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Vietnamese food is fast becoming a favourite cuisine of mine. I am very big on Asian flavours in general, as they appear to release medicinal properties and a ‘feel good factor’ that everyone needs now and again (particularly as the weather is turning). We eat a fair few ‘heavy’ meals in this house (my hubby likes his comfort food), and I for one would like to introduce more dinners of this ilk into our diets. The only challenge is getting the children onboard with this…could be a slow process.

This is one of several recipes that we have selected from Bill Granger’s book ‘Everyday Asian’. It seems to be a real
fail safe collection if dishes as each one has been a delight to eat – light and fragrant, but with tremendous flavour. The full ingredients list and cooking method for Bill’s ‘Stir-fried Vietnamese lemongrass chicken’ can be found in the book. I also stumbled across a new interesting blog today named ‘Drinks and Nibbles’. It features a great post that breaks down all of the health benefits of this recipe. Certainly worth a read.

To make this dish (serves two) you will need (double up below for four people):
– Two cloves of garlic (peeled)
– Half a teaspoon of turmeric
– One large green chilli (diced)
– One lemongrass stalk (white part only/very finely sliced or alternatively the grated zest of two lemons)
– Half a teaspoon of salt
– Freshly ground white pepper
– 450g of chicken thighs (skinless/boneless/cut into chunks)
– Two tablespoons of sunflower oil
– One celery stick (cut into batons)
– Half a bunch of asparagus (just over 100g – trimmed/halved)
– One tablespoon of fish sauce
– One tablespoon of soy sauce
– One tablespoon of lemon juice
– One teaspoon of granulated sugar
– Two spring onions (cut into batons)

Method:
– Firstly you need to make a paste using the garlic, lemon grass, garlic, salt and chilli. Grind them all together in a pestle and mortar.
– Coat the chicken in the paste, mix well in a bowl and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least ten minutes.
– Next, heat half of the oil to a high temperature in a wok. Add half of the chicken and stir fry for approximately three minutes. Remove and repeat the process with the remaining oil and chicken.
– Put the rest of the chicken back in the pan with the asparagus and celery. Stir fry for another two minutes.
– Lastly add the fish sauce, soy sauce, lemon juice, spring onion, sugar and ground white pepper.
– Stir well for another minute or so, then serve immediately.

We knocked up some plain basmati rice to accompany the stir fry, and it needs nothing else. Fragrant, fresh and zesty. Again, we were pleasantly surprised at how a ‘non-saucy’ plate of food can produce such a wealth of flavour. Plus, I’m sure that if you get time to have a read about all the goodness and antioxidants that come from eating it (link above), you’ll be wanting to make it too. Hats off to Mr Granger.

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