ingredient that makes this especially delicious and authentic! Gluten-free.
Something very beautiful happens to people when their world has fallen apart: a humility, a nobility, a higher intelligence emerges at just the point when our knees hit the floor. ~Marianne Williamson
Our trip to Vietnam a few years back was completely eye-opening for me. One of the most valuable things I took away from that trip is that physical borders are not barriers when it comes to food and cooking. For example, I kept tasting this beautiful whisper of Five Spice in so many of the dishes around Vietnam and wondered why, until it dawned on me that China is right next door. Food and flavors are fluid, flowing through walls and barriers like air.
This recipe for Grilled Lemongrass Chicken is one we used a lot in our catering business. I can’t tell you the number the times I’ve made it. And it is the addition of Five Spice that makes this recipe really authentic and special. My husband enjoys the lemongrass chicken served simply over rice. I love the chicken served over rice noodles with fresh crunchy veggies and Nuoc Cham -how they serve it in Vietnam, called Bun Ga Nuong.
No matter how you serve it, I know you will love it.
The first step is making the delicious lemongrass paste or marinade.
You can pound or grind this into a paste, but I find that using the food processor so much easier. The base of the paste is shallot, lemongrass and garlic. Then add oil, salt, sugar and the five-spice powder. If you want heat, add a little chili garlic sauce.
Coat chicken thighs well. I like using boneless, skinless thighs here, which stay nice and moist when grilled.
Grill both sides well, then cover and lower heat to cook through.
You can also finish them in a warm oven ( uncovered).
Also- feel free to grill this on a grill pan on the stove.
With all the lemongrass in the marinade, the grill can be a get a bit messy, so try not to move the chicken around too much. The grill gives it a better flavor.
While the lemongrass chicken is grilling, cook the rice noodles, make the nuoc cham dressing and cut up some crunchy veggies like cucumber and radish. Serve with fresh mint and Thai Basil for the best flavor.
I hope you enjoy this Grilled Lemongrass Chicken recipe…it’s one of my personal favorites. And do not leave out the five spice. 😉
Use this in the Bahn Mi Noodle Bowl!Print
Grilled Lemongrass Chicken
An authentic recipe for Grilled Lemongrass Chicken- bursting with Vietnamese flavor! Simple, Easy and delicious!
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 20
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: chicken, main, grilling
- Method: grilled
- Cuisine: Vietnamese
- 2– 2 1/4 lbs chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
- 2 stalks lemongrass (1/2 cup chopped)
- 1 medium shallot, rough chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, whole
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce ( or GF Bragg’s Amino Acid)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar ( or alternative sweetener)
- 1 teaspoon Five-Spice powder
- 1–3 teaspoons Chili Garlic Sauce ( optional, for heat)
Preheat Grill to Med-High.
Make the lemongrass paste. Thinly slice the tender white parts of the lemongrass stalks and place in the food processor. ( You do need to slice it first, otherwise, it will be stringy.) You should have roughly 1/2 cup. Add the garlic cloves and rough-chopped shallot. Pulse repeatedly until lemongrass gets broken down. Add oil, soy sauce, salt, sugar and Five-spice and optional chili garlic sauce and process into a paste, scraping down sides as needed. Process for a couple of minutes, until lemongrass is really chopped up finely and it looks like a paste. See photo.
Coat all sides of the chicken with the paste. You can do this ahead and refrigerate up to 48 hours. Or grill right away.
Oil the grill well. Grill chicken over medium-high, or medium heat, until deep grill marks appear, 3-4 minutes. The grill marks help naturally release the chicken from the grill, so wait for them. Do not move chicken around too much or you will lose the lemongrass. I like to use a thin metal spatula to flip. Then cook 3 more minutes, check for grill marks, then lower heat way down, cover with lid, and cook all the way through. You can also finish in a 350 F oven, uncovered.
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