Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken

Overhead shot of lemongrass chicken in a speckled bowl with rice.

Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken is simple to make at home in just 15 minutes! Fragrant lemongrass and tangy lime juice coat the chicken with a delicious glaze that’s perfect served with a side of rice. 

Truth – I’m a bit obsessed with Thai and Asian dishes. If you’ve been following along with me for a while, you may have noticed (see here, here, here and here).

I’m also infatuated with toasted rice powder. What parmesan cheese does for pasta, toasted rice powder does for Asian food. It’s nutty, creamy, and, also, a bit crunchy. I can’t get enough of it. So naturally, I’m topping this Vietnamese lemongrass chicken with it.

To make the toasted rice powder, just add some white rice to a small skillet over medium-high heat and let it get nice and golden brown. Then, using a mortar and pestle (or a clean coffee grinder) grind it up into a coarse powder. I like to make it about the texture of coarse coffee grounds.

When the lemongrass chicken is finished cooking, we’ll sprinkle a bit of this on top for a yummy crunch. I’m obsessed with the added bit of texture it adds, and I think you will be too!

Now, let’s get to the meat of this dish (no pun intended). Chopped up chicken is marinated in a deliciously yummy mixture of jalapenos, fish sauce, brown sugar and lemongrass. It’s tangy, spicy and has that perfect combination of sweet and sour. I like to leave my chicken to marinade in the fridge overnight, to really let it soak up all those amazing flavors. However, if you’re short on time, you can let it sit for as little as four hours.

Sauce for lemongrass chicken.

Once the marinating process is complete, this dish comes together quick. Really quick. You’ll be eating in about 15 minutes, which makes this lemongrass chicken perfect for hectic weeknight dinners!

Just pop the marinated chicken into a hot skillet and let it get nice and golden. We’ll add in some sliced onions and more jalapenos during this cooking stage too. A little bit of time with the lid on ensures that the chicken cooks fully throughout, and then to get that sauce to perfectly coat all those bits of chicken, we’ll cook finish it off with the lid off for a few minutes, to be sure that the sauce condenses a bit.

Hand reaching for bowl of lemongrass chicken.

I just love all those flavors in the sauce, especially once they’ve had a chance to cook down a bit. The flavors become a bit more pronounced and the umami quality of the sauce can’t be beat.

I hope you love this lemongrass chicken as much as I do! I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Overhead shot of bowl of lemongrass chicken.

Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken

Course: Main Dish - Chicken
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: chicken, lemongrass chicken, vietnamese chicken, vietnamese lemongrass chicken
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 335 kcal

Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken is simple to make at home in just 15 minutes! Fragrant lemongrass and tangy lime juice coat the chicken with a delicious glaze that's perfect served with a side of rice. 

Print

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 lemongrass stalks tough outer layers removed, minced, divided
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 jalapenos seeded and minced, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro for serving
  • 1/4 cup rice plus additional for serving
  • Lime wedges for serving

Instructions

  1. Put half of the lemongrass into a bowl with the fish sauce, sugar, half of the jalapenos, garlic, and chicken. Toss to combine and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight).

  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet or a wok over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, until browned. Add the reserved jalapenos, lemongrass and onion. Cook until the onion is softened. Pour in the stock, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook, about 5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Add lime juice. 

  3. Meanwhile, toast the rice in a small skillet over medium-high heat, until golden brown. Remove from heat. Using a mortar & pestle grind the rice into a coarse powder. Alternatively, you can use a clean coffee grinder for this. Set aside.

  4. Remove the lid, increase the heat, and continue to cook until the liquid is thickened. Sprinkle with toasted rice powder and cilantro and serve with rice and lime wedges on the side.

If you loved this Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

Nutrition Facts
Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 335 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 12%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 109mg 36%
Sodium 1383mg 58%
Potassium 830mg 24%
Total Carbohydrates 24g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 10g
Protein 39g 78%
Vitamin A 2.8%
Vitamin C 22%
Calcium 4.1%
Iron 7.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Wine Pairings for Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken:

  • An unoaked Chardonnay or Pinot Gris aged in steel barrels will enhance the lemongrass, cilantro, and spicy flavors that permeate this dish.

Overhead shot of bowl of lemongrass chicken.

Looking for more quick and easy chicken recipes? Be sure to try these too: 

Chicken Gyro Bowls with Quinoa

Overhead shot closeup of Chicken Gyro Quinoa Bowls

Chicken Marsala with Mustard & Mascarpone

This chicken marsala recipe adds in dijon mustard & creamy mascarpone cheese. It’s a rich dish that's easy to prepare but totally impressive. | platingsandpairings.com

30 Minute Easy Chicken Piccata

30 Minute Easy Chicken Piccata is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. The lemon-garlic, butter caper sauce will have you licking your plate. | platingsandpairings.com

20-Minute Sesame Chicken Noodle Bowls

These 20-Minute Sesame Chicken Noodle Bowls with Thai-style creamy peanut sauce and crunchy red cabbage make a perfect quick and easy weeknight dinner. | platingsandpairings.com

Vietnamese Chicken

29 comments

  1. kelsey

    YUM! wow! that looks delicious and i hadn’t heard about this toasted rice magic!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks Kelsey! 🙂 It is magic!

      Reply

  2. Pech

    I’ve never heard of using toasted rice powder but am intrigued enough to definitely try!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Yay – Let me know if you do Pech. I find myself topping more and more dishes with it!

      Reply

  3. Erin

    Yum. I love lemongrass. And I’m super intrigued by that toasted rice on top. What a clever idea!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks Erin! I’m a huge fan of lemongrass too! I’m happy that I’m finding it more readily available at the supermarket lately!

      Reply

  4. Meredith {MarthaChartreuse}

    I’m always intimidated by cooking Asian food at home – lots of ingredients and steps – but this looks doable!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I’d have to agree Meredith – Asian food recipes can sometimes be a bit intimidating with obscure ingredients and lots of steps, but you can most likely find all of these ingredients at your supermarket, and it’s easy too!

      Reply

  5. Melinda

    This looks amazing..and I’m all about quick dishes. Is it super spicy? My kids (ages 6 and 4) don’t do well with strong spices. I supposed I could use only one, in stead of two, jalepenos….

    Reply

    1. Erin

      You could definitely cut down on the jalapenos. I think that with just one, with the seeds and ribs removed, you should be just fine. However, it’s always hard to say, because jalapenos can vary in heat so much! You can also leave them out entirely and just sprinkle some red pepper flakes over certain portions at the end. 🙂

      Reply

  6. Aubrie LeGault

    Sounds delicious! (You should try the Pinot Gris or the Chardonnay, although I prefer the Pinot Gris more, from Hawks View Cellar. I had both recently and they are fantastic.)

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I have never been to Hawks View Aubrie – I’ll definitely have to give it a try next time we’re in the area. I love a good Pinot Gris, especially in the summertime!

      Reply

  7. Kira

    That looks amazing. I’ve never tried toasted rice before.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Oooohhhh – It’s SO good Kira! You’ll want to put it on all kinds of things!!!

      Reply

  8. Marlynn @UrbanBlissLife

    I love lemongrass! And, I love that Lange Pinot Gris as well. Looks to be a fantastic pairing!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      We’re like twins Marlynn! 😉

      Reply

  9. Angie Agerter

    This sounds so tasty!
    So not something I’d normally lean to, but wow it just sounds amazing. I must try it soon!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks Angie – I hope you do give it a try. It’s a yummy dish that doesn’t take too much effort!

      Reply

  10. Jenni

    Umm… wow. Gorgeous photos and amazing looking dish! I had never thought to do the toasted rice powder, but it is going to be a must do soon. I like that this dish can mainly be prepped the night before and on the table in no time on a busy night!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I agree Jenni – I love dishes that can be prepared ahead of time and then cooked easily on a busy weeknight!

      Reply

  11. Shinee

    Erin, lovely flavors here! But most importantly, toasted rice powder?? Never heard of it, but now I’m so curious. I’ll be trying it asap! Thank you!!

    Reply

  12. raz

    I don’t have talent on cooking but I want to try to cook during weekend for my husband. I will try this recipe and wish me luck! Thanks for sharing! x

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Best of luck to you Raz!!! I hope you let me know how it turns out!!!

      Reply

  13. Tracy

    I love Thai food! So delicious. Your photos make this recipe so appetizing.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I agree Tracy – I’ll take Thai food any night of the week (and any day too really)!

      Reply

  14. Ciao Florentina

    Lemon grass, you have my heart and soul forever and ever Amen ! Yum!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Isn’t it such a great ingredient?! Love it!!!

      Reply

  15. Chloe

    This sounds delicious but I am a bit confused by the rice powder, you just toast raw rice and then turn it in powder or you cook the rice before you toast it?? Thanks and I cant wait to try this one!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Chloe – You’re correct. Throw the uncooked rice into a skillet a let it get golden. Then you’ll turn it to powder. It’s amazing!!! I hope this helps! Let me know if you have additional questions.

      Reply

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