International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Ga Xao Sa

Ga Xao Sa (Vietnamese lemongrass chicken)

(Vietnamese lemongrass chicken)

Image by Gnawme

Average: 4.3 (38 votes)

Gà xào sả, or lemongrass chicken, is one of the better known Vietnamese dishes, often on the menu of Vietnamese restaurants. It is a wonderfully light, refreshing and easy-to-make chicken recipe, with all of the bright flavors of that Southeast Asian nation.

4 to 6 servings


  • Chicken breast or thighs, boneless, skinless and cubed -- 1 pound
  • Lemongrass, white tender part only, minced -- 3 or 4 stalks
  • Cornstarch -- 2 teaspoon
  • Sugar -- 1 teaspoon
  • Pepper -- 1 teaspoon
  • Fish sauce -- 2 tablespoons
  • Peanut, sesame or vegetable oil -- 4 tablespoons
  • Shallots or scallions, minced -- 2 tablespoons
  • Garlic, minced -- 2 cloves
  • Red bell pepper, chopped -- 1
  • Water -- 1/4 cup
  • Brown sugar or caramelized sugar syrup -- 1 tablespoon


  1. In a large bowl, mix the cubed chicken with the lemongrass, cornstarch, sugar, pepper, 1 tablespoon of the fish sauce and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Set aside to marinate for at least 1 hour or for up to 8 hours.
  2. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil in wok or large pot over medium-high flame. Add the scallions or shallots and garlic and stir fry for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the chopped bell pepper and continue to stir fry until it is thoroughly heated and beginning to wilt, 3 or 4 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken and its marinade and continue to stir fry until the chicken is just cooked through, another 3 or 4 minutes.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in the water, remaining fish sauce and brown sugar or caramel syrup. Simmer for another 1 to 2 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve with steamed rice.

Ga Xao Sa Variations

  • Ga Xao Sa Ot (Lemongrass chicken with peanuts): Sprinkle roasted, unsalted peanuts over the top of the finished dish.
  • Bo Xao Sa (Lemongrass beef): Substitute thinly sliced beef for the chicken.
  • Tom Xao Sa (Lemongrass shrimp): Try making the dish with shrimp. They will only need to marinate 30 minutes or so.
  • For a creamy curry variation of this dish, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of curry powder to the scallions and garlic when you stir fry them. Substitute coconut milk for the water at the end of the recipe.


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