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May 15, 2024

Grilled Lemongrass Chicken

Lemongrass is the full-flavored herb your grilled chicken game needs on its team. You and your grill will be fired up for our new favorite way to cook chicken.


Grilled Lemongrass Chicken drizzled with sriracha-brown sugar sauce and scallion oil next to bowls of extra sauce & oil
Photography by Gayle McLeod

This Zippy Grilled Lemongrass Chicken Is Full of Flavor

Lemongrass chicken is a signature Vietnamese dish that we love for its range of flavors. Lemongrass is an herb used commonly throughout the cuisines of Southeast Asian countries, and lends a light lemon and pepper scent to whatever it’s paired with. In addition to being a flavor-packed heavyweight, lemongrass goes well with the sriracha-brown sugar sauce and scallion oil that gets drizzled on the chicken after it’s grilled. Get ready to fall in love with fresh lemongrass, which in its raw form is spicy, but once cooked mellows into a wonderful lemony and fragrant taste.

whole chicken, garlic, lemongrass, scallions, brown sugar, sriracha, ginger, honey, soy sauce and rice vinegar in bowls

Wondering How To Prepare Lemongrass? It’s Easy!

Lemongrass is simple to prepare, just treat it similarly to a scallion. First, remove the tough, outer layers and cut off the root end. We’ll be using the tender, inside stalk. Roughly chop the lemongrass stalk–about five inches will yield enough for our purposes. Once the lemongrass is prepared you’ll add it to a food processor along with ginger, garlic, honey, oil and a touch of salt, unlocking all of the flavors of lemongrass to coat your chicken.

ginger, garlic cloves, lemongrass, honey, neutral oil and salt in a food processor to make lemongrass paste for chicken
a spatchcocked chicken on a baking sheet covered with lemongrass paste made of ginger, garlic, lemongrass, honey, oil & salt
brown sugar, soy sauce , rice vinegar, sriracha, sesame oil, ginger & garlic in a pot for Sriracha-Brown Sugar Sauce
Scallion Oil in a bowl made with scallions, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar, fish sauce & vegetable oil

Fire Up The Grill, Here’s How To Make Lemongrass Chicken

  1. Heat grill to medium-high heat.

  2. Prepare the lemongrass paste in a food processor and coat the spatchcocked chicken all over.

  3. Grill the chicken until brown and lightly-charred (hello crispy flavor bits), then turn the grill to low and flip the chicken over, cooking for about 45 minutes more.

  4. While the chicken is doing its thing on the grill, make the sriracha-brown sugar sauce and scallion oil.

  5. Call everyone to the table, and impress them with a drizzle of sriracha-brown sugar sauce and scallion oil for all the ooh’s and ah’s this grilled lemongrass chicken deserves!

a whole spatchcocked grilled lemongrass chicken resting on a baking sheet
Grilled Lemongrass Chicken drizzled with sriracha-brown sugar sauce and scallion oil next to bowls of extra sauce & oil

Tools You’ll Need

Lemongrass, Just What Your Chicken Recipes Have Been Waiting For

A couple more great ways to incorporate lemongrass into your recipes, and one simple lemon chicken recipe if you don't have lemongrass on hand, but are still craving a light and bright chicken dish:

A whole grilled lemongrass chicken carved and drizzled with sriracha-brown sugar sauce and scallion oil in a serving dish

Show Us Some Lemongrass Love

Snap a photo of your grilled lemongrass chicken and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed it to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy grilling!

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Grilled Lemongrass Chicken

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  20 min
  • Cook Time:  50 min
  • Calories: 704


Lemongrass Paste

  • 2 tablespoons ginger, roughly chopped
  • 6-8 garlic cloves
  • 1 (5-inch) piece of lemongrass, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil, such as vegetable oil, plus more for grill
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 5 pound chicken, spatchcocked

Sriracha-Brown Sugar Sauce

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

Scallion Oil

  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, minced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil, like vegetable oil


  1. Heat your grill to medium-high heat.

  2. Make the lemongrass paste: In a small food processor, add the ginger, garlic cloves, lemongrass, honey, neutral oil and kosher salt. Blend on high until a paste is formed.

  3. Pat the chicken dry and coat it on all sides with the lemongrass paste.

  4. Once the grill is preheated, reduce heat to medium, brush the grates with oil. Grill the chicken skin side down over direct heat, until golden brown, crispy and lightly charred, about 5 minutes (watch closely during this process, careful not to completely burn the chicken. Turn the heat down to low, flip the chicken over (see note 1). Continue to grill until the skin is golden brown all over, juices run clear, and an instant read thermometer inserted deep into the thigh registers 165°F, about 45 minutes.

  5. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the grill and let it rest for 10 minutes before carving.

  6. While the chicken is cooking, combine all of the ingredients for the sriracha-brown sugar sauce in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, and cook until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes, then remove it from the heat. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.

  7. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the scallion oil.

  8. Serve the chicken drizzled with sriracha-brown sugar sauce and scallion oil.

Note 1: If using a charcoal grill, move chicken away from direct heat while cooking to be sure you don’t dry it out. This method may take longer than 45 minutes, so be sure to use a thermometer for doneness.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories704
  • Protein79 g
  • Carbohydrates21 g
  • Total Fat33 g
  • Dietary Fiber2 g
  • Cholesterol300 mg
  • sodium989 mg
  • Total Sugars17 g

Grilled Lemongrass Chicken

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • emily

    Hi! My grill is a pellet so uses exact temperatures, what temp do you think would be "medium high"?

    between 375°F and 400°F

  • Kay

    Stunning, delicious, will definitely make this again!

    Thanks Kay! So happy to hear that!