It’s been a few years since I made a recipe from my “Street Cafe Vietnam” cookbook. I altered the recipe to use red pepper flakes and make it a bit easier. Don’t be intimidated by this dish. It’s actually incredibly simple and is one of my go-to last minute dishes for Jake when he wants some Vietnamese food but we don’t have a ton of time. To make it even easier, I keep a tube of pulverized lemon grass in my fridge at all times and follow the directions on the tube to sub the stuff in to my recipe. In the end, it’s barely any work at all, and it looks and tastes super impressive. I highly recommend this for your next busy night.
Chicken with Lemon Grass (Ga Nuong Xa Ot)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 stalks lemon grass, finely chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 oz. water
2 teaspoons nuoc mam (fish sauce!)
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
pinch of raw sugar
salt and black pepper, to taste
1. In a medium skillet, saute the garlic and half the lemon grass in the oil till they’re soft but not brown.
2. Add the chicken. Stir fry till all sides are white.
3. Add some of the water and stir. Then add the nuoc mam and turmeric, stirring to incorporate.
4. Add the rest of the water, continuing to stir, then add the onion and cook till it begins to soften.
5. Add the rest of the lemon grass, the red pepper flakes, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir well.
6. Cook 2-5 more minutes and serve hot over rice.