Lemongrass chicken (ga xao sa ot)

Yield: 4 Servings

Measure Ingredient
Stephen Ceideburg
2 pounds Chicken parts
2 Stalks lemongrass
2 tablespoons Fish sauce
1 teaspoon Sugar
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon Freshly ground pepper
3 Green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon Minced garlic
Oil, for stir frying
2 Fresh red chiles, seeded and julienned
1 Handful fresh basil or mint leaves or a combination (optional)

1. Chop chicken with a cleaver into braising pieces about 1 inch thick. Remove tops and tough outer leaves of lemongrass and slice tender hearts as thin as possible. In a bowl combine chicken, lemongrass, 1 tablespoon of the fish sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, green onions, and garlic and toss to season chicken evenly. Marinate ½ to 1 hour.

2. in a wok or skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chile, stir-fry a few seconds, and add chicken mixture. Stir-fry until chicken shows no trace of pink (about 10 minutes). Add a little water if necessary to prevent scorching. When chicken is done sprinkle with remaining fish sauce, toss with basil or mint if used, and transfer to serving platter. Serves 4 with other dishes.

Variation: Use 1 pound boneless chicken, cut into ¼-inch cubes, and cook over high heat (about 2 or 3 minutes).

From the California Culinary Academy's "Southeast Asian Cooking", Jay Harlow, published by the Chevron Chemical Company, 1987. ISBN 0-89721-098-0.

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