Thai Chicken with Cilantro Dipping Sauce


The finished product.

Not much to this recipe but it turned out great.  If you have ever had the Lemongrass Chicken from Cafe Asia (local to the DC area) this recipe is a close knock-off.  The chicken can be cooked either under a broiler, on the stovetop (preferably a grill pan) or on the grill.  Whenever I cook chicken I flatten it so that it will cook evenly and not be dry in certain spots.  I’ve included some pics on the process if you’re interested and will also do a post on grilling chicken in the future (this is mostly for my benefit so that I have a quick reference instead of looking it up at different sites each time).  Plating design compliments of Coyle Smith Events, she didn’t even charge me for her expertise.  I didn’t have any jalapeños handy so they weren’t included in this version but I will definitely include them next time.


Dipping sauce ingredients: cilantro, garlic, fish sauce, sesame oil, olive oil and salt.


Big, fat chicken breast ready to be flattened.


Flat chicken breast + hammer.


6 tbsp rice vinegar with dissolved sugar, 1 tbsp, and salt, 1/4 tsp about to boil then simmer.


Chicken ready for the grill.


On the grill (~400 degrees).


After 9 minutes on the grill, checked the temperature and it was right where it needed to be, ~150 degrees.


I was told I needed to add more ‘flair’ and color to the plate, hence the cilantro garnish.


  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeds and ribs removed
  • 3 cloves garlic (2 for the chicken marinade, 1 for the dipping sauce)
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro, plus 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/3 pounds in all)
  • 6 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water


  1. For the chicken coating, puree the jalapeños, 2 garlic cloves, the 1/2 cup cilantro, fish sauce, olive oil, sesame oil, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. The ingredients can be pureed in a food processor, blender or using an immersion blender (my method).
  2. Clean the chicken breasts and remove any excess fat.
  3. Place the chicken on a lined (saran wrap) shallow dish and coat it with the cilantro puree. Place in the refrigerator while the dipping sauce is prepared.
  4. In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to a simmer, stirring. Simmer for 2 minutes. Pour the liquid into a small glass or stainless-steel bowl and let cool.
  5. Grill, broil or cook the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of ~150°.  On the grill it took me 9 minutes (4:30 on each side).
  6. Once the vinegar mixture has cooled, add the minced garlic, the 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, the red-pepper flakes, and water. Serve each chicken breast with a small bowl of the dipping sauce alongside.

Source: Food & Wine



  1. Jen & Jon · · Reply

    Delicious recipe!! We made this tonight for dinner and it will definitely become a staple for a quick weekday meal. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Just watched Jon make this! Good job! Love, Jen and Lauren

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