Serving
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Chicken with Lemon Grass
Vietnam
  -   Ga sao xa
Serves
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
2 main  
***
45 min  
Part
This tasty dish is very popular in Vietnam. It needs to be fairly hot from chilis, not quite Thai hot, but close. You can also make this recipe with pork or even extra firm tofu.



1
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1/2
1/4
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10
3
4
1
1/4
2
4
1/2
4
1/2
1/4
3
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ar
#
---
T
c
---

oz
oz
oz
c
cl

T
T
c
t
T
---
Chicken (1)
-- Coating
Cornstarch
Water
-----------
Dried Chili (2)
Carrot
Onion
Shallot
Lemon Grass (3)
Garlic
Thai Chili (4)
Sugar (5)
Fish Sauce (6)
Stock
Salt
Oil
-- Garnish
Cilantro Leaves
Prep   -   (30 min)
  1. Cut CHICKEN into 3/16 to 1/4 inch thick slices about 1-1/2 to 2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide (or whatever you can do with the chicken you have).
  2. Mix all Coating items and massage into Chicken. Set aside until needed.
  3. Remove stems and caps from DRIED CHILIS and shake out as many seeds as will shake out.
  4. Cut CARROT into juliennes about 1-1/2 inches long (Note-7). Blanch in boiling water for about 1 minute and refresh in cold running water.
  5. Slice ONION lengthwise into rather narrow wedges. Slice SHALLOT thin. Mix.
  6. Strip tough outer leaves from LEMON GRASS. Cut off hard root end, then smash the bottom 6 inches well with your kitchen mallet. Slice crosswise as thin as you can, using the bottom 4 inches. Chop as fine as you can get it, then, if possible, pound to a paste in a big granite mortar.
  7. Crush GARLIC and chop small. Chop CHILIS small. Mix and chop together until exceedingly fine. Add to the Lemon Grass and pound to a paste. Mix in Sugar.
  8. Mix Fish Sauce, Stock and Salt.
  9. Strip CILANTRO leaves from stems for garnish.
Run   -   (15 min)
  1. Drain any free liquid from Chicken.
  2. In a wok or spacious sauté pan heat Oil over moderate heat. Stir in Dried Chilis and fry stirring for a few seconds until they start to darken. Immediately remove them with a slotted spoon (they must not blacken or they will be bitter) and drain on paper towels. The recipe shows them whole, but they could also be chopped coarse (after frying) for better distribution.
  3. Turn the flame a bit higher and stir in Lemon Grass mix. Fry stirring until fragrant and just starting to darken,
  4. Stir in Onion mix and fry stirring for a minute or so, then stir in Chicken and fry stirring until it has lost its raw color. Use high heat but be careful the fond stuck to the pan doesn't burn at all.
  5. Stir in the Fish Sauce mix and Simmer covered for 3 to 4 minutes, Stir in Carrots for another minute.
  6. Stir in Dried Chilis and serve garnished with Cilantro Leaves, along with plenty of steamed Jasmine rice.
NOTES:
  1. Chicken:   Weight is for skinless and boneless. I favor thigh meat for flavor but breast can be used.
  2. Dried Chilis:   I suggest using Japones, which are not very hot, but the more adventurous can use de Arbols or dried Thai Chilis. For details see our Chili Page.
  3. Lemon Grass   You will need 3 to 5 stalks for this, depending on size. Measure is after chopping. For details see our Lemon Grass page.
  4. Thai Chili:   This dish should be fairly sharp - but the amount of chili given here is a bit on the moderate side. If you don't have Thai Chilis, use a medium size Serrano, leaving the seeds and membranes in. Feel free to up the amount if you are a chili enthusiast. For details see our Chili Page.
  5. Sugar:   My version uses half the sugar the original calls for.
  6. Fish Sauce:   This clear liquid is as essential to Southeast Asian cuisine as it was to Imperial Rome. For details see our Fish Sauce - Introduction page.
  7. Carrot:   Juliennes made with julienning vegetable peelers or similar devices are too small - cut with a knife.
  8. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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