Recipe: Lemongrass chicken

14 September 2023
Recipe: Lemongrass chicken

Like many Thai dishes, this quick chicken dish is packed with flavour

I know with absolute certainty why this dish is a big hitter on the School of Wok YouTube channel. Like many Thai curries and stews, it's bold in flavour, but it can be cooked in a fraction of the time it takes for some of the slower-cooked recipes. That means less time spent salivating over the stove and more time to eat. This fierce stir-fry will make your mouth water and your guests' too – if you haven't picked it all out of the wok before they arrive!

Serves 2


  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into large chunks
  • 1tbs chicken stock or water
  • ½ white or brown onion, finely sliced
  • 2-3 lime leaves
  • Handful of Thai basil leaves
  • Vegetable oil
  • Curry paste
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, trimmed, bruised and finely chopped
  • ½ thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped -½ thumb-sized piece of turmeric, peeled and finely chopped (swapsies: 1tsp ground turmeric)
  • 5-6 lime leaves, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • 1tbs light soy sauce
  • 1tbs fish sauce
  • ½tbs palm sugar
  • 50ml chicken stock

Pound the paste ingredients together using a pestle and mortar, adding them one at a time, or blitz them in a food processor to form a smooth paste (you may need to add a tablespoon or so of water).

Mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.

Place the chicken pieces in a bowl. Mix one tablespoon of the curry paste with the chicken stock or water and massage it into the chicken.

Build Your Wok Clock [see book review for details]: Start at 12 o'clock with the marinated chicken, followed by the rest of the curry paste, the onion, the sauce, lime leaves and lastly the Thai basil leaves.

Heat 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wok on a high heat until smoking hot. Add the marinated chicken and sear for a minute without moving, then fold the chicken over to sear on the other side for another minute or so. Once the chicken has a nice crisp edge and is fully browned, push it to the side of the wok. Add the curry paste to the centre of the wok, then the onion and fold the chicken over the mixture to incorporate and prevent the meat from burning.

After about a minute, the onion should start to wilt. At this point, increase the heat and allow the wok to smoke before pouring the sauce around the edges of the wok. Bring to a vigorous boil, fold the chicken through and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the lime leaves and Thai basil leaves to finish and serve immediately.

Simple Family Feasts by Jeremy Pang (Hamlyn, £22)

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