Mouth-watering Vietnamese Chicken Marinade Recipe

Dear esteemed readers,

I welcome you to a culinary journey of Vietnam’s exquisite culture today. Vietnam is famous for its flavorful and aromatic food, and I am thrilled to share one of my favorite chicken recipes with you- the Vietnamese Marinade for Chicken.

This recipe is easy to make, requires minimal prep time, and can be used for various dishes- grilled chicken, baked chicken, roasted chicken, Vietnamese lemongrass chicken rice bowl, caramel chicken, and even chicken wings. The flavors are a perfect blend of sweet and savory, creating an incredible burst of taste in your mouth.

The marinade uses a combination of fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, shallot, garlic cloves, brown sugar, and lemongrass. These ingredients come together to create a taste that will transport you to the bustling streets of Vietnam.

I promise this recipe will become one of your go-to options for any meal occasion. So gather your ingredients and let’s take the first step in creating an unforgettable dish that is sure to satisfy your appetite!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vietnamese Marinade for Chicken
Vietnamese Marinade for Chicken

My dearest readers,

I am here to convince you of why you will absolutely love this recipe for Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken. In one word, it is sensational! But let me break it down for you.

First and foremost, this recipe is packed with authentic Vietnamese flavors that will transport your taste buds to the bustling streets of Saigon. The combination of fish sauce, shallots, garlic cloves and fresh lime juice creates a mouth-watering marinade that imbues the chicken with irresistible flavor.

Secondly, this recipe is incredibly versatile. It can be grilled, baked or pan-fried to suit your preference. Whether you’re planning to fire up the BBQ or cook indoors, this recipe has got you covered. You can even use the marinade on other cuts of meat such as pork or beef.

Thirdly, this recipe is easy to make with simple ingredients that are readily available in your kitchen. The marinade comes together quickly in just a medium bowl whisking soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, ground black pepper, garlic paste and lemongrass!

Lastly, this recipe pairs beautifully with a variety of sides such as noodles, rice bowls or roasted vegetables. For a quintessentially Vietnamese experience, serve it alongside some nuoc cham dipping sauce and crunchy pickled veggies.

All in all, this recipe for Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken is a must-try for anyone who loves bold and exotic flavors! I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Yours truly,

[Your Name]

Ingredient List

 Transform your chicken game with this Vietnamese marinade!
Transform your chicken game with this Vietnamese marinade!

Ingredients you need to make the best Vietnamese marinade for chicken

This recipe requires a few key ingredients to create the perfect balance of sweet, salty and tangy flavors. Here’s what you’ll need for this marinade:

  • Chicken breasts: Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe.

  • Garlic cloves: Mince 2 cloves of garlic for added flavor.

  • Shallot: Finely chop 1 small shallot to give a subtly sweet onion flavor.

  • Lemongrass: Lemongrass adds a bright citrusy flavor to the chicken. Use 2 stalks of lemongrass and mince finely.

  • Fresh lime juice: Use juice from 1 lime to add a tangy citrus flavor.

  • Fish sauce: A vital ingredient in Vietnamese cooking, fish sauce gives a savory umami flavor.

  • Soy sauce: Use 1 tablespoon of soy sauce to add a little saltiness to the marinade.

  • Sugar: Brown sugar provides sweetness and caramelizes nicely when grilling.

  • Black pepper: Add black pepper to taste for some heat.

With these ingredients in hand, you’re all set to make the perfect Vietnamese lemongrass chicken marinade.

The Recipe How-To

 This marinade is the definition of flavor bomb.
This marinade is the definition of flavor bomb.

Let’s Get Cooking: Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Recipe Mix

This Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Recipe Mix is perfect for grilling, baking and even stir-frying. Prepare to be blown away by the delicious aromas that will soon permeate your kitchen!


  • Cutting board
  • Chef knife
  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Large ziplock bag


  • Chicken breasts (2-3)
  • Shallot (1)
  • Garlic cloves (2)
  • Fresh lime juice (1/4 cup)
  • Fish sauce (2 tablespoons)
  • Soy sauce (1 tablespoon)
  • Brown sugar (1 tablespoon)
  • Ground black pepper (1/2 teaspoon)

Marinade Instructions

  1. Begin by preparing the marinade. In a medium bowl, combine minced shallot and chopped garlic.
  2. Add in the fresh lime juice, fish sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper.
  3. Stir until all ingredients are fully mixed together and the sugar has dissolved.

Marinating the Chicken

  1. Take your chicken breasts and cut them into evenly sized pieces.
  2. Transfer the chicken pieces into a large ziplock bag, then pour in the marinade.
  3. Make sure each piece of chicken is fully coated with the marinade.
  4. Seal the bag, remove as much air as possible then massage it to ensure all the chicken is evenly coated with the marinade.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight for best results.

Cooking Instructions
Grilling Instructions

  1. Remove chicken from marinade before cooking and discard any leftover marinade.
  2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  3. Brush grill grates with oil to prevent sticking.
  4. Grill chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until fully cooked through.
  5. Remove from grill and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Baking Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Place marinated chicken pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until fully cooked through.
  4. Remove from oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Stir-Fry Instructions

  1. Heat a non-stick pan over high heat with a tablespoon of oil.
  2. Add the marinated chicken and stir-fry for 6-8 minutes or until cooked through.
  3. Remove from heat and rest for a few minutes before serving.

Now that you know how to make this delicious Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken recipe, why not whip up some Vietnamese Noodles to serve alongside it? Happy cooking!

Substitutions and Variations

 Your taste buds will thank you after trying this Vietnamese marinade.
Your taste buds will thank you after trying this Vietnamese marinade.

Dear readers, if you want to experiment with the flavors of this Vietnamese chicken marinade recipe, there are several substitutions and variations that you can try. Here are some suggestions:

1. Protein: While the recipe calls for chicken breasts, you can use other cuts of chicken such as thighs or wings. You can also use other proteins such as pork, beef, or shrimp.

2. Noodles: Instead of serving your chicken with rice, try it with some Vietnamese noodles. You can also add veggies like cucumber, carrot and bean sprout to make it a noodle salad.

3. Lemongrass: If you can’t find fresh lemongrass or it’s not available in your area, you can use lemongrass paste or frozen lemongrass instead.

4. Fish sauce: If you don’t like the taste of fish sauce or if you’re allergic to it, soy sauce is an excellent alternative.

5. Sweetness: If you want to reduce the sweetness level of this marinade recipe, simply add less sugar.

6. Spice level: The chili garlic paste in this marinade adds a kick of heat but if you prefer a milder flavor feel free to remove the chili garlic paste entirely or reduce the amount for a mild spicy flavor.

7. Baked chicken variation: Furthermore, You can also bake the marinated chicken instead of grilling them by placing them on a baking dish and cooking them in the oven at 400°F (205°C) for about 20-25 minutes.

Regardless of which substitutions and variations that you choose to experiment with, you’re bound to come up with your own unique twist on this delicious Vietnamese chicken recipe!

Serving and Pairing

 Add some Asian flair to your chicken meals with this marinade.
Add some Asian flair to your chicken meals with this marinade.

As the aromas of your Vietnamese grilled chicken waft through your kitchen, your stomach growls in anticipation of the forthcoming feast. Once the chicken is cooked to perfection, you’ll need to serve this delectable creation in a style that truly complements its tantalizing combination of flavors. Here are some serving suggestions to heighten your enjoyment of this scrumptious dish.

First and foremost, steamed rice is a classic pairing with Vietnamese lemongrass chicken. The mildness of the rice balances out the bold flavors of the chicken marinade, allowing every taste bud to savor each flavor slowly. For a twist on traditional rice dishes, try cooking it with coconut milk or adding fresh herbs like basil or cilantro to jazz it up with a Vietnamese touch.

Noodle lovers will find joy in combining their bowls of steaming pho noodle soup or bun cha vermicelli noodles with a generous portion of chicken. Dip the sweetened grilled chicken into Nuoc Cham (a sweet-sour dipping sauce made from lime juice, fish sauce and sugar) for added flavor that brings out the savory depth of each component.

Want a non-carb approach? Salads that balance acidity and garden-fresh lettuce sense make great combos with deliciously succulent grilled chicken too. Addressing the balance between flavor and texture on both sides will make an excellent contrast and achieve that perfect taste profile.

If you’re craving something handheld, assemble fresh spring rolls for a light and invigorating appetizer or snack that highlights the flavors of your succulent grilled Vietnamese chicken. And for those who enjoy sweet and tangy dishes, pair this recipe with pickled vegetables and caramelised dishes (think Caramel Chicken and/or Pork Tenderloin) to round things off.

These are just some suggestions; however, Vietnamese-style grilled chicken allows for fun creativity in assembling a customized meal through different varieties of pairing options from flavourful noodle bowls to refreshing salads or even hearty fried dishes.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Trust me, this Vietnamese marinade is worth the extra effort.
Trust me, this Vietnamese marinade is worth the extra effort.

My dear readers, one of the best things about this Vietnamese Chicken Marinade recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and stored for later use. This is particularly useful for those who would like to prepare their meals in advance or are short on time during busy weekdays. Simply prepare the marinade as directed and store it in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to five days.

When you’re ready to cook, take the chicken out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before grilling or cooking. It is important that the chicken reaches room temperature first, as this ensures that it cooks evenly and retains its moisture.

If you don’t have enough chicken and marinade mixture leftover to reheat, don’t worry! You can use the marinade sauce as a dip or dressing for your other dishes or salads.

To reheat your cooked chicken, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and place the sliced chicken in a greased baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for approximately ten minutes, or until heated through. Be careful not to overcook the chicken, as this will dry out the meat and make it tough.

Finally, my dears, remember that storing chicken can be tricky, so it’s crucial to keep it in a properly sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer. However, I strongly advise against storing cooked chicken for too long because it could lead to harmful bacteria growth which can make you sick. So please make sure to consume your delicious Vietnamese grilled chicken within three days from when you’ve made it.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Say goodbye to boring chicken and hello to this delicious marinade.
Say goodbye to boring chicken and hello to this delicious marinade.

If you want to make the most out of this Vietnamese marinade, here are some tips that will help you achieve perfect results:

1. Marinating time: It’s essential to marinate the chicken breast for at least 1 hour, but we recommend doing it overnight for maximum flavor absorption. The longer the marinating time, the better!

2. Use enough marinade: When pouring the marinade over the chicken breasts, make sure they are fully covered. This will ensure all parts of the meat are flavored evenly.

3. Don’t skip or skimp on ingredients: Each item added has a specific role in the marinade mix. Skipping an item or reducing it to save cost or calories can compromise the taste.

4. Use fresh ingredients: Fresh lime juice, ginger, and lemongrass give your marinade a zesty and herbal aroma that adds a unique boldness to your dish. Avoid using bottled ones.

5. Thread and grill: For an authentic Vietnamese grilled chicken recipe, thread your marinated chicken onto skewers and grill them until tender and charred.

6. Rest before slicing: Give the chicken a few minutes to rest after grilling before serving to seal in its juices and maintain flavor.

7. Serve with nuoc cham: A simple dipping sauce made from fish sauce, chili garlic, lime juice, sugar syrup, and water elevates your dish to another level.

By following these tips, you’ll have a flavorful and authentic Vietnamese lemongrass chicken recipe that is sure to impress your friends and family!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Vietnamese lemongrass chicken recipe is the perfect way to satisfy your cravings for a delicious and healthy meal. With its combination of sweet, savory, and tangy flavors, this dish will surely captivate your taste buds. You can choose to grill or bake the chicken and serve it with your preferred side dish such as noodles or rice. Additionally, you can make this recipe ahead of time and store it in the fridge for later.

If you’re looking for a simple yet satisfying meal that’s packed with exciting flavors of Asian cuisine, look no further than Vietnamese lemongrass chicken. So gather up the ingredients listed above and prepare to embark on a culinary journey through Vietnam with every bite. Once you try this recipe, I’m sure that it will become one of your go-to meals.

Vietnamese Marinade for Chicken

Vietnamese Marinade for Chicken Recipe

Hot, sour, salty are the main flavours of this recipe from Food & Wine magazine. Optional sugar if you want a bit of sweet in there too. Note - prep time does not include 1/2 to 4 hours of marinating time
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vietnamese
Calories 386.7 kcal


  • 4 chicken breasts, boneless & skinless
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 jalapeno, halved lengthwise & thinly sliced (remove seeds and membrane if you don't want it too hot!)
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons asian fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
  • salt and pepper


  • Whisk all marinade ingrediants together in a bowl.
  • Place chicken breasts in a large ziplock bag and pour marinade over top.
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes but no longer than 4 hours.
  • Heat a grill to medium-high. Chicken is easiest grilled if you brush vegetable oil liberally on the grill first so it doesn't stick.
  • Grill, with lid down for 7 to 7 1/2 minutes per side.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 199gCalories: 386.7kcalCarbohydrates: 3.9gProtein: 31.1gFat: 27.1gSaturated Fat: 5.6gCholesterol: 92.8mgSodium: 787.7mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 0.8g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Asian, Chicken, High In..., High Protein, Korean, Meat, Poultry, Very Low Carbs, Vietnamese
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