Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Marinade

Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Marinade

For 1Kg of meat


I’ve always been a big fan of lemongrass in chicken.  As a kid my dad would make my brothers and I a lemongrass and crispy chicken wing dish. They were very popular and with limited supply on offer we would devour as many of these wings as we could get our hands on.

So whenever I eat any kind of chicken with lemongrass in it, I think of my childhood.

My father would make his chicken wings quite salty as back then we were quite poor and being salty it would result in us eating a smaller amount of chicken and a lot more rice.

 In my younger days I would try to replicate my father’s recipes. But as the years have gone on, my pallet has change and I have swung from one of loving salty and savoury taste to loving sour and zesty flavours. So as such most of my recipes have evolved alongside my pallet.

Chicken and citrus are like a match made in heaven, and in my recipe you will find many ingredients pushing the zesty citrus flavour I love.

So it’s fair to say my recipe has moved a fair way from that of my father’s traditional recipe, but I believe you will find it to be a tantalising mix none the less.


4 Lemongrass stem, white part only, smashed and roughly chopped

 1 Red onion, roughly chopped

 2 Spring onions, white part only, roughly chopped (save the leaves for garnish)

 2 Coriander root and stems washed and roughly chopped (save the leaves for garnish)

 4 Cloves of garlic, minced

 1 Thumb size knob of  galangal minced (30g)

 4 Kaffir Lime leaves stems removed and roughly torn

The zest and juice of one lime

 ½ tablespoon of ground chilli paste  (or 2 fresh chillies minced)

 1 tablespoon of fish sauce

 2 tablespoon of oyster sauce

1 tablespoon of sugar

 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon sesame oil




As this is a marinade you want the end result to be more liquid and not like a paste, so I find this works better in a food processor, but if you’re a purist feel free to do it in a mortar and pestle.


Place the lemongrass in the food processor and wiz to it become quite fine and no large chunks are left. 


 Now add the Onion, Spring Onion, Coriander, Garlic, Galangal and lime leaves.  Give it a few pulses and then wiz it to all the ingredients become a thick paste and are all incorporated.

 Now add the rest of the ingredients and wiz to all the ingredients are well combined and the pastes starts to becomes a thick liquid. 

Now its ready to marinate your favourite cut of chicken with.



I find that for best results marinate your chicken for at least 4 hours but overnight is best.



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