Lemongrass is hands down one of the best aromatics around and makes these Lemongrass Pork Skewers so moreish and crave-worthy. A mix of simple ingredients, easy cooking and a killer dipping sauce will have you feeling like you're eating at a top Vietnamese or Thai restaurant, but at home! Perfect for those lockdown cravings.
Confession time: I used to be a coriander fan in my teens and then - for some reason more recently - I really don't like it at all. I always thought the distaste for coriander was genetic, so I'm not sure why I previously liked it and now I don't. I guess we'll never know!
All this to say is that without coriander, I'm always using other aromatics to lend an unforgettable flavour to dishes - lemongrass is up there, along with lime leaves and Thai basil. I've got an amazing Lemongrass Noodle Soup recipe I know you'll love and am going to work on more recipes over time.
I've kept the recipe for these lemongrass skewers really simple, but don't skimp on the lemongrass as it's the star of the show. I've provided amounts for 1kg/2 pounds of meat but you can also halve the recipe if you like. See the notes for the halved amount. It's definitely worth making the larger amount because they freeze really well and your future self will be thanking your past self next time you're looking for something super tasty at dinner time!
What you'll love about this recipe
- Inspired by Thai and Vietnamese cuisine
- So much flavour in each bite
- Easy to prepare and make
- Restaurant quality, right at home
- No coriander/cilantro for the haters!
- Makes for great leftovers/meal prep/freezer meals
- Use chicken mince (ground chicken) if you don't like pork - I don't recommend using lean mince though
For the full details, see the recipe card below.
- pork or chicken mince (ground pork or ground chicken)
- lemongrass stalks, white parts only
- fresh ginger
- garlic cloves
- red onion or eschallot (French shallot)
- fish sauce
- brown sugar or white sugar
- cooking salt
- white pepper
- chopping board
- kitchen knife
- box grater
- microplane OR mortar and pestle OR stick blender
- measuring spoons
- large mixing bowl and wooden spoon OR food processor
- large skillet/frypan, oven OR airfryer
- bamboo or metal skewers (optional) - soak the bamboo skewers in advance for a minimum of 30 minutes
Tips for getting the best results
The lemongrass can be tricky to prepare correctly, but use these tips to get great results:
- always chop off the white base of the stalk (a couple of millimetres)
- whack the white end of the lemongrass with a pestle or the base of a small cast iron skillet
- peel a few layers off and discard
- chop off the green part - either discard or you can use it as a skewer
- slice the lemongrass in to very thin coins and then chop as finely as possible OR use a microplane to grate it
- if not using a microplane, use either a mortar and pestle to make a rough paste with all the ingredients after preparing OR you can try to use a stick blender after preparing all the paste ingredients and adding the fish sauce
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What to serve with these skewers
Lemongrass Pork Skewers are perfect with sticky rice! if you're intimidated by that, you can check out my Instant Pot Sticky Rice recipe - it takes all the difficulty out of it. You know how much I love black rice - well, that also goes perfectly with these skewers.
The recipe also comes with a bangin' dipping sauce recipe and I like to serve the skewers with butter lettuce, fine shredded red cabbage, chopped roasted cashews, sliced cucumbers and fresh lime.
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Lemongrass Pork Skewers
- 6 lemongrass stalks (white parts only)
- 2 teaspoons ginger (finely grated)
- 2 cloves garlic (finely minced)
- 1 eschalot (French shallot - finely minced)
- 6 teaspoons fish sauce
- 4 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cooking salt
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- 1 kilogram (2 pounds) pork mince or chicken mince (ground pork or ground chicken)
- cooking oil
- 4 red bird's eye chillies thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 teaspoons fish sauce
- 3 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 bunch butter lettuce
- 2 telegraph cucumbers
- ½ red cabbage (shredded finely)
- 2 tablespoons roasted and crushed cashews or peanuts
- 4 lime wedges or cheeks
- sticky rice
- Prepare the ingredients as described. Lemongrass can be prepared in a few ways. Always start by whacking the white part with a pestle or the back of a small cast iron skillet. Then remove the outer layers and the lemongrass and chop off the base of the white part.
- You can either chop the lemongrass by slicing in to thin circles, then mincing and using a mortar and pestle. A microplane grater can also be used for the lemongrass (after peeling), garlic, ginger and eschalot/French shallot.OR you can add all the paste ingredients (including fish sauce) to a stick blender jar to blend.
- All all the paste ingredients to a mixing bowl or food processor, evenly distributing. If mixing in a bowl, use a wooden spoon to do so or your hands. If using a food processor, pulse 5-6 times just until the ingredients are well mixed.
- Preheat the oven to 160C/320F or you can use an air fryer at 140C/280F or if you'd prefer to cook them completely on the stovetop, then make them thinner or smaller.Form the mixture in to patties, using about 2 tablespoons for each one. If usng bamboo skewers they need to be soaked in advance.Then place on a tray ready for cooking.
- Heat up a large skillet/frypan with some oil and brown the patties on each side, in 2 batches. Finish in the oven or air fryer for 10 minutes. If you aren't planning to eat all of the patties in one sitting - you can either freeze them before browning, or after browning, or after cooking completely. Just remember to finish cooking (or re-heating) them after defrosting.If you plan to eat them over 2-3 days, store them in the fridge after cooking completely and just re-heat them when you need.
- Prepare the sticky rice beforehand.Mix up the sauce ingredients when ready to serve and prepare the accompanying elements to serve the skewers with.
- I don't recommend using low fat chicken mince unless you can't find anything else
- An eschalot or a French shallot looks like a slender brown onion - don't be confused and pick up spring onions (scallions)
- I haven't tried replacing the fresh lemongrass with lemongrass paste in the tube or frozen lemongrass, but I've heard the latter is pretty good. I'm not sure how much to use of either though.