If you’ve been to Hoi An, you’ve heard of Ms. Vy and her famous menagerie of restaurants–the most well known of which is Morning Glory. I included all of Ms. Vy’s amazing restaurants on my Hoi An travel guide here.
While Peter and I didn’t make it down to Hoi An on our recent visit to Vietnam, our trip to Northern Vietnam had me salivating as I reminisced about all the other delicious Vietnamese meals we’d had before (because obviously there’s nothing better than eating awesome food while simultaneously thinking about more awesome food you want to eat later).
Ms. Vy’s Barbecue Chicken and Lime Leaf is a recipe I’ve been wanting to make at home for months. It was my favorite dish when we were in Hoi An and one of Ms. Vy’s specialty dishes. While Barbecue Chicken and Lime Leaf may not be a dish you typically think of when cooking Vietnamese cuisine, chicken is often paired with lime leaf in Southeast Asian cooking to complement its flavor.
I used boneless and skinless chicken thighs rather than chicken breasts which often end up dry after grilling. For the marinade I mixed a combination of dried spices, sauces, shallots, garlic, lemongrass and lime leaves which all smelled absolutely heavenly.
As you know, Peter and I love spicy foods, so I didn’t skimp on the chili flakes with this dish. They added enough kick without over powering the bold flavors of the marinade. However if you’re wary of spice, I’d skip the chili flakes.
After marinating, thread your chicken pieces on to pre-soaked skewers (an important step, that I nearly forgot, to avoid the skewers from burning on the grill). For more flavor you can also thread extra lime leaves on your skewers before tossing the skewers on your hot barbecue grill.
These were so aromatic while cooking that I had to fight Peter off to snag these photos before we could eat. Since we used chicken thighs rather than breasts, the meat is juicy and succulent and richly flavored.
Ms. Vy’s Barbecue Chicken and Lime Leaf is definitely a new staple on our barbecue and party menu and I’m sure it will be one of yours too.
- 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp palm sugar (sub brown sugar)
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp five spice
- 1 tbsp ground turmeric
- 2 tbsp garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp shallots, minced
- ? cup lemongrass, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp dried chilli flakes (optional)
- 4 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 8-10 wooden skewers, pre-soaked in water for 1 hour
- extra kaffir lime leaves, optional
- Cut chicken thighs in to 1 inch strips and add to a large resealable plastic bag
- In large bowl, mix salt, palm sugar, black pepper, five spice, and turmeric
- Add garlic, shallots, lemongrass, chili flakes, and thinly sliced lime leaves
- Stir in sesame oil and fish sauce
- Mix well
- Pour mixture in to resealable plastic bag over the chicken
- Ensure chicken is well coated with marinade
- Seal plastic bag and refrigerate to marinate for minimum 1 hour
- Soak skewers for minimum 1 hr just before chicken is to be cooked
- Thread marinated chicken pieces on to pre-soaked skewers
- Option to skewer extra lime leaves in between chicken pieces
- Heat grill to medium heat
- Place chicken skewers on grill and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side
adapated from 'Taste Vietnam: The Morning Glory Cookbook' © Trinh Diem Vy