Grilled Vietnamese Lemongrass Cilantro Chicken is delicious in salads, sandwiches, summer rolls, or as a main course. I love summer grilling, and am always looking for new ways to grill chicken. Grilled food is popular in Southeast Asia, and the fragrant flavors are a nice change from the typical American barbecue.
I visited Vietnam many years ago as part of a corporate incentive trip, and I still remember how hot it was. Lunch was a cold buffet, nothing too memorable. It wasn’t until I met a local Vietnamese American woman that I tasted delicious pho and a cool Vietnamese noodle salad served with fresh herbs and fried Vietnamese spring rolls for the first time. I’ve been intrigued ever since. There are similarities between Vietnamese and Thai cuisine, but I find Vietnamese food more subtle in flavor.
Vietnamese Lemongrass Cilantro Chicken Marinade
The marinade for Vietnamese Lemongrass Cilantro Chicken is rich and flavorful. Lemongrass can be found at Asian grocers, but can also sometimes be found in the fresh herb section of supermarkets. Fish sauce is more readily available in the Asian section of supermarkets these days.
It’s important to marinate the chicken for several hours for best flavor. Marinating overnight in the refrigerator is even better. You can use either chicken on the bone, or boneless chicken.
To prevent sticking when grilling this chicken, drizzle oil on a piece of foil placed on a baking sheet and lay the chicken on top. Drizzle a little more oil on top of the chicken, and slide the whole piece of foil onto the grill. This is my favorite trick when grilling chicken and fish for non-stick cooking and easy cleanup.
This Vietnamese grilled chicken would be delicious served with a cool salad of cooked Asian rice noodles, salad greens, and fresh herbs (cilantro, mint, Thai basil), tossed with Vietnamese dipping sauce, and chopped roasted peanuts.
Vietnamese Lemongrass Cilantro Chicken
- 1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast
- 2 tablespoons minced lemongrass
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon gluten free soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon organic sugar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup minced cilantro leaves
Mix marinade ingredients together in a large bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Grill until cooked through.