Stir-Fried Chicken with lemon grass (Gai Ta Krai)

Lemon grass is often used in big pieces for flavoring dishes, but for this Thai recipe it's heavily bruised so it can be eaten along with the chicken. Both the lemon grass and garlic become darkly caramelized and richly flavored during cooking. Thai treat your family and friends (including the kids!) will absolutely love!

  • 2 stalks fresh lemon grass
  • 1 lb chicken thighs, boneless and skinless is preferred; wash thoroughly and cut thighs in half)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground Red Curry Paste (prik haeng)
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 4 tbsp peanut oil
  • Cut off the woody tops and bottoms of the lemon grass.
  • Remove the outer 2-3 layers of the stalk and finely sliced.
  • Bruise the lemon grass by hitting it with the back of a Chinese cleaver or pound it in a mortar and pestle.
  • Combine bruised lemon grass, chicken thighs, garlic, black pepper, ground Thai chili, palm sugar, salt, and fish sauce in a bowl.
  • Mix thoroughly and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hr.
  • Heat a wok over medium-high heat and add the peanut oil, swirling to coat the entire surface.
  • Heat the oil for 1 minute and add the marinated chicken mixture.
  • Stir-fry for 15 minutes (the chicken and sauce will thicken and become caramelized).
  • Remove from heat and serve with cold cucumber slices, lettuce, and jasmine rice or sticky rice.