Gà xào sả ớt is a delicious stir fry, light, aromatic and if you want it to be, spicy! The aroma from the lemongrass is truly irresistible, evoking precious memories of my time in Vietnam.
As with many Asian dishes, this is eaten as a side with rice or noodles, although in my opinion, a bowl of steamed jasmine or basmati rice allows one to truly savour the intricacies of this dish. Taking out the marinade time (which many dispense with), it is an extremely quick dish to prepare and makes the perfect midweek meal.
This Vietnamese Lemongrass Chilli Chicken is quite often made with diced pieces of chicken thighs but I’ve always felt that breast meat lends itself to stir fries as its blandness absorbs flavours better than the bold dark meat of thighs and legs. Of course, breast meat cooks quicker too.
I love a lot of onions in this as I find that the onions caramelise during cooking and add to the touch of sweet.
Pescatarians – prawns do very well cooked this way as does fish but I would pre fry the fish in a tiny amount of oil before adding it to the onion mix.
Ingredients for Gà xào sả ớt (serves 4)
500g chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
2 medium onions, sliced
2 stalks lemongrass, bruised
1 clove garlic, sliced widthwise
1-2 red chillies, depending on variety & taste, sliced
100ml chicken stock, homemade or shop bought
half tsp palm sugar
pinch of salt or to taste
1 tbsp vegetable oil
small handful fresh coriander, chopped, to serve
3 stalks lemongrass, pounded or chopped in chopper
2 cloves garlic, pounded or crushed
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp cornflour
half tsp caster sugar
1. Mix all the marinade ingredients with the chicken and leave to marinate for a couple of hours or even overnight.
2. When ready to cook, heat the oil in a roomy frying pan over medium heat and sauté the onions for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Add the lemongrass, garlic & chillies and sauté for another 2 minutes, stirring.
4. Add the chicken, stir thoroughly and coat the chicken with the onion mix, dry frying for a couple of minutes.
5. Add the stock, salt and palm sugar, bring to boil, then simmer, covered for 10-15, until chicken is cooked through.
6. Sprinkle with coriander and serve with steamed rice.