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Chicken with Lemon Grass and Chili (Ga Xao Xa Ot)

Yield Makes 4 servings
Notes: Serve with hot cooked rice, stir-fried green beans, and a light, broth-based soup.


  • 1 pound boned, skinned chicken thighs
  • 2 stalks fresh lemon grass (each 10 to 12 in. long)
  • About 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (nuoc mam or nam pla)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon salad oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced shallots
  • 1/3 cup fat-skimmed chicken broth
  • 3/4 to 2 teaspoons thinly sliced fresh hot red or green chili, such as Thai, serrano, jalapeño, or Fresno
  • Fresh cilantro leaves (optional)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 217
  • caloriesfromfat 36 %
  • protein 25 g
  • fat 8.7 g
  • satfat 1.8 g
  • carbohydrate 8.7 g
  • fiber 0.2 g
  • sodium 404 mg
  • cholesterol 94 mg

How to Make It

  1. Rinse chicken thighs and pat dry. Remove and discard any excess fat. Cut chicken into 1/4-inch-thick strips 2 to 3 inches long.

  2. Rinse lemon grass. Cut off and discard tough tops and root ends; peel off and discard tough, outer green layers of stalks down to tender white portion of bulbs. Finely chop tender portions; you should have 5 to 7 tablespoons.

  3. In a bowl, mix chicken, lemon grass, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, sugar, and garlic.

  4. Set a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over high heat; when hot, add oil and shallots and stir until shallots begin to brown, about 1 minute. Add chicken mixture and stir until chicken is no longer pink in the center (cut to test), about 3 minutes.

  5. Stir in broth and sliced chili to taste; bring mixture to a boil. Taste, and add more fish sauce if desired. Spoon into a serving dish and sprinkle with cilantro.