Thai food always brings back memory of a pink restaurant where I worked for a few years during my university days.
The restaurant was owned by a kind Vietnamese couple – An the husband and Ly the wife. Ly looked after 3 young children and worked in the tiny kitchen every night. An was a full time engineer who managed the dinning room and delivered takeaway food.
When they spoke about their past, I could see Ly’s eyes sparkled, and warm smiles on An’s face. In the old days back home, Ly was known as the ‘Saigon rose’ for her exceptional beauty, and An was a young, well educated officer working for the American army.
I learned to cook some wonderful dishes from Ly. One of my favourite was a ‘xa ot’ dish, meaning lemongrass and chili.
Here is my version of a xa ot chicken.
Easy method is as follow:
(Serves 2, as a low FODMAP recipe)
- 250g chicken breast (or thigh) fillet, sliced
- 1 chili, finely sliced
- 2 inch (approx 10g) stalk of lemongrass, white part only, finely chopped (I use kitchen scissor)
- 2 kaffir lime leafs, finely sliced
- a few coriander stalk, finely chopped
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2tsp sugar
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce (skip for gluten free or FODMAP friendly options)
- 5g spring onion / shallot (green part only for a low FODMAP recipe), sliced, to garnish
- 5g coriander (leafy part), roughly chopped, to garnish
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
Bring cooking oil to high heat in a frying pan; add chicken and sugar, brown; add the rest of the ingredients (except for garnish), toss until the chicken is just cooked, about 1 minute; transfer to a serving dish; garnish with shallot and coriander.