Vietnamese Lemon Chicken


I bought some organic chicken thighs on sale and thought about cooking the tried and true ginger chicken for tonight’s dinner. But when it came time for cooking, I wanted to try something new instead. Boy am I glad I did! Viet cooking combines more layers of flavor, and this is definitely one that is worth trying!

  • 1 pound boneless chicken, cut into large cubes
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 scallions, finely sliced
  • 3 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 6 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 10 minutes (I forgot to do this, which is why the skewers got burned and easily broken)

Marinate chicken in a mixture of honey, salt, pepper, sugar, garlic, oil, cornstarch, scallions, lemon or lime juice, fish sauce and oyster sauce. Set aside for 15 minutes.

Thread marinated chicken onto skewers, leaving two inches free at each end and place on a baking sheet. Heat oven to 375 degrees and bake about 20 minutes until chicken is medium-rare, then flip to the other side for another 5 minutes. Turn oven to broil and broil chicken until brown (about 3-4 minutes). Do not overcook. Serves 4.

Adapted from The Vietnamese Cookbook by Diana My Tran


12 Comments Add yours

  1. Rice Palette says:

    Hey Jeno!

    I actually gave this a try last night!

    Unfortunately I wans’t able to get the chicken to look like yours! 😦 I really liked the color that yours turned out. Instead mine was still white. But it was super flavorful, and I enjoyed it! I did set my oven to Broil, hoping that it will get the red, and a little bit of burn, but didn’t happen..

    Although I did make a couple of variations: I used chicken breast (as opposed to thighs).. While I’m a dark-meat person, I had some spare white meat to use up. I wonder if this is why mine turned out to be white/colorless? Also, I added a little bit of lemongrass for a little extra flavor.

    I also used a “toaster oven”, as opposed to a conventional oven. I may have overcooked it now that I think of it. I think you and I both know (as food bloggers) that cooking times (and temperatures) vary from oven to oven, so I may just need to find an optimal temperature that works with my oven.

    Thanks for sharing this! πŸ™‚

    1. Jeno says:

      Hey Rice Palette!

      That’s interesting about the color variation, I remember before the broiler, the chicken was still in more of of a pale shade, after the broiler did it’s job, that’s when the brown color and the little bit of burnt showed up. Good to hear the flavor was good, and I bet the lemongrass made it even more flavorful!

      Happy Cooking!

  2. Rice Palette says:

    I see, so it was pale before putting it to broil. Yes, it really was flavorful! Thanks again!

  3. Shar says:

    hey jeno,
    i made this dish tonight for dinner. so far, this is the 2nd recipe i have tried. love this dish. yes, very flavorful. it was my first time ever using fish sauce.

    for some reason, my chicken didn’t look burn or anything like yours. i followed the recipe exactly. weird. but it was still good. look forward to trying another recipe of yours next week! πŸ™‚

  4. Shar says:

    hey, what rack did you put the baking sheet on … the middle rack or maybe you put it on the very top rack?

    1. Jeno says:

      Hello there! I am glad the chicken tasted flavorful, I should repeat this dish soon! The chicken were on the middle rack while baking, at the last step (The Broiler), move the baking dish to the very top rack. Remember to soak the bamboo skewers in water for 10-15 minutes before using, this will prevent the sticks from catching fire. (I learned this the hard way!)

  5. lyntrinix says:

    This is going to be on my next-to-cook cooking list too! πŸ˜€
    Now I’ve got so many different dishes to try and I just don’t know whiich to cook first! lol πŸ˜›

    1. Jeno says:

      I cook this dish quite a bit, the family always eat it up! Though ever since I switched out my oven, the broiling function doesn’t work the same as the old one, so the color is never as pretty as the one posted here. Bummer!

      1. lyntrinix says:

        Oh, I’m so sorry to know that. 😦
        Although the color is different now but as long as the taste remains is the most impt! πŸ˜€
        Hope you could get a new oven soon! πŸ˜‰

  6. Jeno says:

    It’s Ok Lyn, the dish tastes great even though not as pretty. Plus it’s a brand new stove/oven combo, I intend to use it for many years to come! πŸ™‚

    1. lyntrinix says:

      Yeah, as long as this tastes great! πŸ˜€
      I won’t change too if I were you! πŸ˜‰

      Hope you’re having a great day!

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