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Stir-Fried Lemon Grass Chicken

4 Servings

40 minutes

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Vietnamese stir-fried lemon grass chicken, called gà xào sả ớt, is a quick, flavor-packed dish that comes together quickly. To create our recipe, we looked to two of our favorite Vietnamese cooks, Andrea Nguyen and Charles Phan, borrowing elements from each of their versions to create our own. Like Nguyen, we briefly marinate pieces of boneless chicken thighs before cooking. And like Phan, we add sliced red onion to the mix. The spicy heat in the stir-fry comes from two sources: sambal oelek, an Indonesian-style chili paste with a bright, sharp flavor (Asian garlic-chili sauce works, too) and jalapeños sliced into thin rings. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.




Don’t stir the chicken too often as it cooks. Infrequent stirring allows browning and caramelization to occur, which develops complex flavors in the dish.

40 minutes


  • 2

    pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1½-inchpiece

  • 4

    medium garlic cloves, minced


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Susan S.
November 17, 2022
Love this!
I have made this a handful of times and it always turns out great. My family loves it.
Jennifer B.
May 27, 2022
So delicious!
Great mix of flavors and heat. Sauce was fantastic.
Scott P.
July 17, 2023
Nice flavor. Two jalapenos did the trick for me---hot but not punishing. Used lemongrass puree.
Katherine K.
September 1, 2022
Full of Flavor
This was very good; I always forget how time consuming it is to cut chicken (or any other meat) is into bite-sized pieces and general stir fry prep is. Once indredients are ready, it comes together quickly and has great flavor. Will do again.
Hugh D.

Given the general availability of lemon grass puree and the frequent difficulty in locating lemon grass, can this recipe be adapted for use of the puree in lieu of stalks?

Lynn C.

Hi Hugh -

Though the flavor isn't as fresh, it should be fine to substitute puree for the stalks. The general ratio is 1 teaspoon puree for 1 stalk of lemongrass.

The Milk Street Team

Michael Y.

This is delicious and pretty easy. I used a little less than one jalapeno though I'll probably go up to a full one next time. I think two would probably make this very hot.