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Caramelized Vietnamese lemongrass chicken topped with cilantro and serrano chilis.

Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken- Gà Xào Sả

Tressa Jamil
One pan, Vietnamese lemongrass chicken cooks in a sticky-sweet base of coconut water, caramelized shallots, lemongrass, and ginger.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vietnamese
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 440 kcal



  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • cup coconut water, divided
  • 5 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 4 inch knob of ginger, thinly sliced
  • 6 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, white inner bulb only, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon lime zest
  • 6 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • black pepper, coarse ground, to taste
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped, to garnish
  • 1 serrano chili, thinly sliced, to garnish


  • Bring the sugar and 3 tablespoons of coconut water to a boil in a saute pan over medium heat; stir occasionally until the color changes, for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat and stir until the mixture turns brown, for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add the fish sauce. Stir to combine.
  • Return the pan to heat and stir in the remaining ½ cup of coconut water.
  • Next, add ginger, shallots, lemongrass, and lime zest. Adjust the temperature to maintain a simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and nestle them into the pan; continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Turn the chicken and simmer until the chicken and shallots caramelize.
  • Garnish with cilantro and thinly sliced serrano; serve with white rice or coconut cauliflower rice.


  • Adapted: The inspiration for this recipe comes from Milkstreet. Their recipe is delicious, but I wanted more of the Vietnamese lemongrass chicken flavor while caramelizing the chicken with the other ingredients as they do. 
  • Nutrition Disclosure: The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.


Serving: 1.5 Chicken ThighsCalories: 440kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 40gFat: 13gSodium: 1662mgFiber: 11gSugar: 17g
Keyword vietnamese lemongrass chicken
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