Vietnamese Stir-fried Spicy Lemongrass Chicken (Ga Xao Sa Ot)

In keeping with Asian tradition of balance, this dish showcases the blending of multiple elements to create a cohesive whole. saltiness from the fish sauce, savory chicken pieces and garlic, sweet caramelized sugar, and spicy pepper all meld perfectly. Add the complexity of lemon grass and this simple dish becomes a masterpiece.

vietnamese spicy lemongrass chicken

Stir-fried Spicy Lemongrass Chicken- Ga Xao Sa Ot

This dish is extremely quick and easy to make. It can be made very spicy if desired and is especially great when served with plain white rice.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Southeast Asian, Vietnam
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinate chicken: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Wok or frying pan
  • Bowl


  • 1 Stalk Lemongrass
  • 4 large Boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp Fish sauce
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Black pepper
  • 3 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Caramelized sugar (molasses or omit is OK)


  • Prep – Discard outer leaves and upper ⅔ of lemon grass, Remove tip and chop fine (a food processor can be used). Cut boned chicken into rough 1-inch cubes and place in a bowl. Combine half the fish sauce, sugar, black pepper, ⅔ of the chopped garlic, and chopped lemongrass with the chicken cubes. Marinate for 30 minutes.
  • Cook – Heat oil over high heat. Add remaining garlic then quickly add chicken cubes. Stir-fry for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add cayenne pepper, caramelized sugar, remaining fish sauce. Cook, stirring, 5 minutes more. Serve hot with white rice.


  • Dish may be cooked well in advance and just reheated before serving.


Calories: 199kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 530mg | Potassium: 215mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 131IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg

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