Skip to Content

Easy Lemongrass Chicken (No Fish Sauce, Low Histamine)

​This low histamine chicken recipe is full of antihistamine ingredients, inspired directly by the Vietnamese dishes I grew up eating. It’s a no-marinate lemongrass chicken without fish sauce and totally packed with flavor!

About this recipe

No Marinate Lemongrass Chicken. Usually the lemongrass chicken you’d get from a restaurant has been marinated overnight in lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, garlic, and lemongrass, but that’s not an option for us. So to make up for that loss of flavorful tenderization— the lime juice actually breaks down the protein in the meat while it’s marinating— we’re cooking at a low heat and flavoring the fat from the start.

Lots of Antihistamine Herbs. Along with the garlic and ginger, lemongrass is a fantastic antihistamine herb. Really the only ingredient that may be iffy for some of you is the lime juice added at the end, but I’ve shared two substitutes for that in the notes section.

Ingredients

Fresh Ginger: possibly the best-known low histamine spice, ginger is the sharp, mildly sweet root of a flower; it’s been used for thousands of years in dishes both sweet and savory. Here it adds a sharper note to the sweet herbal flavor of lemongrass.

Frozen Lemongrass: although not very common in the Americas or Europe, lemongrass is a potent herb common in Southeast Asian cuisine. Its flavor is comparable to lemon oil + citronella, that is to say, herbal and lemony but not tart. While it does grow as a grass, the root of lemongrass is the flavorful part, and therefore the part that we use here (you’ll need less if you’re using fresh lemongrass root).

Coconut Sugar: this fruit-derived sugar has a toasty, molasses sweetness, one I associate mainly with coconut-based scents and sweets. This is my go-to replacement for table sugar in anything that’s not overly fruity; it’s basically equally as sweet as white sugar, but it has a toasted caramel kick to it.

Lime Juice: this is a beautiful souring agent in this recipe, and it comes out to just one teaspoon per serving. If you absolutely can’t tolerate lime juice, then see the notes for substitutions,

Kaffir Lime Leaves: these unusual leaves are optional, but brighten the flavor considerably. You can use fresh or frozen but not dried leave s(usually available at Southeast Asian markets).

How to make lemongrass chicken without fish sauce: step-by-step instructions

Step 1. Chop your meat into small pieces, and prepare the onion, ginger, garlic, and lemongrass (unless using frozen).

Step 2. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat, add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, until soften but not yet browning.

Step 3. Turn heat to medium-low, and then add half of each the garlic and ginger, letting it cook for 30 seconds before adding in the chicken.

Step 4. Add the chicken, then stir to make site it’s all evenly-coated in oil, and then arrange it in a thin layer in your pan, cooking it for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. This is the perfect time to chop your lime leaves, if using them (don’t forget to remove the stems).

Step 5. Once the outside of the meat has begun to cook, add the lemongrass and the rest of your garlic and ginger, stirring everything until well-combined. Keeping the heat on medium-low, cook for about 8 more minutes, focusing on letting the meat cook and not letting any of the sauce stick to the bottom of the pan. If anything begins to stick, add water 1 tablespoon at a time until everything forms a sauce again.

Step 6. Once the chicken is mostly cooked, there should still be a watery sauce underneath. Add the sugar and salt to the mix, turn the heat up to medium-high, stirring everything well and cooking for 2-3 more minutes, until the sugar begins to caramelize. Be careful of splattering oil!

Step 7. Turn off the heat and add the lime juice, stirring well. Sprinkle a bit of lime leaf on each serving after you plate it, adding any more salt you need once you’ve given it a taste. Serve with rice or garlic-infused veggies for a low-carb, low histamine dinner!

Recipe notes & tips

Lemongrass: here’s how to prepare fresh lemongrass, if you can’t find the frozen kind. Remember to use slightly less if using the fresh stuff!

Lime Juice: If you can’t tolerate lime juice, you can sub it for 1 teaspoon lime zest + 1/2 teaspoon sumac, OR for 1 teaspoon amchur powder (also called amchoor).

Swapping Meats: Pork is another traditional meat to use for this dish, but you’d want to cut it more thinly, and keep in mind that it will cook a bit faster. But no matter what meat you use, this will freeze beautifully and it meshes well with most any of the side dishes I’ve posted.

What to serve with lemongrass chicken

Homemade Lemongrass Chicken Recipe Card

As always, if you like the recipe, I really appreciate a review or comment!

Easy Lemongrass Chicken (Without Fish Sauce, Low Histamine)

Easy Lemongrass Chicken (Without Fish Sauce, Low Histamine)

Yield: 3 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

A sweet & succulent chicken dish with plenty of thick herbaceous sauce that pairs well with most any vegetable!

Ingredients

  • 5 Tablespoons organic olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh or frozen ginger, minced (about 1.5")
  • 1/4 cup chopped frozen lemongrass (only 2.5T if using only the white parts)
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast or pork loin
  • 2 teaspoons coconut sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice (see notes for sub)
  • 3 large kaffir lime leaves, fresh or frozen but not dried, finely chopped (optional, but brightens the flavor considerably)

Instructions

    1. Chop your meat into small pieces, and prepare the onion, ginger, garlic, and lemongrass (unless using frozen).
    2. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat, add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, until soften but not yet browning.
    3. Turn heat to medium-low, and then add half of each the garlic and ginger, letting it cook for 30 seconds before adding in the chicken.
    4. Add the chicken, then stir to make site it's all evenly-coated in oil, and then arrange it in a thin layer in your pan, cooking it for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. This is the perfect time to chop your lime leaves, if using them (don't forget to remove the stems).
    5. Once the outside of the meat has begun to cook, add the lemongrass and the rest of your garlic and ginger, stirring everything until well-combined. Keeping the heat on medium-low, cook for about 8 more minutes, focusing on letting the meat cook and not letting any of the sauce stick to the bottom of the pan. If anything begins to stick, add water 1 tablespoon at a time until everything forms a sauce again.
    6. Once the chicken is mostly cooked, there should still be a watery sauce underneath. Add the sugar and salt to the mix, turn the heat up to medium-high, stirring everything well and cooking for 2-3 more minutes, until the sugar begins to caramelize. Be careful of splattering oil!
    7. Turn off the heat and add the lime juice, stirring well.
    8. Sprinkle a bit of lime leaf on each serving after you plate it, adding any more salt you need once you've given it a taste. Serve with rice or garlic-infused veggies for a low-carb, low histamine dinner!

Notes

LEMONGRASS: here's how to prepare fresh lemongrass, if you can't find the frozen kind. Remember to use slightly less if using the fresh stuff!

LIME JUICE: if you can't tolerate lime juice, you can sub it for 1 teaspoon lime zest + 1/2 teaspoon sumac, OR for 1 teaspoon amchur powder (also called amchoor).

SERVE WITH: rice noodles, plain rice, steamed broccoli, candied sweet potato, or stir-fried carrots.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 425.01kcalTotal Fat: 27.81ggSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 151mgSodium: 1017.31mgmgCarbohydrates: 8.45ggFiber: 2gSugar: 3.79ggProtein: 34.7gg

Nutrition data is primarily accumulated from online calculators for convenience and courtesy only, and can vary depending on factors such as measurements, brands, and so on. We encourage you to double-check and make your own calculations.

Save this post for later!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!