When I moved to Australia, I found that the BBQ was fascinating as it is a great way to know new people and introduce yourself through the food you brought. For my long weekend getaway, I prepared one of my most favourite Thai dish; Thai Lemongrass Chicken – Parita Nobthai of @thecrafthumpy
The Australian BBQ is a huge tradition in our culture, we love them. We look forward to our weekend breaks and the great Aussie barbie is such a part of our leisure time – Australian Information Stories, 2019
When I moved to Australia, I found that the BBQ was fascinating as it is a great way to know new people and introduce yourself through the food you brought. For my long weekend getaway, I prepared one of my most favourite Thai dish; Thai Lemongrass chicken.
Lemongrass is one of the core ingredients in many Thai dishes. It is the main ingredient in the World-renown Thai dish like “Tom Yum Kung” (Thai Spicy Soup with prawns) and it also combines with different types of Thai dish as a soup base, curry paste or in many types of Thai salad. In Thailand, lemongrass is not only a vegetable grown in many Thai backyards, it is also an economic crops that has many benefits as a culinary herb in Asian cuisines and also has medicinal purposes.
A small tip for using lemongrass is to keep the white and thick part near the root of lemongrass as it is full of intense flavours. You must peel one or two layers out and cut the end that was connected to the root for hygienic purpose. It’s better to take the leaves out as is too spiky, you can keep them for a soup base.
To extend the life of the lemongrass is simple, just clean them well, cut them into 3-inch lengths, put in the glass container and then keep them in the freezer. If it’s hard to find fresh lemongrass, get a frozen O-Cha lemongrass whole from your nearby Asian supermarkets. It tastes exactly like the fresh one and is more convenient, especially for someone who lives in the desert like me.
In today’s dish, lemongrass is the hero of the dish so we will try to preserve the beautiful fragrance of the lemongrass by using soy sauce instead of fish sauce because fish sauce has a strong smell which will overpower the aromatics of the lemongrass.
Thai BBQ Lemongrass Chicken Ingredients
- Chicken thighs 1 kg
- Lemongrass 4 – 5 sticks
- Soy sauce 3 tablespoons
- Palm sugar 2 tablespoons
- Salt 1 teaspoon
- Bird-eye chilli 3-4 each
- Red/Green Long chilli 2 each
- Kaffir lime leaf 5 leaves
- Milk 1 cup
- Garlic 6 – 8 cloves
- Coriander roots 3 roots
- Pepper 1 teaspoon
Tamarind Dipping Sauce Ingredients
- Tamarind paste 1 teaspoon
- Palm sugar 1-2 tablespoon
- Salt a little pinch
- Dried Chilli flakes 1-2 teaspoon
How to marinate
- Crush garlic, coriander roots and pepper using a pestle and mortar
- Slice lemongrass, bird-eye chilli and long chilli and add sliced lemongrass and chillies in to mortar and mix with ingredients prepared in the first step
- Clean chicken thighs and lay them flat in the bowl or tray. Use a fork to pinch on the chicken to help with absorbing.
- Put all crushed ingredients from second step on the chicken thigh, add soy sauce, palm sugar, salt and milk
- Mix everything together and leave it in the fridge for 4-6 hours
- Cook marinated lemongrass chicken on BBQ and eat
How to make dipping sauce
- Add a dash of water in a saucepan
- Add palm sugar and tamarind paste, bring to the boil and stir well until it’s sticky
- Add a pinch of salt and taste if it’s sweet and sour as it needs to go with grilled chicken thigh that will be slightly salty
- Sprinkle on some chilli flakes, depending on how much spiciness you want
- Remove from heat and put dipping sauce in a cup then sprinkle some chopped spring onion on top
To prepare for our Thai BBQ lemongrass chicken, we chopped all fresh ingredients and traditionally used a mortar and pestle to the crush garlic, coriander roots, chillies and lemongrass together as we want good texture in the marinade however you can use the blender if it’s more convenient. In this recipe we use milk to make our chicken thigh juicy and tender. You can follow this recipe using pork as well with pork neck being the recommended cut.