Grilled Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken


Embark on a culinary journey to Vietnam with the tantalizing taste of Grilled Lemongrass Chicken. This classic Vietnamese dish is bursting with vibrant flavors, aromatic herbs, and tender, juicy chicken, making it a favorite among food lovers worldwide. Whether you’re firing up the grill for a summer barbecue or craving a taste of Southeast Asia any time of year, this recipe is sure to impress. Let’s dive into the delicious world of Grilled Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken and learn how to recreate this mouthwatering dish in your own kitchen.


  • 8 boneless chicken thighs
  • Lemongrass Chicken Marinade:
  • 1 stalk lemongrass (approx. 3 and 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 4 cloves garlic (approx. 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 shallot (approx. 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce:
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (approx. 1 lime)
  • 6 tablespoons hot water
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • Optional: grated carrots, 1 birds eye chili pepper


  1. Prepare the Marinade: Finely chop lemongrass, garlic, and shallot. Mix with fish sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, and water in a bowl. Add chicken thighs and marinate for 30 mins to 1 hour at room temperature or overnight.
  2. Grill the Chicken: Remove excess marinade from chicken. Lightly oil and grill over medium heat, starting skin side down. Grill for 12-15 mins, turning as needed for even cooking.
  3. Make Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce: Mix lime juice, hot water, sugar, fish sauce, and optional ingredients until sugar dissolves.
  4. Serve and Enjoy: Let chicken rest before slicing. Serve with vermicelli noodles or rice, vegetables, and Nuoc Cham.
  5. Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cooking Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 30 minutes
  6. Kcal: 537 kcal | Servings: 4 servings

Serving Tips:

  1. Garnish Creatively: Enhance the presentation of your Grilled Lemongrass Chicken by garnishing it with fresh cilantro and sliced green onions just before serving. This adds a pop of color and freshness to the dish, elevating its visual appeal and flavor profile.
  2. Serve with Lime Wedges: Provide lime wedges on the side for squeezing over the chicken before eating. The acidity of the lime juice adds a bright and tangy flavor that complements the savory lemongrass marinade perfectly.
  3. Pair with Vietnamese Dipping Sauce: Serve the grilled chicken with a side of Vietnamese dipping sauce, such as nuoc cham, for dipping or drizzling. This traditional dipping sauce made with fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, garlic, and chili adds an extra layer of flavor and authenticity to the dish.
  4. Serve with Rice and Pickled Vegetables: Accompany the Grilled Lemongrass Chicken with steamed rice and pickled vegetables for a complete Vietnamese meal experience. The rice helps to soak up the flavorful marinade, while the pickled vegetables provide a refreshing contrast to the rich and savory chicken.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigerate Leftovers: Store any leftover Grilled Lemongrass Chicken in an airtight container or tightly wrapped with plastic wrap. Refrigerate promptly and consume within 3-4 days.
  2. Reheat Gently: When reheating the chicken, do so gently to prevent it from drying out. You can reheat it in the microwave for a minute or two or warm it in a skillet over medium heat until heated through.
  3. Use in Leftover Creations: Repurpose leftover Grilled Lemongrass Chicken in various dishes, such as salads, sandwiches, wraps, or stir-fries. Chop or shred the chicken and incorporate it into your favorite recipes for a quick and flavorful meal option.
  4. Freeze for Future Use: If you have more chicken than you can consume within a few days, consider freezing it for later enjoyment. Wrap individual portions or the entire chicken in aluminum foil or plastic wrap, then place in a freezer-safe bag or container. Label with the date and freeze for up to 2-3 months.


  1. Can I use chicken breast instead of chicken thighs for this recipe? Absolutely! While chicken thighs are preferred for their juiciness and flavor, you can certainly use chicken breast if you prefer. Just be mindful of the cooking time, as chicken breast tends to cook faster than thighs. Adjust the grilling time accordingly to ensure the chicken is cooked through without drying out.
  2. Is it necessary to marinate the chicken overnight? Marinating the chicken overnight allows the flavors to fully penetrate the meat, resulting in a more flavorful dish. However, if you’re short on time, you can marinate the chicken for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator before grilling. The longer the marinating time, the more pronounced the flavors will be.
  3. Can I grill this chicken indoors if I don’t have access to an outdoor grill? Yes, you can grill the chicken indoors using a grill pan or an indoor electric grill. Preheat the grill pan or electric grill over medium-high heat and cook the chicken as you would on an outdoor grill. Just be sure to ventilate your kitchen well, as grilling indoors may produce smoke.
  4. What should I serve with Grilled Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken? This chicken pairs well with a variety of side dishes, including steamed rice, vermicelli noodles, or a refreshing Asian-inspired salad. You can also serve it with Vietnamese dipping sauce, pickled vegetables, or fresh herbs for a complete and authentic Vietnamese meal experience.
  5. Can I double or triple the recipe for a larger gathering? Absolutely! This recipe can be easily scaled up to feed a crowd. Simply adjust the quantities of ingredients accordingly and marinate the chicken in batches if necessary. Keep in mind that you may need to increase the grilling time or use multiple grills to accommodate larger quantities of chicken.


Grilled Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken is a delightful fusion of bold flavors and succulent chicken that will transport your taste buds to the streets of Vietnam. Whether served as the main course at a summer barbecue or as a flavorful weeknight dinner, this dish is sure to impress. With its aromatic lemongrass, savory marinade, and tender chicken thighs, it’s a recipe that’s bound to become a favorite in your culinary repertoire. Give it a try and experience the irresistible taste of Vietnam in your own home!

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