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Vietnamese Grilled Lemongrass Chicken

Vietnamese Grilled Lemongrass Chicken, known as "Gà Nướng Sả," is a fragrant and flavorful dish that exemplifies the vibrant and aromatic qualities of Vietnamese cuisine. This dish features chicken marinated in a mixture of lemongrass, garlic, fish sauce, and other seasonings, then grilled to perfection. It is a popular dish in Vietnamese households and restaurants, enjoyed for its balance of savory, sweet, and tangy flavors.

Vietnamese Grilled Lemongrass Chicken

Ingredients:

For the Chicken Marinade:
• Chicken Thighs: 4 boneless, skinless
• Lemongrass: 2 stalks, finely chopped (only the tender white part)
• Garlic: 4 cloves, minced
• Shallots: 2, finely chopped
• Fish Sauce: 3 tablespoons
• Soy Sauce: 2 tablespoons
• Brown Sugar: 2 tablespoons
• Lime Juice: 2 tablespoons (about 1 lime)
• Olive Oil: 2 tablespoons
• Ground Black Pepper: 1/2 teaspoon
For Serving:
• Rice Vermicelli: 8 ounces, cooked according to package instructions
• Fresh Herbs: Mint, cilantro, and Thai basil
• Cucumber: 1, thinly sliced
• Carrots: 1, julienned
• Bean Sprouts: 1 cup
• Peanuts: 1/4 cup, crushed
• Nuoc Cham Sauce:
◦ Fish Sauce: 1/4 cup
◦ Water: 1/4 cup
◦ Lime Juice: 2 tablespoons
◦ Sugar: 2 tablespoons
◦ Garlic: 2 cloves, minced
◦ Red Chili: 1, thinly sliced

Instructions:

1. Prepare the Marinade:
◦ In a large mixing bowl, combine the finely chopped lemongrass, minced garlic, chopped shallots, fish sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, olive oil, and ground black pepper.
◦ Mix well until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
2. Marinate the Chicken:
◦ Add the chicken thighs to the marinade, ensuring each piece is well coated.
◦ Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.
3. Prepare the Nuoc Cham Sauce:
◦ In a small bowl, combine fish sauce, water, lime juice, sugar, minced garlic, and thinly sliced red chili.
◦ Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Adjust seasoning to taste. Set aside.
4. Prepare the Grill:
◦ Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. If using a charcoal grill, ensure the coals are hot and have an even heat distribution.
5. Grill the Chicken:
◦ Remove the chicken from the marinade and let any excess drip off.
◦ Place the chicken on the preheated grill.
◦ Grill for about 6-8 minutes per side, or until the chicken is fully cooked and has a nice char. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C).
◦ Remove from the grill and let rest for a few minutes.
6. Serve:
◦ Slice the grilled chicken and serve over a bed of rice vermicelli.
◦ Garnish with fresh herbs, sliced cucumber, julienned carrots, bean sprouts, and crushed peanuts.
◦ Drizzle with the Nuoc Cham sauce or serve it on the side.

Tips:

Serving Suggestions:
• Serve with extra lime wedges for an added burst of citrus flavor.
• You can also add fresh lettuce leaves to wrap the chicken and noodles for a light, refreshing bite.

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