Cho Lon’s Lemongrass Chili Chicken

Luke’s cookbook version of this dish.

I am rediscovering my Luke Nguyen cookbook: My Vietnam: Stories and Recipes. Among the many recipes I have enjoyed is the lemongrass chicken. I departed from this recipe and served it over a green tea noodle salad (marinated with cilantro, sesame oil, coconut aminos, fish sauce, and rice wine vinegar). I also used habanero chilies and coconut milk (not coconut water). While I did use fresh lemongrass, I think that in the future I’d rather use the cheapskate version of lemongrass in a squeeze tube. The recipe below is not authentic to Luke’s directions. Here is what I did, based on what I had on hand and inspired by Luke:

Marinade for Chicken:                             

  • 1 T fish sauce
  • 2 t granulated monk fruit
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ t pepper
  • ½ t pepper flakes


  • A small 2 ½ lb chicken or 2 small Cornish game hens, parted into similarly sized parts.  I boned out the thighs and breasts and cut them smaller.  Use your judgement. OR, use chicken thighs.


  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • ¼ C lemongrass (minced or pureed)
  • ¼ C coconut milk
  • 1 C sliced red and yellow onion


  • 2 green onions sliced thinly on the diagonal (1/4 C)
  • ½ habanero, finely sliced


  • Marinate the chicken for 30-60 minutes (fridge).
  • When that time is near, saute the lemongrass and garlic in the oil until fragrant (2 min).
  • Add the chicken and all the juices.  Sear on high to color for 10 minutes, turn to cook.
  • Add coconut milk and onion.
  • Cover and cook for 5 min.
  • Uncover and cook to reduce liquid for another 5 min.
  • Serve over rice or green tea noodle salad.
  • Garnish with green onions and habanero.
My homegrown version. It was tasty!

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