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Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken and Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce

4 July 2024

Juicy chicken, crispy and charred chicken skin dipped in a tangy sweet and spicy dipping sauce. Yuhum! My kind of food. 

Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken and Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce

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Dinner, side, snack Vietnamese, Asian
By Saffron Serves: 4 as a side
Prep Time: 10 minutes + 1 hour marinading Cooking Time: 45 minutes Total Time: 55 minutes + 1 hour marinading


  • Lemongrass Chicken
  • 1 medium shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1 large lemongrass stalk, outer tough leaves removed, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • Good amount freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • zest from 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar or honey
  • 4 chicken thighs & legs bone-in and skin-on
  • Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 long red chili, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
  • To serve
  • Small bunch koriander leaves
  • Spring onions, finely chopped
  • Lime wedges on the side



Start by adding all the marinade ingredients into a blender and blend until a smooth paste. Add this to a large bowl together with the chicken and massage the marinade into the chicken. Let the chicken marinade for at least 1 hour and upto 24 hours.


When ready to cook preheat the oven to 220°C with the oven rack in the middle.


Place a wire rack on top of a foil lined baking tray and brush oil onto the wire rack to prevent sticking.


Place the chicken skin side down onto the wire rack and roast for 20 minutes. Flip the chicken skin-side up and rotate the tray 180 degrees. Bake for another 20-25 minutes until the skin is evenly browned, slightly charred and the meat is cooked through (the thickest part of the meat registers 172°C on a meat thermometer).


While the chicken is roasting make the dipping. Mix everything together, taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.


Serve the chicken with the dipping sauce and sprinkle with the koriander leaves and spring onions.

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