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Chicken with Lemongrass and Chili / Gà Xào Sả Ot

Every Vietnamese family has a recipe for chicken with lemongrass and chili or gà xào sả ot. The combination of the citrus flavor from the lemongrass, the spice from the turmeric, the saltiness from the soy and fish sauce and the sweetness from the coconut soda give this dish a wow factor. The dish is deceptively simple and fast to make for any weeknight meal. You may be tempted to remove the skin or use white meat. I would advise otherwise as I find that dark meat is juicier and the skin adds a lot of flavor to the dish. This dish is served with a side of rice.

Difficulty: Easy / Serving: 2 / Time: 30 minutes


2 chicken thigh with skin (dark meat) cut into quarters

2 tablespoons of minced lemongrass

2 tablespoons of minced garlic

2 tablespoons of diced onion

½ tablespoon of turmeric or curry powder mix

1 ½ cup of Rico coconut soda

1 teaspoon + 1 tablespoon of chicken bouillon powder

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of soy sauce

¼ teaspoon of sesame oil

¼ teaspoon of fish sauce

1 tablespoon of white cooking wine (optional)

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon of ground pepper

4 teaspoons of sugar

2 stalks of scallions (not pictured)

A few Thai chilies, minced. (This is up to you depending on heat).





Cut the chicken leg into 4 pieces. You can also have a butcher cut the chicken leg into quarters at the market.

Season the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon of ground pepper, 1 teaspoon of sugar, ¼ teaspoon of fish sauce, 1 tablespoon of diced onions, 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of chicken bouillon powder, ¼ teaspoon sesame oil, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of white cooking wine, ½ tablespoon of turmeric powder and 1 tablespoon of minced lemongrass.

Mix well and rub the marinade into the chicken meat. Marinate for 10 minutes.



Heat a pan on high heat with 3 tablespoons of oil and brown 1 tablespoon of diced onion and 1 tablespoon of minced garlic.


Add 1 tablespoon of minced lemongrass and stir for 2-3 minutes.


Add the chicken and sear all the sides. Cover with a lid and allow for the chicken to cook for 5 minutes.


Add 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of chicken bouillon powder, 3 teaspoons of sugar, and 1 ½ cup of coconut soda. Lower the heat to medium and allow to cook on low boil for 10 minutes or until the liquid reduces in half. Add 2 diced Thai chili at the end for a hit of spice.



Add chilies and continue to reduce the liquid on simmer

Cut the scallions into 2 inch segments and add to the dish.


Add green onions at the end when the liquid has been reduced in half

Enjoy this classic tasty chicken dish with a bowl of rice, a side of soup and a plate of vegetables.



For more recipes, visit our EAT page or Recipe Index.

Authors: Susan Tran and Chau Hoang

This entry was posted in: meat
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