Skip to Content

Lemongrass Chicken Thighs

Seasoned with some of the defining flavors of Vietnamese cuisine—heady, citrusy, lemongrass, tons of fresh ginger, and fish sauce—these succulent chicken thighs are a true treat.


lemongrass chicken thighs with scallion oil and Asian bbq sauce on a plate with a serving spoon

A Fragrant, Easy Weeknight Treat: Lemongrass Chicken Thighs

These juicy chicken thighs aren’t overly fussy, but without a doubt this is a chicken dinner that’s elegant enough to call company-ready. Our lemongrass chicken recipe is a little different from others—rather than a marinade, we’ve opted to coat the chicken thighs in a lemongrass-ginger paste. This ensures that all of the key flavors—garlic, ginger, lemongrass and a bit of honey—thoroughly cover each piece of chicken, but saves you the prep-ahead time that a marinade would demand, meaning that this lemongrass chicken recipe comes together quickly! Start to finish, the whole thing takes less than 30 minutes.

lemongrass chicken ingredients garlic, ginger, soy sauce, fish sauce, green onions, brown sugar
Ginger, garlic clove, Lemongrass, honey, vegetable oil, kosher salt
green onions, Ginger, minced, Garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar, fish sauce, vegetable oil in a small bowl
green onions, Ginger, minced, Garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar, fish sauce, vegetable oil mixed together in a small bowl

Lemongrass Chicken: All About The Sauces

Yep, that’s sauces, plural! In addition to the lemongrass paste that coats the chicken thighs before cooking, we serve this generously seasoned chicken dinner with not one, but two sauces drizzled over the top. Before you worry that making a paste AND two sauces is kind of a lot of work for a weeknight dinner, let us assure you that there’s a trick at play here—the trick is that the lemongrass paste, the brown sugar-sriracha sauce and the scallion oil all utilize a lot of overlapping ingredients. To make both the scallion oil and the sriracha-brown sugar sauce, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Brown sugar
  • Tamari, or soy sauce
  • Rice vinegar
  • Sriracha
  • Sesame oil
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Scallions
  • Fish sauce
  • Vegetable oil
chicken thighs in a mixing bowl with a lemongrass marinade
brown sugar Asian bbq sauce with Sriracha, garlic, ginger and soy sauce
brown sugar Asian bbq sauce with Sriracha, garlic, ginger and soy sauce mixed together in a sauce pan
cooked lemongrass chicken in a pan

How To Make Lemongrass Chicken Thighs

All you’ll need to make this delicious lemongrass chicken recipe is about 30 minutes, and a few basic kitchen tools. It’s really as easy as:

  1. Make lemongrass paste.
  2. Coat the chicken thighs with that paste.
  3. Fry the chicken thighs! Do it in two batches, so that the pan stays nice and hot, and so that the thighs aren’t crowded in the pan—they’ll cook more evenly if you don’t crowd the pan.
  4. While the chicken cooks, you’ll have about 15 minutes of down time per batch of thighs. That’s perfect for mixing up the two delicious sauces that will dress the finished thighs. In one bowl, whisk together the scallion oil and set it aside. Next, make the sriracha-brown sugar sauce on the stove top.
  5. Put it all together! Top the cooked thighs with the two sauces and dig in!
lemongrass chicken thighs with scallion oil and a sriracha-brown sugar sauce on a plate
lemongrass chicken thighs with scallion oil and a sriracha-brown sugar sauce on a plate with a spoon

What To Serve With Lemongrass Chicken

Lemongrass chicken thighs are so deeply flavorful, they don’t need much help—simple sides are the way to go! We love to serve lemongrass chicken with:

Tools You’ll Need:

lemongrass chicken thighs with scallion oil and a sriracha-brown sugar sauce on a plate with a spoon

Chicken For One Or Chicken For A Crowd?

Whether you’re making this recipe just for yourself, and planning to enjoy the best ever leftovers for a few days, or frying these thighs up for a crowd, we’d love to hear how you liked the chicken! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

💌 Let's Stay Together

There are so many great ways to receive all of our latest recipes, meal tips, and inspiration.

Lemongrass Chicken Thighs

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  40 min
  • Cook Time:  30 min
  • Calories: 389


  • 3 lbs boneless, skinless, chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp Ginger, roughly chopped
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 (5-inch) piece Lemongrass
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil, like vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt

Sriracha-Brown Sugar Sauce

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup tamari, or soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp Ginger, minced
  • 1 tbsp Garlic, minced

Scallion Oil

  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 2 tsp Ginger, minced
  • 2 tsp Garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil, like vegetable oil


  1. In a small food processor, blend all the ingredients for the lemongrass paste: 2 tablespoons Ginger, roughly chopped
    6-8 garlic cloves, lemongrass, honey, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon kosher salt.
  2. In a large bowl toss the chicken thighs with the lemongrass paste until they’re well-coated.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet set on medium heat. Cook the chicken in two batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. Place half the chicken thighs in the hot skillet and leave undisturbed for five minutes. Then, flip the chicken pieces and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about eight more minutes. Repeat with remaining chicken thighs. Check for doneness with an instant read thermometer, they are ready when the internet temperature reaches 165°F.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, combine all of the ingredients for the sriracha-brown sugar sauce in a sauce pan set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, and cook until the sauce thickens slightly—about ten minutes—then remove it from the heat. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the scallion oil.
  6. Serve the chicken drizzled with sriracha-brown sugar sauce and scallion oil.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories389
  • Protein40 g
  • Carbohydrates20 g
  • Total Fat22 g
  • Dietary Fiber1 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium857 mg
  • Total Sugars17 g

Lemongrass Chicken Thighs

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Stefan

    do you just chuck the whole, long piece of lemograss in the food processor?

    Yep! Hope you enjoy Stefan!

  • Goon

    I followed directions perfectly, or so I thought…but after turning the chicken after 5 minutes, the lemongrass/ginger/garlic crust was burned. I cooked in oil over medium low heat too. What did I do wrong?

    Hard to say exactly. I can edit the recipe to say "about 5 minutes". It all depends on the stovetop method, gas and electric can vary in "medium heat" and also the pan you use. I'm so sorry it got burnt.

  • Jenn

    Wondering how many people this feeds? I want to serve it for a family dinner.

    Serves 6. Hope you enjoy jenn!

  • (Mr.)

    Sriracha is unfortunately unavailable now because weather killed its source plant. Any substitution possible in this interesting recipe?

    A pinch of red pepper flakes will do the trick! Hope you enjoy Lee!

  • Shelby


    When it comes to the scallion oil do I heat up the oil first? Or use room temp?

    Thank you

    It can just be room temp. Hope you enjoy Shelby!

  • Colleen

    Outstanding flavor. Absolutely loved the layers and complexity. This is the 3rd time I have made it. The prep time is WAY off thought. It takes me (an experienced and efficient home chef) well over 60 minutes to make the 3 separate sauces and trim the chicken. Will make again, but it needs to be a weekend dish for us.

    Thanks Colleen, we are so happy you loved it! I will be sure to edit the times!

  • thien

    One of my favorite recipes I’ve made several times! A lot like a Vietnamese dish

    Thanks Thien, we are so happy you love it!

  • bettafrmdaVille

    This is so delicious we made it twice in two weeks. The second time we added a bit more lemongrass and marinaded the chicken in lemongrass paste for a while. It is SO delicious. Another winner from The Modern Proper.

    Thank you, we are so happy you love it!

  • Jacky

    Very interesting mix of flavors - but found it a bit sweet and too salty so will cut back on those ingredients next time. Served it with the recommended cucumber salad which was delish!

    Thanks for trying it Jacky! Sounds like you know how to tweak it to your liking for next time!

  • Heidi

    This dish was AMAZING!! The whole family loved it! We will be making it again.

    Thanks Heidi, we are so glad your family enjoyed it!