Aromatic Asian pan-fried lemongrass chicken is healthy, gluten-free, and takes less than 25 minutes to prep and cook!! Now that's what I call the perfect weeknight meal... or any night really! Because when you have a recipe this good, you will want to cook it over and over again.
What is Lemongrass?
Lemongrass is a grass that originates in Asia and is used in many Asian cuisines. It has an incredible lemony aroma which fills the room when you are chopping it up. And just wait until you start cooking with it... the aroma is absolutely mouth-watering. It literally draws the whole family into the kitchen.
Not only does lemongrass smell amazing, but it tastes amazing. It has a powerful and delicious earthy lemony flavour with such a unique taste. So just imagine what lemongrass does to the marinade!
What is in Lemongrass Chicken?
- chicken thighs - skinless and boneless.
- lemongrass - fresh lemongrass, finely chopped.
- soy sauce
- sesame oil
- ground black pepper
- cayenne pepper - optional, for a spicy kick.
- vegetable oil - for pan frying the chicken.
- cilantro - optional, for garnish.
How to Make the Best Lemongrass Chicken
- In a ziploc bag, combine chicken, chopped lemongrass, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar and pepper. [Note: To make things easy, I chopped up the lemongrass in a food processor.] Add cayenne pepper if you want this to be spicy. Seal and shake ziploc bag to evenly disperse marinade with the chicken. Place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour, but preferably for 2 hours.
- Heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Place chicken on the pan and cook for 7 minutes per side, or until each side is nicely browned and the internal temperature of the thighs is 165˚F (75˚C).
- Slice into strips and serve over a bowl of steamed white rice sprinkled with sesame seeds. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
FAQ and Tips for Making Lemongrass Chicken
- Make sure to marinate the chicken. The key to this recipe, and the key to achieving tender, juicy chicken thighs every single time is the lemongrass marinade. You need to make sure that the chicken sits in the marinade for at least 1 hour (personally, I prefer 2 hours). So yes, although this is the perfect weeknight meal because it takes less than 25 minutes to prep and cook, you do need to think ahead about the time you need to allow the chicken to marinate.
- Plan ahead. I suggest whipping up the marinade as soon as you get home from work, so that by the time dinnertime rolls around, you literally spend 14 minutes on the stove cooking the chicken. Or better yet, marinate the chicken the night before, or in the morning.
- How to prepare fresh lemongrass. When preparing lemongrass, only use the middle part of the stalk where the flavour is (the green part). Discard about 1 inch from the bottom and two inches from the top (there's no flavour in these parts).
- What is the texture like? The lemongrass gives the chicken a crunchy texture. If you don't like this texture, you can use a combination of fresh lemongrass and lemongrass powder, or substitute with lemongrass powder completely. To get it super fine, pour the entire marinade into a blender and pulse until smooth.
- How to grill lemongrass chicken. You can throw this chicken on the grill instead. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat and grill for about 6-7 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the chicken reads 165 F.
- How to serve lemongrass chicken. I like to serve this lemongrass chicken over a bowl of steamed rice or coconut rice sprinkled with black sesame seeds. It is also delicious with a bowl of noodles, a banh mi sandwich, or simply on their own.
More Asian-inspired Recipes
- Vietnamese Salad Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce
- Lemongrass Chicken Banh Mi Sandwich
- 10-Minute Chicken Pad Thai
- Shanghai Style Fried Noodles
- 10-Minute Fried Rice with Shrimp
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.