We hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and a belated Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there. Before we share our Ga xao xa ot recipe (aka Lemongrass Chicken), we wanted to let you see the Sri-Lankan feast Momager laid out for Father’s day.
Springhoppers (noodle pancake) with coconut curry gravy, fresh coconut sambal, stuffed peppers, beef curry, goat curry, a fried rice (not Sri-Lankan), fishcakes, 2 kinds of dhal, spicy potatoes and ribs. Momager went all out. We usually host my parents on Father’s Day but Momager insisted with the whole ear thing. Everything was delicious including the goat. I’m not usually a goat-eater mostly because I’ve had some bad experiences with goat that wasn’t cleaned properly but hers had me going back for seconds. It’s hard to believe Momager didn’t know how to cook when she got married.
OK, now for our own culinary attempt – Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken. This might be Micah’s favorite Vietnamese dish hands down. A few months back, Micah asked me if I’d attempt to make Ga xao xa ot which I agreed to mostly because we had everything in the pantry.
My first attempt was OK. The flavors were fine but the big problem was the size of my lemongrass. I couldn’t chop it fine enough. The pieces were to big and made for a lot of chewing. Last weekend I found the answer to my lemongrass problem when I finally found minced frozen lemongrass (I knew it existed, I just couldn’t find it). I got a 6 oz container for $0.89. Sorry, I thought I had a picture of it but apparently not.
The minced lemongrass and a new recipe made all the difference (of course). It was perfect.
Ga xao xa ot (Lemongrass Chicken) adapted from the Ravenous Couple
- 1 lbs dark chicken meat cut in sections 1.5-2 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock or water
- 2 green onions, cut about 1 inch segments
- cooking oil
- 2 minced shallots
- 4 cloves of minced garlic
- 2 stalks lemongrass, mince the tender white end
- 3 tbs of red chili pepper flakes (use more or less according to taste)
- 1.5 tbs of sugar
- 2 tbs of fish sauce
- 1 tbs of sesame oil
- 1/2 ts of turmeric powder
- 1/2 tbs of fresh ground pepper
In a large wok or frying pan on medium high heat, add about 1-2 tbs of cooking oil and fry garlic, shallots and lemongrass until they are fragrant but not yet browned. Then add chili pepper flakes, sugar, fish sauce, sesame oil and turmeric. Cook until it becomes a caramel like sauce. Turn on high heat and add the chicken and sear until outside is browned, and stir occasionally. Add stock/water, cover and cook until juice is reduced by about half. Make final seasoning adjustments and add the green onions just before turning off heat.
For the record, I want to say the the only reason I adapted the recipe was because I decided to change recipes 10 minutes before cooking and didn’t have time to marinate the chicken for 2 hours. I turned the marinade into the sauce. I also used palm sugar instead of regular sugar because, well, I had it and wanted to use it. You can make yours as spicy as you like. We like this dish with a bit of a kick so we went with a little more chili pepper flake. I really like this recipe and think maybe the turmeric made the difference. The last recipe was missing something and I have the feeling that was it. This is definitely going into our regular dinner rotation.
Also, I’m so excited that I stumbled upon the Ravenous Couple. There are so many recipes we want to try including the Caramelized Shrimp and Pork Belly.
Anyone else recently discover how to recreate a favorite meal at home?