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Easy Thai Lemongrass Chicken Recipe

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Easy Thai lemongrass chicken recipe makes a light and healthy meal perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. This fragrant stir-fry dish is made with fresh herbs, spices, and traditional seasonings like fish sauce and oyster sauce.

Top-down view of Thai lemongrass chicken stir-fry with red chilies in a bamboo dish.

What is Thai lemongrass chicken stir-fry

Thai lemongrass chicken stir-fry is a savory dish with a rich blend of Asian flavors. It’s made with pieces of chicken, cooked with a sauce infused with fragrant lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and fresh chilies.


Close-up of chicken lemongrass stir-fry, garnished with lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves, with a portion of sticky rice.

Long work days used to make me crave comfort food so badly, I’d trade a whole week of eating healthy for a plate of something delicious.

That’s how I used to fall into the fast-food trap.

These days, I get into the kitchen and whip up a recipe from scratch – and that’s how this Thai lemongrass chicken recipe came into existence. It’s comfort food without the guilt!

Right side of a bamboo dish with lemongrass chicken stir-fry, garnished with lemongrass strips.

The lemongrass sauce is so irresistibly aromatic, and I savored every last drop like it was my last meal ever!

If you’re ever racing against the clock, this Thai-style lemongrass chicken is faster to make than takeout is to deliver. And the leftovers can be tossed into a Thai salad or rolled into wraps for tomorrow’s lunch!

5 reasons to try this chicken lemongrass recipe

  • Perfect for meal prep: Simply double the recipe and store the leftovers in the fridge. That’s lunch or dinner sorted for the next day. (It’s even better the day after!)
  • Healthy and light: Lean chicken and nutritious herbs and spices make this a guilt-free meal loaded with protein, perfect for after a workout or coming home late from work refueling.
  • Quick and easy: This easy Thai lemongrass chicken recipe comes together in no time. It’s perfect for when you’re looking for a quick dish without too much hassle.
  • One-of-a-kind: You’re not going to stumble upon this lemongrass chicken stir-fry in cookbooks, it’s the magical result of “Let’s add a bit of this and that” in my kitchen.
  • Versatile: This stir-fry allows you to toss in your favorite vegetables and experiment with different flavors. Not the biggest fan of chicken? Try pork, beef, tofu, shrimp, or other seafood.

Ingredients

Ingredients can be sourced at Asian grocery stores and Asian markets.
The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the end of this post.


Bird's eye view of this recipe's ingredients; water, garlic, chilies, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, chicken, fish sauce, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, and white sugar.
  • Chicken – Go for boneless chicken breasts or thighs, depending on your preference for lean vs more flavor. Chicken thighs are juicier and more forgiving if you’re worried about dry overcooked chicken.
  • Fresh chili peppers – Thai bird’s eye chilies add a spicy heat to balance the other flavors. For a milder dish, use serrano peppers, or omit the chilies altogether.
  • Kaffir lime leaves – A key ingredient in Southeast Asian cuisine with their citrusy notes, they can elevate every dish’s flavor. Simply tear them into small pieces or cut them into thin strips.
  • Lemongrass – The key ingredient – lemongrass – adds a unique citrusy flavor. Use the tender inner stalks and slice thinly.
  • Garlic – The foundation for many Thai stir-fry recipes. Fresh is best, garlic powder doesn’t compare. Simply finely chop it for a blend with the other ingredients.
  • Dark soy sauce – Dark soy sauce adds depth and color to stir-fries.
  • Oyster sauce – Brings a salty richness that makes the sauce irresistible.
  • Fish sauce – The key ingredient of Thai cuisine. Brings a salty, umami flavor that’s irreplaceable. A little goes a long way.
  • White sugar – A pinch of sugar balances the other flavors. You can experiment with palm sugar for a caramel-like touch.
  • Water – Water makes the sauce the perfect consistency for soaking into the chicken and rice. Use sparingly, you can always add more later.

Cooking instructions

  1. Crush spices

    Top-down view of crushed garlic, chilies, and lemongrass paste in a granite mortar.

    Pound the garlic, chilies, and lemongrass with a mortar and pestle.

  2. Cook the spice mixture

    Cooking herbs and spices in a wok.

    Add oil to a large wok or skillet over medium heat. Sauté the spice mixture until fragrant, or approx 20 seconds.

  3. Cook the chicken

    Stir-fried chicken coated with herbs and spices in large wok.

    Add chicken and stir-fry until cooked through.

  4. Add seasonings and kaffir lime leaves

    Thai lemongrass chicken stir-fry in a large pan.

    Stir in dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, white sugar, water, and add kaffir lime leaves. Thoroughly mix and serve immediately.

For more delicious Thai chicken recipes, also see: gai pad med mamuang (Thai chicken cashew), Thai garlic pepper chicken, and chicken pineapple fried rice.

Kitchen tools

  • Cutting board & chef’s knife
  • Measuring spoons & cups
  • Non-stick wok
  • Spatula

How to serve

Serve for lunch or dinner with steamed jasmine rice or brown rice. For a low-carb meal, simply combine stir-fried lemongrass chicken with fresh vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, or tomatoes.

Garnishing options

  • Fresh chilies: Chopped fresh chili peppers add heat and a pop of color.
  • Lime wedge: Place a lime wedge on the side for those who like a sour flavor.
  • Fresh herbs: Sprinkle with fresh cilantro, chopped green onions, or freshly chopped lemongrass for a pop of color and extra flavor.

Combine with other Thai meals

Serve with one of my spicy Thai salads like som tum Thai (papaya salad), Thai pomelo salad, long bean salad, or this refreshing Thai cucumber salad.

How to store

Let your dish cool down to room temperature and transfer the chicken into an airtight container. The leftovers will stay good for up to 3–4 days when stored in the refrigerator.

Freezing instructions: Transfer to a freezer-safe container or freezer bag. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight or defrost in the microwave.

Reheating instructions: Reheat in a skillet over medium heat. Optionally, add a splash of water to revive the sauce. Additionally, you can put the chicken in a microwave-safe container and microwave until warm.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ’s)

What does lemongrass chicken taste like?

Lemongrass chicken stir-fry is incredibly aromatic and citrusy with a hint of spice, combining the flavors of lemongrass, tender chicken, kaffir lime leaves. Seasonings like oyster sauce and fish sauce contribute to a salty and umami flavor profile.

What to eat with lemongrass chicken?

Lemongrass chicken can be enjoyed with a portion of steamed white rice or brown rice. Additionally, you can pair it with a salad or other side-dishes.

What vegetables go with lemongrass chicken?

Any vegetables that fit into a stir-fry. Bell peppers, zucchini, Thai eggplants, broccoli, etc.

Can I make this recipe vegetarian?

Yes, substitute the chicken with tofu and use vegan fish sauce and vegetarian oyster sauce.

Is this recipe gluten-free?

Opt for gluten-free soy sauce and oyster sauce, and check the labeling of all other ingredients to ensure they are gluten-free.

More Thai recipes with lemongrass

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Easy Thai Lemongrass Chicken Recipe

Bird's eye view of Thai lemongrass chicken stir-fry in a bamboo dish, with red chilies and flowers for decoration.
This recipe for Thai lemongrass chicken stir-fry comes together quick and easy.
Praew
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Cuisine Thai
Course Main Course
Serving Size 2 people

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 chilies Thai chilies, to taste
  • 2 lemongrass
  • 18 ounces chicken thin slices
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon white sugar
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves

Instructions

  • Pound the garlic, chilies, and lemongrass with a mortar and pestle.
  • Add oil to a large wok or skillet over medium heat. Sauté the spice mixture until fragrant, or approx 20 seconds.
  • Add chicken and stir-fry until cooked through.
  • Stir in dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, white sugar, water, and add kaffir lime leaves. Thoroughly mix and serve immediately.

Notes

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • Feel free to adjust the spiciness and add vegetables if you like.

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3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Trying it tonight! But have made it before, similar without the black soy. So I’m interested to see if the dark soy makes a difference it’s an amazing dish, I use serrano peppers because they’re easier to find and very hot. So delicious!!

5 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)

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