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June 27, 2023

Lemongrass Chicken Herb Salad

A fragrant and citrusy dish with notes of ginger and fresh herbs, this lemongrass chicken salad sings with flavors. Juicy cherry tomatoes, green beans, and sliced cucumbers add to this vibrant recipe.

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lemongrass chicken herb salad made with basil, mint, green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and fried shallots
Photography by Gayle McLeod

Chicken With Lemongrass And ALL The Flavor

Lemongrass is the subtle flavor that ties this dish together. A chicken breast is simmered with lemongrass, ginger and garlic before it’s shredded for the salad. Sliced lemongrass, fish sauce, lime juice, and brown sugar are cooked together to make a savory-sweet dressing. This can be a light meal on its own, or served as part of a larger table set with Cilantro Lime Rice, Sticky Shrimp Lettuce Wraps, Tofu Lettuce Wraps, and Chicken Satay.

lemongrass chicken herb salad made with basil, mint, green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and fried shallots

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What Is Lemongrass Chicken?

Lemongrass chicken is a signature Vietnamese dish that we love for its range of flavors. Lemongrass is a fragrant and citrusy herb used commonly throughout the cuisines of Southeast Asian countries, and lends a light lemon and pepper scent to whatever it’s paired with. The unique flavor of lemongrass goes well with the garlic-cilantro-lime dressing we toss with the shredded chicken and cucumber and tomato salad.

raw chicken breast, green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, lemongrass, mint, basil, garlic, and fried shallots in prep bowls

Ingredients You’ll Need To Make Chicken With Lemongrass

  • Lemongrass – When you’re shopping for lemongrass, buy stalks that are nice and firm and bright green.

  • Fresh ginger – Or at least the fresh ginger that you have in the freezer for times like this when you need it!!

  • The best herbs for salads – Basil, mint, and cilantro and lots of it. We’re calling for a half cup of each, so you’re probably going to have some stuck in your teeth after you eat this.

  • Cherry tomatoes – These little guys are great for salads, because they don’t lose too much water and retain their shape well.

  • Persian cucumbers – Seedless and tender, you can use a regular cucumber if that’s what you have on hand, but the Persian cucumber is more delicate and blends well with the other ingredients.

  • Fried Shallots – We like to make our own Fried Shallots, but store bought ones are also great.

lemongrass, green onions, garlic, fish sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, red pepper flakes, and water cooking in a small pot
chicken and green beans being cooked in a large pot of water
cooked chicken breast being shredded with two forks on a cutting board
shredded chicken, cilantro, mint, basil, tomatoes, cucumbers to and green beans in a large bowl

How to Make Lemongrass Chicken Herb Salad

  • Make the chicken. Simmer the chicken with lemongrass, ginger, salt, peppercorns, and garlic.

  • Cook the green beans. Once the chicken is cooked through, add the green beans to cook them briefly. They will be bright green, and cooked but still crunchy.

  • Make the dressing. In a small saucepan, combine the lemongrass, green onions, garlic, fish sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, red pepper flakes, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the sugar has dissolved, about one minute.

  • Shred the chicken. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, use two forks to shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces.

  • Make the fresh herb salad. Add the shredded chicken, cilantro, mint, basil, tomatoes, and cucumbers to the bowl with the green beans.

  • Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat.

  • Serve! Divide between two bowls and top with fried shallots.

shredded chicken, cilantro, mint, basil, tomatoes, cucumbers to and green beans in a bowl next to a small bowl of dressing

How to Store Lemongrass Chicken Herb Salad + Tips

  • Substitutions: This salad would be delicious with many other proteins. You could easily substitute ground pork, rotisserie chicken, or Grilled Chicken Thighs!

  • What if I don’t like fish sauce? Fish sauce has a strong flavor, but when balanced with the acid of the lime juice and the caramelized sweetness of the brown sugar, we think it’s almost drinkable! If fish sauce is still not your flavor, the Scallion Dressing we serve over our lemongrass chicken thighs would also pair nicely with this salad.

  • Make ahead! Prep your herbs and fixings. Make your chicken. Make the dressing. When ready to devour, toss it all together! The components can all be prepped up to two days ahead!

  • Storage: The shredded chicken can be frozen for up to three months in an airtight container. The salad is pretty juicy and should be eaten within a couple of days of preparation.

lemongrass chicken herb salad made with basil, mint, green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and fried shallots

More Great Recipes With Lemongrass

Lighten Up With Lemongrass

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Lemongrass Chicken Herb Salad

  • Serves: 2
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  20 min
  • Calories: 659

Ingredients

Chicken Salad

  • 1 (1-inch) piece of ginger, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1 (6-inch) lemongrass stalk, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 (¾-pound) chicken breast
  • ½ pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup fresh mint leaves
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • Fried Shallots

Lemongrass Dressing

  • 1 (3-inch) lemongrass stalk, thinly sliced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Method

  1. Make the chicken. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add the ginger, salt, peppercorns, lemon grass and garlic. Add the chicken, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cover the pan and simmer for ten minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. You want an internal temp of 165°F.

  2. Add the green beans and cook for about 1 minute more. Remove the chicken and green beans from the pot; transfer the chicken to a cutting board and the green beans to a large bowl to cool.

  3. Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a small saucepan, combine the lemongrass, green onions, garlic, fish sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, red pepper flakes, and ¼ cup water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the sugar has dissolved, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

  4. Use two forks to shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add the shredded chicken, cilantro, mint, basil, tomatoes, and cucumbers to the bowl with the green beans. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Divide between two bowls and top with fried shallots.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories659
  • Protein103 g
  • Carbohydrates46 g
  • Total Fat17 g
  • Dietary Fiber6 g
  • Cholesterol290 mg
  • sodium1516 mg
  • Total Sugars24 g

Lemongrass Chicken Herb Salad

Questions & Reviews

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  • Paulina

    I made this tonight for my family and we loved it. I added some white rice to make it a more filling meal for my husband and son, but the flavors were incredible. Thumbs up from everyone.

    Thanks Paulina, we are so happy you and your family loved it!

  • Carrie

    This was so, so yummy. Next time I’d use a rotisserie or precooked chicken shortcut- it was a hot day and the boiling step felt like a lot! Perfect fresh summer flavors!

    Thanks Carrie, we are so happy that you love it!

  • Kay

    I could eat this every day! So delicious!

    Thanks Kay! Glad you enjoyed it!