Thai Lemongrass Chicken Salad Recipe (20 Minute)

This Thai Lemongrass Chicken Salad comes together in just 20 minutes! Tossed with a tangy lime-lemongrass dressing and served alongside colorful vegetables. It’s a delicious & easy lunch or dinner.

Here I am bringing you yet another Thai-inspired dish.

I really cannot get enough of the bright, zesty flavors of Thai food. Cilantro, mint and spices always seem to make up the backbone of my Thai dishes. That combination is like a magic potion. It brings life to anything!

Overhead shot of lemongrass chicken salad on wood table with bowls of toppings scattered about.

🛒 Ingredients Needed

  • Chicken Breasts – You can also use chicken tenders or chicken cutlets.
  • Lemongrass – More on how to purchase and prepare lemongrass below ↓.
  • Shallots + Garlic
  • Fresh Herbs – Mint and cilantro.
  • Jalapeno + Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Lime
  • Fish Sauce – This is my preferred brand.
  • Brown Sugar
  • Lettuce or Rice – For serving.
  • Favorite Toppings – Carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.
  • Toasted Rice Powder – This adds some crunch to your finished salad. You can also use some chopped nuts like peanuts, cashews or almonds.

📋 How to Make It

  • Pound your chicken breasts to a uniform thickness before cooking them. You can do this using a meat mallet, or even a heavy skillet. Or, you could also look for chicken cutlets in the store, those will already be pounded to a uniform thickness for you.
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook by grilling or sautéing for 5-6 minutes per side. Let cool slightly and thinly slice the chicken on a bias.
  • To make the dressing, combine the garlic, jalapeno, lime juice, fish sauce, lemongrass, brown sugar, and red chile flakes in a small bowl. Stir well. Taste and adjust with additional lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, etc., as needed.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the cooked chicken, shallots, mint, and cilantro. Toss with the dressing.
  • Add the ground toasted rice, if using, and toss again.
  • Serve over lettuce or rice, as desired.
Lemongrass dressing in small bowl.

🔪 How Do You Buy & Cut Lemongrass?

  • Lemongrass looks like thin, pale green stalks and it’s generally sold in bundles of two or three. You’ll need about three stalks for this recipe because only the lower stalk (near the bulb) is tender and edible.
  • When cooking with lemongrass, you only want to use the tender part of the bulb section. To cut lemongrass, first remove the knobby end of the stalk and cut it in half lengthwise. Remove the tough outer leaves and find the inner tender flesh (it should pierce easily with your fingernail). Then, finely chop that tender inner section.
  • You can also take a shortcut and purchase lemongrass paste that is sold in plastic bottles in the produce department near the packaged herbs.

Another special ingredient that I’m using in this Lemongrass Chicken Salad is toasted rice powder.

I like to think of the rice powder as my Thai alternative to croutons. It gives an amazing crunch to your finished salad. It’s also got a nice, nutty, creamy flavor.

🍚 How Do You Make Toasted Rice Powder?

To make toasted rice powder, heat a skillet over medium heat. Then dry roast the rice tossing constantly until it turns a golden brown color and becomes fragrant. At first, you won’t see anything happening, but then the color change comes quick. It will become wonderfully fragrant, almost like popcorn.

Then, you’ll need to grind the rice to a coarse powder. To do this, I use a coffee grinder that I use exclusively for grinding spices. But, you could also use a mortar & pestle or even a blender.

The rice powder takes a little bit of extra effort, but I guarantee that it’s worth it!

🌟 Variations

  • This lemongrass salad is also great with steak, shrimp or pork. Regardless of which type of meat you use, be sure to let it rest for five minutes after cooking. Then slice it up and add any accumulated juices to your dressing mixture.
  • For a vegetarian version of this dish, swap out the chicken for tofu or mushrooms.
  • You have the option of serving this dish over rice or lettuce, or both.
  • You could also make lettuce cups and serve the mixture wrapped up in there.

🥗 More Salad Recipes

ℹ️ Recipe FAQs

What does lemongrass taste like?

Lemongrass tastes a bit like bright citrus, mint, and ginger. It is mild in flavor, but adds an aroma that can’t be matched by anything else.

Is lemongrass sour?

Lemongrass is not sour. Instead, it’s lemony, with grassy aromas like mint and cilantro.

🍷 Wine Pairings

  • Dry Riesling pairs great with spicy dishes, especially with this salad.
Lemongrass chicken salad in bowl with colorful toppings.

🍽 What to Serve with Thai Chicken Salad

Did you try this Thai Chicken Salad recipe?

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Overhead shot of Thai Chicken Salad in white bowl.

Thai Lemongrass Chicken Salad Recipe

This Thai Chicken Salad comes together in just 20 minutes! Tossed with a tangy lime-lemongrass dressing and served alongside colorful vegetables. It’s a delicious and easy lunch or dinner. 
5 from 12 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 large servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken breasts (pounded to 1/2-inch uniform thickness)
  • 2 medium shallots (thinly sliced )
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves (roughly chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro leaves and stems
  • Lettuce or rice (for serving)

Toppings

  • Carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers
  • 1 Tablespoon ground toasted rice

Dressing

  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 jalapeno (minced )
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 2 Tablespoons minced lemongrass (remove the tough outer leaves and slice the tender white core)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook by grilling or sautéing for 5-6 minutes per side. Let cool slightly and thinly slice. Meanwhile, make the dressing. 
  • For the dressing, combine garlic, jalapeno, lime juice, fish sauce, lemongrass, brown sugar, and red chile flakes in a small bowl. Stir well. 
  • In a medium bowl, combine the cooked chicken, shallots, mint, and cilantro. Toss with the dressing. Add the ground toasted rice, if using, and toss again.
  • Serve over lettuce or rice.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!

Nutrition

Calories: 306kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 1327mg | Potassium: 995mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 145IU | Vitamin C: 23.3mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1.4mg

This recipe was originally published in 2014. It was updated in 2023 to add in new photographs and content. The recipe remains the same. Enjoy! 

 

20 thoughts on “Thai Lemongrass Chicken Salad Recipe (20 Minute)”

    • Christine – The rice powder is SO easy to make, adds a great nutty flavor, and a great crunch! I put it on all of my Thai-style salads!

      Reply

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