lemongrass chicken with dill stew

This has got to be one of my favorite Lao dishes as I’m kind of a nut for anything dill and this dish uses a bunch of fresh dill. My dad as long as I can remember has always grown dill in his garden, so much so that we can’t possibly eat it all so he always cuts and steams a bunch of it and puts it in air-tight glass jars in the freezer for later use, so yeah, never let fresh dill go to waste, it’s too good.

This dish is stew-like, heavily scented with lemongrass, shallots, kaffir lime leaves and dill. It incorporates a Lao cooking technique of thickening the sauce a little with uncooked  soaked sweet (sticky) rice which is pounded to paste-like, very back to basics here and it works.

We’ve been in full June gloom mode this week and this dish served with a side of jasmine rice on an overcast day like today makes a great meal.

Lemongrass Chicken with Dill Stew

8 chicken legs, meat removed from bones, cut into bite size pieces (I prefer dark meat chicken but chicken breasts can be used as well)

2 tsp fish sauce

1 heaping tsp of sugar

1 stalk of lemongrass, finely sliced

2 small-medium cloves garlic, peeled, finely minced

2 large shallots, finely sliced

3 tbsp paprika

2 1/2 tbsp sweet rice (sticky rice), uncooked

3 tbsp grapeseed/canola oil

10 kaffir lime leaves

3 cups + 3 tbsp of water

1 tsp salt

1 tsp fish sauce

3 handfuls of chinese long green beans, cut into 2″ pieces (regular green beans will work as well)

8 thai eggplants, cut in half or 1/3rds, depending on size (optional)

A large bunch of fresh dill, cut into smaller pieces


1. In a small bowl combine the uncooked sweet rice with enough water to cover the rice completely. Let sit at room temperature overnight or for at least a few hours.

2. Remove the meat from 8 chicken drumsticks, cut the chicken into bite size pieces.

3. Marinate the chicken with 2 tsp fish sauce and 1 tsp sugar.

4. Mix and pound the sliced lemongrass, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 large shallots and 3 tbsp paprika in a large mortar and pestle ’til thoroughly combined and paste-like (a food processor will work too). Remove the paste from the mortar and set aside.

4. Drain the soaking water from the sweet rice, discard the water. Using the same mortar and pestle, pound the sweet sticky rice until paste-like.

5. Heat 3 tbsp of grapeseed oil in large pot. Add the lemongrass, shallot, garlic, paprika paste to the oil, stir on medium heat for a few minutes.

6. Add the chicken pieces to the pot, mix. Then add 1 cup of water and 10 kaffir lime leaves, continue to mix. Cover the pot with a lid and let the chicken cook for 5 minutes. Add the remaining 2 cups of water, cook ’til chicken is done.

7. Add the remaining 3 tbsp of water into the mortar with the sticky rice paste in it, stir and mix thoroughly. Add the mixture to the pot and continue to stir, the broth should start to thicken a little. Add in 1 tsp of fish sauce.

8. Add the green beans and thai eggplant into the pot, mix for a couple of minutes. Then add the green onions and fresh dill, cook for a few more minutes. Add additional salt or fish sauce to taste if needed.

9. Plate and serve with some jasmine rice or sweet sticky rice.

*Note: If you are not a fan of fish sauce, substitute it with some salt, it’ll still give you that savory bit the dish needs. Also if you’re not a fan of chicken, I also make this dish with sliced beef or quail. My husband’s vegetarian/pescatarian-ish and I’ve made this dish with veggie chicken or beef too.


2 Comments to “lemongrass chicken with dill stew”

  1. awesome recipe. I didn’t know about this Lao dish. Can’t wait to try making it a home.

    • You must know this dish, it’s “oe” in Laotion. You should try it, You probably need to add more fish sauce or salt to it, I’ve been told I eat less salty than most people.

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