Lemongrass chilli chicken (aka Ga Xao Xa Ot)


Ga Xao Xa Ot

It’s funny how at times I cook dinner and forget to include it in my blogs, like tonight’s dish. This is a Vietnamese dish, and is most probably Australianised, but it is one we cook regularly, and have for years. Tonight I felt really tired (Tom was suggesting take away) and then I got the urge to cook this meal. It’s not difficult, and in about 20 mins you can have something delicious on the table.

I first had this meal at a friends house in New Zealand. My work colleague Maria was married to David, who was both a foodie and also leacutred in vituculture (wine making) at the local university. I am not a wino (ie I can taste what’s nice and what’s not), but aside from that, I would have no idea what to serve with what, and when I smell or taste a wine, can’t tell you if there is a hint of ‘something’ in there, or if it was grown in sandy-clayey-loamy soil. You get my drift… Also, I can handle about two glasses of wine before I notice my toes feeling numb.

So when I used to go to Maria and David’s for dinner, he would print out a menu (I kid you not), and have an entree, main and dessert, each with a matching wine. I can’t recall much of what he cooked as I had usually drunk more by the end of entree than in  a whole week, but it was always so delicious that I lost all sense of normal social etiquette and would go and start licking the pots and pans in the kitchen.

So, here’s the recipe they cooked that I just HAD to have. I have used chicken, fish or even tofu in this recipe and it still tastes amazing.


  • 500 gms chicken thigh (this tastes yummier than breast)
  • 1-2 stalks of lemongrass – thinly sliced
  • 8-9 stalks of spring onion – thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • large pinch of pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 fresh red chilli – seeded and shredded (I use a homegrown one which is a tad on the hot side, but doesn’t over power this dish)
  • 1 red capsicum – thinly sliced (0ptional)
  • snow peas (also optional – I throw these in if I have them)
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts

What you will need

  • A wok
  • Served with steamed rice

What to do

  1. Cut the chicken into pieces
  2. Add the lemon grass, chilli, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes to let the flavours infuse
  3. Heat the oil in a wok. Saute the chicken until it starts to brown
  4. Add the sugar and allow to caramelise for a few mins
  5. Add the spring onions, capsicum, snow peas and cook until the colours become vibrant
  6. Add the fish sauce
  7. Just before serving, add the peanuts and heat
  8. Serve over steamed rice.

Serves 4-6.

IMG_8456I love lemongrass!Serve with rice

One Comment Add yours

  1. Kajal says:

    Looks awesome Gerri…..yummmmyyy!!! I might try this for dinner tomorrow….!!


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