When I was in university, I worked on the weekends in an Asian restaurant in Surry Hills, an inner city suburb in Sydney. The wonderful Vietnamese couple that owned the restaurant, Ly and An, were kind and extremely hard working. Ly had 3 young children, she looked after them as well as working in the restaurant every night. An was a full time communication engineer who worked every night serving dishes and delivering food to houses near by. Ly’s eyes sparkled when they spoke about their old days in Vietnam, when Ly was known for her beauty and was lovingly famous as the ‘saigon rose’.
One of the cook was a Thai, and the other was a Vietnamese. I learned many wonderful dishes from them, including the ‘xa ot’ dishes. They often let me trying out the woks by cooking everyone dinners.
Recipe 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), 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.