We frequently pass by The Slanted Door on our trips to the Saturday morning Ferry Plaza CUESA farmers market. One Saturday after the market we decided to stop and eat on the patio. The drinks and food were fantastic. A menu full of modern Vietnamese delights. We ordered several dishes including the spicy lemongrass chicken, crab cellophane noodles, and pho bo (beef soup).
We love this recipe for Spicy Lemongrass chicken and you can find even more recipes from Charles Phan in his cookbook – The Slanted Door: Modern Vietnamese Food. We’d much rather make this than get delivery Chinese food. Usually if you don’t normally make ethnic foods, you need to go out and buy all kinds of specific ingredients, but with this you only need a few basic staples like fish sauce and oyster sauce, and you’ll like these recipes so much that you will use them over and over again.
Two of our favorite recipes are the Spicy Lemongrass Chicken and the Caramelized Black Pepper Chicken. We serve the spicy lemongrass chicken along with rice and vegetables like green beans. We recommend pairing it with dry wine like a very dry Gewürztraminer.
Better Than Takeout Spicy Lemongrass Chicken
- 1 ½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- ¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 plump stalks of lemongrass, white inner bulb only, minced
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ¼ cup Chinese cooking wine, sake or water
- ½ cup Vietnamese Stir-fry Sauce, (see recipe below)
- 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon Asian chili paste
- 4 large scallions, cut into 1/2-inches
- 5 small dried red chiles
- 1 large jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 ½ cups chicken stock
- ¼ cup, plus 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- In a bowl, toss the chicken with the 2 tablespoons of oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 3/4 teaspoon of pepper.
- In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and stir-fry the chicken over high heat until lightly browned. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
- Heat the remaining oil in the skillet. Stir-fry the lemongrass, onion, and garlic for about 1-2 minutes. Add the wine and cook until slightly reduced. Add the Vietnamese Stir-fry Sauce, oyster sauce, chili paste, scallions, dried chiles and jalapeno. Bring to a boil and then add the chicken and simmer until you're happy with the sauce consistency. You can always add a little bit more of the liquid ingredients if you want more sauce.
- Bring the stock to a boil. Add the fish sauce and sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool to use.