I had forgotten about this recipe until I saw me preparing it the other week. Peter had been converting our 8mm videos to digital format because video tapes will degrade over time. And sure enough as we were watching the footage, there was some quality loss on videos from 19 years ago. One particular video, from 2002 when we visitied Hanoi, Vietnam, was of a cooking class at a restaurant arrranged by our tour guide. It made me hungry for Vietnamese food so the next day, I searched my recipe file and found my handwritten notes for that same dish. Of course, I didn't have all the ingredients called for in the recipe so I swapped out some things here and there. I used dried lemon grass, but fresh would be better; chopped up green onions instead of shallots; used lemon zest instead of leaves; and left out the powder bouillon and oil. Below is the actual recipe I learned in Vietnam, but the photo shows my version. It was still tasty, and I used it to make my idea of a club sandwich. Converting to a different format can be fun!
1 pound or about 500 g boneless chicken thighs or breasts
2 shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 stalks lemon grass, bottom sections chopped finely
3 lemon or lime leaves, julienned
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon powder bouillon (optional)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon chili sauce
1 tablespoon oil
Score chicken and even out the flesh so that it will cook evenly. Combine all other ingredients and rub it over the chicken on all sides. Marinate for at least 10 minutes. Grill, broil or pan fry until nicely browned on both sides and chicken is cooked through.
Serve as a main dish with veggies and rice or as a sandwich filling.