Learn how to cook Instant Pot Lemongrass Chicken (Pressure Cooker Lemongrass Chicken)! Your family will enjoy these super flavorful Vietnamese lemongrass chicken thighs packed with complex sweet-savory-umami-lemony flavors & refreshing aroma. Tasty yet super easy chicken recipe for busy days!
What is Lemongrass Chicken?
Lemongrass chicken is one of my favorite dishes to order in Vietnamese restaurants!
The irresistible Grilled Lemongrass Chicken is usually served with rice or in a vermicelli bowl.
Lemongrass Chicken Vermicelli Bowl (Bun Ga Nuong) is a refreshing bowl of noodle chicken salad, served with pickled carrots, bean sprouts, cabbage, fresh herbs, lime wedges, and the spicy-salty-sweet-sour-umami Vietnamese dipping sauce Nuoc Cham (Nước chấm)!
You’ll love how the unique scent & flavors of lemongrass brings out the deliciously complex sweet-savory-umami-lemony flavors & bright refreshing aroma. mmMMmmm…sooo good!!
What is Lemongrass?
Lemongrass is a speicies of perennial grass with the lower stalk widely used in Asian cuisines for flavoring. It’s mostly used in Thai & Vietnamese cuisines for making dishes like Tom Yum Goong, Beef Rendang, and Laksa…some of my all-time favorites!!
Besides flavoring food, lemongrass is also commonly used for producing citronella oil for soaps, insect repellent, candles, and aromatherapy.
I just love the unique refreshing scent & flavor of lemongrass – it somewhat resembles a lemon’s scent. It releases a clean, bright, mild, refreshing, plesant, complex citrusy flavor & aroma.
How to Buy Lemongrass?
When buying lemongrass, look for fresh lemongrass for best flavors.
- Texture: Firm stalks (not soft, whimpy, rubbery, dried out)
- Color: Lower stalk – pale yellow; Upper stalk – bright green (not brown)
*Note: If your local grocery doesn’t sell lemongrass, try to find them from an Asian grocery store.
How to Store Lemongrass?
- You can store lemongrass in the fridge – make sure it’s tighly wrapped.
- Lemongrass freezes well, but some aroma & flavors may be lost over time.
- You can place your dried lemongrass into a pot of rich, moist soil for it to grow new blades.
- When fully dried out, you can cut the lemongrass into smaller pieces or ground them into powdered lemongrass. Store dried lemongrass in airtight containers in dark cool places.
Time to cook Flavorful Juicy Lemongrass Chicken in Instant Pot!
Instant Pot Lemongrass Chicken
- 5 - 6 (1106g) bone-in chicken thighs
- 3 stalks (55g) lemongrass , white part thinly sliced
- 6 (23g) garlic cloves , chopped
- 1 (23g) shallot , thinly sliced
- 3 pieces (6g) ginger , thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) regular soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) lime juice from 1 fresh lime
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) cold water
- 2.5 tablespoons (32g) brown sugar
- Green onions , thinly sliced
- 1.5 tablespoons (22.5g) cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) cold water
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- Marinate Chicken Thighs: Place 6 chopped garlic cloves, thinly sliced shallot, thinly sliced ginger, thinly sliced lemongrass, and 2.5 tbsp (32g) brown sugar in Instant Pot. Add in 2 tbsp (30ml) lime juice, 3 tbsp (45ml) fish sauce, 3 tbsp (45ml) regular soy sauce, and 3 tbsp (45ml) cold water, then mix well. Add in 5 - 6 bone-in chicken thighs (with skin side down). Place Instant Pot’s Inner Pot in the fridge, then let it marinate for at least 1 to 3 hours.
- Pressure Cook Lemongrass Chicken: After marinating the chicken in Instant Pot, flip the chicken so the skin side is facing up. Close the lid and turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position. Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 7 minutes + 10 minutes Natural Release. After 10 minutes of Natural Release, release remaining pressure, and open the lid.
- Thicken & Season: Set aside the chicken thighs. Then, bring the liquid mixture back to a boil using the "Saute" button. Taste and season the lemongrass mixture if necessary (it should be salty enough). *Pro Tip: If you want a sweeter lemongrass sauce, add in more brown sugar. Mix 1.5 tbsp (22.5g) cornstarch with 2 tbsp (30ml) cold water in a small mixing bowl. Add the cornstarch mixture one third at a time to thicken the lemongrass sauce until desired thickness. *Note: The Lemongrass Chicken is fully cooked at this point.
- Optional Flavor-Boosting Step - Broil Chicken in Oven: In an oven tray, generously coat the chicken with the tasty lemongrass sauce. Place oven tray under the broiler for 5 – 7 minutes until the chicken skin is browned.
- Serve Lemongrass Chicken: Garnish Instant Pot Lemongrass Chicken with thinly sliced green onions, then serve. Enjoy!~ 🙂
Step-by-Step Instant Pot Lemongrass Chicken Guide
Here are the ingredients for cooking Lemongrass Chicken in Instant Pot:
*Note: Lemongrass chicken is usually made with boneless chicken thighs, but we are using bone-in chicken thighs here.
First prepare the lemongrass by cutting off the base and the green spiky tops, then peel off the tough outer layers (3 – 4 layers) [as shown in photo below].
Bruise the lemongrass stalk to release the flavors by lightly crushing the lemongrass with the side or the back of your knife. Then thinly slice the lemongrass.
Marinate Chicken Thighs
Place 6 chopped garlic cloves, thinly sliced shallot, 6g thinly sliced ginger, 3 thinly sliced lemongrass, and 2.5 tbsp (32g) brown sugar in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.
Add in 2 tbsp (30ml) lime juice, 3 tbsp (45ml) fish sauce, 3 tbsp (45ml) regular soy sauce, and 3 tbsp (45ml) cold water, then mix well.
Add 5 – 6 bone-in chicken thighs (with the skin side down) in the Instant Pot.
Place the inner pot in the fridge and let it marinate for at least 1 hour to up to 3 hours.
Pressure Cook Lemongrass Chicken
After marinating the chicken thighs in Instant Pot, flip the chicken so the skin side is facing up.
Close the lid and turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position.
- Pressure Cooking Method: High Pressure for 7 minutes + 10 minutes Natural Release
After 10 minutes of Natural Release, carefully turn Venting Knob to the Venting position to release the remaining pressure.
Once the floating valve drops, remove the lid.
Thicken & Season
Set aside the pressure cooker lemongrass chicken thighs.
Then, bring the liquid mixture back to a boil using the “Saute” button.
Taste and season the lemongrass mixture if necessary (it should be salty enough).
*Pro Tip: If you want a sweeter lemongrass sauce, add in more brown sugar.
Mix 1.5 tbsp (22.5g) cornstarch with 2 tbsp (30ml) cold water in a small mixing bowl.
Add the cornstarch mixture one third at a time to thicken the lemongrass sauce until desired thickness.
*Note: The Pressure Cooker Lemongrass Chicken Thighs are fully cooked at this point.
Optional Flavor-Booster – Broil Chicken in Oven
*Pro Tip: You can make the Instapot Lemongrass Chicken way more yummy with slightly crisped skin by broiling them in the oven.
In an oven tray, generously coat the chicken with the yumyum lemongrass sauce. 😀
Place oven tray under the broiler for 5 – 7 minutes until the chicken skin is browned.
Serve Instant Pot Lemongrass Chicken
Garnish Instant Pot Lemongrass Chicken with thinly sliced green onions, then you’re ready to serve 🙂
Enjoy your flavor-packed juicy Instant Pot Lemongrass Chicken!~ 🙂
Tools for Instant Pot Lemongrass Chicken
- Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker
- Wooden Spoon
- Mixing Bowl
- Silicone Basting Brush
- Kitchen Tongs
- Baking Tray
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