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Vietnamese Grilled Lemongrass Chicken

Posting Date: 11/20/15

Vietnamese Grilled Lemongrass Chicken

I first had this Vietnamese grilled lemongrass chicken in a Vietnamese restaurant. It was served with julienned carrot, cucumber slices, rice, and dipping sauce. I liked it so much because the chicken was not bland. Later on I found out the chicken could also be served with a bowl of rice vermicelli rather than rice. It was served with shredded carrot, slices cucumber, chopped mint, and chopped cilantro. However, the dipping sauce was poured in to the rice vermicelli bowl. I prefer it this way because the rice vermicelli absorbs the dipping sauce and the mint makes it so fresh.

If you are not familiar with lemongrass, you can find it at the regular grocery stores in the fresh produce section. In my grocery store, they have trimmed the green part and left the white part only. The white part is the one you want to use. If your regular grocery stores don't sell it, the Asian grocery stores should have it. In the Asian grocery stores, the lemongrass is sold without being trimmed. So. you will have to trim and discard the green part. If you can't find it at all, don't worry and just skip it. For the meat, I pound it with the meat tenderizer before placing it in the marinade sauce. In this way, the meat can absorb the sauce better and it will be more flavorful. Instead of chicken, you can also use pork or beef.



Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2.5 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemongrass, white part minced while the green part discarded
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 pieces of skinless and boneless chicken breast
  • 1 carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • For dipping sauce: 1 cup water
  • For dipping sauce: 2 tablespoons sugar
  • For dipping sauce: 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • For dipping sauce: 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • For dipping sauce: 2.5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • For dipping sauce: 1.5 tablespoons sweet chili sauce

Methods:

  1. Mix vegetable oil, lime juice, fish sauce, garlic, lemongrass, red pepper flakes, granulate sugar, and brown sugar in a ziploc bag. This will be used to marinade the chicken.
  2. Pound chicken breasts with meat tenderizer. Place the chicken with the marinade sauce in the ziploc bag and make sure each piece of the breasts is coated well with the sauce. Leave it in the fridge for at least 2 hours but turn the bag occasionally (every half an hour or so) to ensure the meat is coated well with the marinade.
  3. To make the dipping sauce, combine water, sugar, fish sauce, vinegar, lime juice, and sweet chili sauce. Whisk them together until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Clean the grill and oil the grill grates. Grill the chicken and turn several times until it is cooked. Remove from the heat and let it sit for 10 min before cutting and serving. If you don't have BBQ grill, you can bake the chicken in the oven at 375 deg. Turn the chicken half way during cooking. Once it is almost cooked, broil it until it is fully cooked and slightly charred.
  5. Serve the chicken with warm rice, carrot, cucumber, and dipping sauce.

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