Still - I enjoyed the soup at the restaurant very much. I didn't like that the basil and cilantro came in big stalks - I would have preferred chopped - and the jalapenos were sliced instead of chopped, as well. But the flavor was good and it was p l e n t y. My youngest had fried shrimp, and was still a little hungry after eating those - I pushed the huge bowl toward him and said "finish this, I can't eat another bite." And he did. lol
Tonight, I decided to try my hand at using some lemongrass in a recipe. I was feeling brave and all "Vietnamese-y" LOL. I looked at a chicken recipe that sounded wonderful but I am out of carrots; I even checked out a Thai recipe with chicken that sounded wonderfully flavorful, but I have no bamboo shoots. Finally, I simply picked Ga Nuong Xa and made a few tweaks to some recipes I read. It was exquisite. Honest. I wasn't sure I'd really like lemongrass, I've only used it once or twice and in amounts so small, they didn't even matter, I suspect. Tonight, the marinade had three heaping tablespoons of minced lemongrass. And I found that I do like it, very much.
If you try this, grill it hot and fast - you want the chicken done, of course - but you want it juicy as well. I grilled mine for 5 minutes each side, over the center of the grill (keeping it away from most flareups). It was perfectly done and still juicy. I could maybe have cut off that last minute and been a little better.
Ga Nuong Xa
(Grilled Chicken with Lemongrass)
4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons fish sauce
4 teaspoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 heaping teaspoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons finely minced lemongrass
juice and pulp of 1/2 a large lemon
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
Add all ingredients except chicken to a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Add chicken and marinate for about 15-20 minutes. In the meantime, if desired, start some rice cooking, chop veggies for stir-fry (for me, choosing these sides was good - they all came together about the same time). Start your grill heating. When the marinating time is up, place chicken on grill, and turn down the heat to low or medium low. Close the cover and grill for 5 minutes on each side, less if the breasts are thin. Serve with rice and stir fried veggies, if desired. A squeeze of lemon over the stir fry brings this all together quite nicely.
My kids loved it too. It's always a keeper for me when that happens. :)