Sunday 15 September 2013

Midweek dinner – Vietnamese lemongrass chicken

I made this twice last week, one this week, and a colleague made it too, so it is thoroughly tried and tested.

The recipe says that it serves 3 or 4 as a part of a multi-course meal, so I served it to two of us with 125g of rice and no other courses, and it was plenty. I upped the vegetable content too. The most time-consuming part of the preparation is the chopping, which you need to do before you start cooking. It takes about 5 minutes to cook.
Vietnamese lemongrass chicken

2 tablespoons of fish sauce (I used up all the fish sauce the first night, so the second night I used soy sauce, which was still good, but not as good, I also used one tablespoon of mirrin and one of soy sauce)
2 tablespoons of chicken stock or water
a pinch of sugar
a tablespoon of a high-smoking point oil – olive oil is no good here, so use a specific wok oil
450g skinless, boneless chicken, a mix of breast and thigh meat, cut into slivers (I used one chicken breast; I think that salmon or prawns would work well too, or a bit of pork or beef – whatever you have really)
110g red onion, thinly sliced (I don’t put in the onion as I put loads of spring onion on top, so I used finely sliced leek and carrot instead)
2 minced garlic cloves (or 3) 
about 2 cm of grated ginger
20g lemongrass, finely chopped
1 red or green jalapeno chilli, thinly sliced on the diagonal into rings
2 tablespoons of rice wine
1 teaspoon of chilli paste (I used the Suzi Wan one)
2 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
fresh coriander

In a small bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, stock and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. 
Heat a wok over a high heat until hot. Add the oil and heat until shimmering, but not smoking. Add the chicken and the sliced vegetables, and cook, turning occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned on all sides.
Add the garlic, lemongrass, ginger and jalapeño chilli and cook for 30 seconds longer. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, stirring to dislodge any browned bits.
Add the fish sauce mixture and the chilli paste to the pan and continue cooking for 1 minute more, until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve and garnish with the spring onions and coriander. 

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