Chili and Lemongrass Chicken

Have you tried resisting a food because you don’t like how it smells?

I am sorry that I dislike some food because of their smell. Also, there are ingredients I don’t like using just because I don’t like the smell. Somehow, when I started baking and blogging, I started to explore… one at a time.

One of the things I dislike is fish sauce. However, there are mouth-watering foods you could see all over Instagram (WordPress as well) that use fish sauce. I never tried making those. I saw a photo of a dipping sauce that goes well with fried fish; I asked my friend how she made the sauce. When I read the text fish sauce I wanted to tell her Okay, forget that I asked.

Of course, I did not say that.

Instead, I told her that I don’t like how fish sauce smells. She said ‘Yeah, I don’t even like how it smells, but it tastes good.’ Okay, she has convinced me at that moment. Still, I never bought fish sauce. One time in a grocery store, my friend caught me staring at the bottle of fish sauce and she told me to buy it so I can try. And finally, I did.

The bottle of fish sauce stayed inside the cupboard for months. 😀 I discarded all the recipes I found with fish sauce… sorry.

But one night, before I went to sleep, I’ve come across this video –

Okay, so who wouldn’t be convinced? I did not have second thoughts – I really wanted to try this dish. One thing came up – I never cooked anything curry except my favorite curry… for how many long years. I thought maybe this is the right time to bend my usage of curry powder.


Chili and Lemongrass Chicken

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 lemongrass stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 300 g chicken thigh, bone-in or deboned
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 100 ml chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Freshly squeezed lemon/lime juice, to drizzle (optional)


  1. In a bowl, mix lemongrass, chili, garlic and fish sauce.
  2. In another bowl, place the chicken and half of the above mixture. Cover and keep in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. Reserve the rest of the lemongrass mixture.
  3. In a non-stick pan with medium-high heat, add the reserved lemongrass mixture and curry powder. Cook for a minute until fragrant.
  4. Add in marinated chicken and cook for about 4-5 minutes.
  5. Add chicken stock and coconut milk. Simmer for about 5 minutes on low heat or until the sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Serve with white rice and garnish with spring onions if desired. Drizzle with lemon/lime juice, if using.

Source recipe: Chili and Lemongrass Chicken by Donal Skehan

The fish sauce smell was all over the house and while cooking, I convinced myself that this will be a good dish. And you know me… I don’t really stick to recipes when it comes to cooking (I mean, who does?) so I added a little bit of coconut milk. And it tastes just amazing as Chicken Curry.

And oh, I drizzled lemon all over my meal and it was awesome. 😀

I am taking this at Fiesta Friday hosted by the ever-amazing Angie @ The Novice Gardener  …also at Foodie Fridays, Sweet and Savoury Sundays.

I hope you enjoy this. Happy weekend. Happy Fiesta Friday. Happy Foodie Fridays. 😉


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65 thoughts on “Chili and Lemongrass Chicken

  1. This looks great, I love meals like this. Fish sauce smells bad, but it does work wonders in authentic recipes. Thanks for linking up to Sweet and Savoury Sunday, stop by and link up again. Have a great day!!

    1. Hello, Laura! It’s embarrassing that I haven’t answered your comments when you were still hosting the party. This tells me that I might have more unanswered comments. And it’s not too late to say thank you for stopping by. 🙂

    1. Hi, Lily! I came to visit this post of mine and found unanswered comments. I don’t know how that happened. But anyway, it’s not too late to say thank you. 😀

  2. I can make a huuuuge list of the ingredients/recipes that I didn’t want try because of their smells. Of course, among them there are some that now are among my preferred… Your chicken looks so good that I’m very happy you changed your mind as well!

    1. Hello, Margy! It’s crazy how come I haven’t seen this comment. One year back? Shame on me!
      Anyway, thank you so much and I am glad you could relate with me. Somehow, blogging taught me how to explore foods, as well as ingredients. 🙂

  3. I agree with you, fish sauce smells disgusting! But it creates the most wonderful flavour, a little bit like magic!
    This looks delicious and I bet the ready dish smelled mouthwatering! 🙂

    1. It is indeed magic, Petra. I was expecting that I would only take little serving, but I was wrong. The dish is completely delicious. Thank you for stopping by. 🙂

  4. Looks absolutely divine! I’m so glad you decided to give the fish sauce a go! And have you changed your layout or is it just me? If you have, I think it looks wonderful! If not – well, it still looks wonderful!! XD

  5. This is just a gorgeous dish, Jhuls! I love the flavours of lemongrass and fish sauce! Here’s a hint about fish sauce. Always mix equal parts fish sauce and lime juice to neutralize the flavour of the fish sauce. It has the most wonderful flavour, and no fishy smell or taste! 🙂

    1. Haha. You are funny, Michelle. 😀 I hope I’d never ever smell fish sauce again. 😛 Thank you for being here, Michelle. I hope you are having a great time. ❤

  6. Lemongrass has been on my long list of things to start cooking with but I’ve been hesitant… this recipe may have to be my introduction to it! This looks amazing (as always, Jhuls!) Happy FF! 😀

    1. Thank you so much, Tracy. And thanks for co-hosting again. I’d love to hear about your future fish sauce encounter. 😀 I hope you are having a lovely week. ❤

  7. Fabulous looking dish, Jhuls. I love Donal Skehan’s recipes…though I’ve never tried this one. Thanks for bringing it to life for me. 🙂
    Love the new look your blog is sporting too!

    1. I found a new recipe from him – Baked Alaska and it’s looking so good . Thank you for being here, Nancy. Have a lovely week ahead. ❤

      I was supposed to change in on New Year's Day (you know, new year, new look) but I just couldn't wait. 😀 Thanks again, Nancy. 😀

  8. Just a suggestion, but a lot of people are sensitive to cumin – Try using it in teensy amounts, much less than the recipe calls for – it will give just an elusive taste that you didn’t know was missing and not overwhelm so much. Your recipe looks so much better than the cook online’s!! I just got a chance to go check it out.

    1. Hmm, that’s a good suggestion. I will try that when a recipe calls for cumin. Thanks for the compliment and for stopping by. Have a wonderful weekend. 🙂

  9. I completely understand your point about fish sauce – I have never tried using it, either! But with your shining example leading the way, who knows … I might even buy a bottle 😉
    The recipe does look tempting!

    1. I did not even like the smell when I was cooking this because of the fish sauce, but let’s not judge the smell alone. 😀 I was also offered Mandi (I think it’s like a biryani) long time ago and I refused because of the smell. My friend begged me to try it and yeah, it’s not that bad. 🙂

        1. I have seen photos from your Facebook page, Fae. But still haven’t had the chance to read any post. 😦 I will be spending my weekend on blogging (I promised that to myself last weekend) and I will make sure to visit yours. 🙂

  10. I have a hard time cooking anything with cumin in it for my family because they hate the smell of it so much. Sucks, because I actually love cumin…

    This chicken looks delicious Jhuls, thanks for sharing at this week’s FF 🙂

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