One of my go-to recipes is Vietnamese Grilled Lemongrass Chicken aka “Gà nướng xả”.

This dish is not only delicious, yet incredibly easy to prepare, making it perfect for midweek meals or large groups.

What is “Gà Nướng Xả”?

Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken (or Gà Nướng Xả) in Vietnamese, typically refers to chicken grilled with lemongrass.

Lemongrass is a popular herb in Vietnamese cooking, and no wonder—it’s also a favorite ingredient in Southeast Asian kitchens! This zesty herb brings a citrusy kick with a touch of mintiness that really freshens up any dishes.

Actually, this Grilled Lemongrass Chicken is much more popular among overseas Vietnamese than among mainlanders.

An appetizing photo of Vietnamese lemongrass chicken cooked in an air fryer. The chicken is perfectly crispy and golden brown, with a flavorful aroma of lemongrass.

I guess it’s like the chicken version of Lemongrass Pork Chops (Sườn Nướng) in a Cơm Tấm platter.

In Vietnam, locals prefers Gà Xào Xả Ớt (Spicy Lemongrass Chicken), where pieces of chicken are stir-fried with sliced lemongrass and chili, then braised until caramelized.

Vietnamese Spicy Lemongrass Chicken (Gà Xào Xả Ớt) – A flavorful and aromatic dish with succulent chicken infused with lemongrass, chili and other spices.
Spicy Lemongrass Chicken (Gà Xào Xả Ớt)

Ingredients

You can find the ingredients at Asian markets. For precise measurements, refer to the recipe card at the end of this post.

  • Deboned chicken legs or chicken thighs: they have a slightly higher fat content than other parts of the chicken, which makes them incredibly juicy and flavorful.
  • Aromatics: lemongrass, garlic and scallions.
  • Seasonings: fish sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar (or honey).
  • Coconut milk: my secret tip. It helps tenderize the chicken. You could replace coconut milk with milk.
  • Vietnamese lemongrass chili oil (sốt sa tế): it’s optional but I highly recommend.

Instructions

Prepare the marinade: Blend the lemongrass stalk, scallions, garlic with 2-3 tbsp of water. With this method, you will not bite into any uncomfortable lumps of lemongrass

Marinade the chicken: combine the chicken with all these ingredients: blended aromatics, fish sauce, soy sauce, coconut milk, black sugar. Set aside for at least 3 hour, up to 24 hours (or marinate the chicken overnight in the fridge).

Instructions for Air Fryer Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken - Ga Nuong Sa

Cook the chicken: Before cooking, leave the chicken at room-temperature for around 20 minutes. Remove as much as marinade on the chicken (It could prevent the chicken from burning).

  • With air fryer: place the chicken upside down in the air fryer and cook for 10 minutes at 356°F (180°C). Increase the temperature to 400°F (200°C), flip the chicken, air fry for another 5 minutes.
  • With oven: preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) for 15 minutes. Place the chicken on a grill rack with the drip tray underneath, then bake it for 15-20 minutes or until it’s a delicious golden brown.

How to serve Gà Nướng Xả

This tasty lemongrass chicken is a perfect accompaniment to any summertime BBQ or potluck! Enjoy it on its own, or serve it alongside steamed rice, rice noodles, or as a filling for rice paper rolls and Banh Mi baguettes.

Helpful Tips

  • Use fresh lemongrass: To get the best flavor from the lemongrass, use fresh lemongrass stalks.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can freeze them for a month.
  • Frozen, marinated chicken should be consumed within 2-3 weeks.

More Asian Recipes with chicken:

Thanks a bunch for giving my recipe a shot! If you enjoyed it, I’d truly appreciate a 5-star rating or a comment to let me know your thoughts.

And don’t forget to stay in touch with me on InstagramFacebookPinterest, and YouTube 🥰.

An image of Air Fryer Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken served on a plate. The chicken is marinated in a blend of lemongrass, garlic, scallions, and other spices. It is garnished with green onion oil and herbs and served with rice.

Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken (Gà Nướng Xả)

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Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken is both delicious and simple to make, ideal for quick dinners or gatherings. Plus, my recipe ensures no awkward lemongrass lumps.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vietnamese
Servings 2

Equipment

  • 1 Air fryer
  • 1 blender

Ingredients
  

Marinating chicken

  • 1.1 lb deboned chicken thighs (chicken legs) (500g)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 1 big clove garlic
  • 1 scallion
  • 2-3 tbsp water
  • tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp black sugar (or honey)
  • 1 tbsp coconut milk

Condiments

Instructions
 

  • Blend the lemongrass stalk, scallions, garlic with 2-3 tbsp of water. This technique ensures that you won't bite any unpleasant lumps of lemongrass
  • Marinade the chicken with all these ingredients: fish sauce, soy sauce, the previous blended aromatics, coconut milk, black sugar (or honey). Set aside for at least 3 hour, up to 24 hours (I often leave it overnight in the fridge).
  • Allow the chicken to sit at room temperature for approximately 20 minutes before cooking. Ensure to remove excess marinade from the chicken to prevent it from burning.
  • Air fry the chicken upside down for 10 minutes at 356°F (180°C). Increase the temperature to 400°F (200°C), flip the chicken, then air fry it for another 5 minutes.
  • If you're using an oven, preheat it to 400°F (200°C) for 15 minutes. Next, place the chicken on a grill rack with the drip tray underneath, and bake it for 15-20 minutes or until it's beautifully golden brown and delicious.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
5/5 - (50 votes)

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Haircuts
1 year ago

I really appreciate this post. I have been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You’ve made my day! Thanks again

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[…] This Air Fryer Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken recipe is a game-changer! The marinade blends lemongrass, garlic, and scallions, which infuses the chicken with a bold and aromatic flavor that is truly irresistible. Serve it with either noodles or steamed rice, and it’s perfect for midweek meals. […]

Ong KC
Ong KC
5 months ago

5 stars
Dear Cielle, Thank you for the recipe. Made this with leftover fillets of turkey breast. Run out of fish sauce so I used another tbsp soya sauce & added salt. Grilled it on a teflon pan & it came out super tender & moist. I used it to make Banh Mi following your recipe. My hubby said he loves it, tastes so authentic with pickled radish & carrots, fresh cucumber strips & coriander, no Pate bec hubby does not like. I dare say my Banh Mi is almost as good as street vendors in vietnam. Better than some chain store in Singapore. Thank you again for sharing your recipes. God Bless!