I meant to post this recipe at the same time as when I made Tom Nuong Hanh Ngo (Vietnamese Grilled Shrimp with Scallion Cilantro Sauce) and Thit Nai Nuong Xa (Vietnamese Grilled Lemongrass Venison) since those dishes were all served at the same dinner party held shortly after my trip to the Bay Area. But those initial photos were really horrible and I wanted to try making the recipe again anyway. Who knew it would be almost two years before I would eventually get around to it?
I first heard of Ga Nuong La Chanh (Vietnamese Grilled Chicken in Kaffir Lime Leaves) from Highway 4 Restaurant in Vietnam. Or rather, Kirk of Mmm-yoso had dined there back in April 2008 and ordered other dishes, but I was curious about the restaurant and checked out their menu on their website. I couldn't find a recipe that I liked for this dish, so I came up with my own. If anyone has eaten this dish at Highway 4 or at anywhere else, you'll have to tell me how my recipe compares.
Ga Nuong La Chanh (Vietnamese Grilled Chicken in Kaffir Lime Leaves)
For 4 servings, or about 8 skewers, you'll need:
2 boneless chicken thighs or breasts, thinly sliced into strips
About 20 Kaffir Lime Leaves, washed
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese Fish Sauce)
1 tsp brown sugar or honey
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 shallots, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
8 bamboo skewers, soaked in water
Thinly slice the chicken into strips and place into a bowl. Add 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp fish sauce, 1 tsp brown sugar or honey, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 2 finely minced shallots, and 2 finely minced cloves of garlic. Finely chiffonade about 3 kaffir lime leaves. Give the chicken a quick stir to evenly distribute the marinade and the kaffir lime leaves.
Kaffir lime leaves can be found at most Asian grocery stores and are more commonly used in Thai cooking, although they can be found in a few Vietnamese recipes. They add a nice lemony scent to dishes without adding sourness. The leaves are connected into twos or threes so the overall leaf can be pretty long. That's actually a good thing when it comes to how I skewer them. The leaves are rather tough so I find it easier to chiffonade them with a pair of scissors, rather than slicing them with a knife. If you can't find kaffir lime leaves, substitute with regular lemon leaves.
When you skewer the chicken strips on to the leaves, try and alternate how you place them like so.
So basically skewer the leaf first, add a piece of chicken, turn the leaf over that piece, add another piece of chicken, and so on.
Here it is again on the side. You can add about two leaves onto each skewer.
Allow the chicken to rest if you wish, but I'm pretty much ready to grill them right away.
Alternatively, instead of using bamboo skewers, you can also use toothpicks like I did back in June 2009 when I originally made this recipe.
That time, I used chicken thighs and added soy sauce to the marinade so the chicken looked much darker.
Anyway, so lay out your chicken skewers on the grill, a real one or a George Foreman.
The chicken doesn't take that long to cook, about 10 minutes or so.
Serve with rice.
Or noodles. I told you those initial photos were horrible.
Here's what else was served at that dinner party. Nem Nuong and Nem Nuong Cuon (Vietnamese Grilled Pork Patty and Vietnamese Grilled Pork Patty Salad Rolls), Bo Nuong La Lot (Vietnamese Grilled Beef with Wild Betel Leaves), Thit Nai Nuong Xa (Vietnamese Grilled Lemongrass Venison), and Tom Nuong Hanh Ngo (Vietnamese Grilled Shrimp with Scallion Cilantro Sauce). It's easy to have a grilling party since I make my guests do all the cooking. :P
Anyway, I'll leave you with this much nicer, newer picture of my Ga Nuong La Chanh (Vietnamese Grilled Chicken in Kaffir Lime Leaves) served with rice topped with Mo Hanh (Vietnamese Scallion Oil). You're not supposed to eat the leaves, just remove the chicken from the skewers or eat every other layer. Although the leaves are edible, so you can certainly eat them if you wish.
1 year ago today, Xa Lach Thit Bo Rau Muong (Vietnamese Steak and Water Spinach Salad).
2 years ago today, Butterfly Restaurant (Pier 33) - San Francisco (Embarcadero).
3 years ago today, a guide to the coconut products I keep in my kitchen -- Coconut Milk, Coconut Powder, and Coco Rico.
4 years ago today, Kabuki Japanese Restaurant - Pasadena (Foothill Blvd.).