This delicious Lemongrass Pepper Chicken (Ga Xao Xa Ot) Instant Pot recipe is quick and easy and just the right choice for busy days when you don’t have much time to cook. Healthy boneless skinless chicken is marinated with savory sauces and fragrant lemongrass along with nutrient-packed red peppers. Everything is cooked in the Instant Pot so the steps are simple and clean-up is a breeze! It takes just minutes from start to finish and you’ll have a healthy and hearty dish for meal time.
Notes on the Lemongrass Pepper Chicken (Ga Xao Xa Ot) Recipe, Tips and Tricks
I love lemongrass! This stalky, leafy plant is wonderfully fragrant with its fresh citrusy aroma and compliments many savory dishes. Use fresh lemongrass for best flavor. Frozen minced lemongrass is good too and is super convenient. If you don’t have either option, lemongrass paste (it’s packaged in a tube and found in the produce section) is a good substitute. If opting for the paste, use 1 Tbsp as it’s concentrated. Lastly, if you only have lemongrass powder, try with just 1 tsp and add more if it isn’t too strong.
This Lemongrass Pepper Chicken (Ga Xao Xa Ot) dish is great for prepping in advance if you want to save even more time during the busy week. All you need to do is marinate the chicken and store in a container. Marinating ahead gives the chicken even more savory goodness. Prep the red peppers and green onions and store in the fridge as well. Everything is now ready for when it’s time to cook. With marinated chicken, it’s best to to cook this meal within 2-3 days for best flavor and freshness.
The Instant Pot has so many awesome functions and one of my favorites is the Sauté function. Using this mode, we can quickly sear meats before pressure cooking, bring liquids to a boil or even cook down liquids. In this recipe, we use the Sauté function to make a quick and easy caramel sauce and again to cook off some liquid. The caramel sauce is super simple to make in the Instant Pot. Always when cooking sugar, be careful not to burn it, as it goes from golden color to dark brown very quickly. As soon as it turns a color similar to honey, you’re good to go to the next step. If you’d like to learn more about caramelizing sugar, check out this recipe for Instant Pot Caramelized Pork and Eggs (Thit Kho Trung).
Cooking down the liquid is an optional step. Since we always have to add some liquid when pressure cooking, sometimes there’s a bit more than we want. The Sauté function on High brings liquids to a boil really quickly and evaporates the liquid so the sauce is a bit thicker. Of course, if you prefer it saucy for dipping vegetables or spooning over your rice, just skip this step. Simply cook the red peppers until they just start to turn tender.
I made this recipe non-spicy so it’s suitable for all palettes, including the kiddies in the family. If you crave the spice, feel free to add red chili peppers. Yum!!
Serve the Lemongrass Pepper Chicken (Ga Xao Xa Ot) with steamed vegetables, soup or salad to make it a full meal. I often serve this dish with thinly sliced cucumbers. It’s perfect for dipping in the sweet and savory sauce and the cucumbers are so refreshing!
Lemongrass Pepper Chicken (Ga Xao Xa Ot) – Instant Pot Recipe
Lemongrass Pepper Chicken (Ga Xao Xa Ot) - Instant Pot Recipe
Easy and delicious Instant Pot dish for flavorful chicken infused with fragrant lemongrass in a sweet and savory sauce. Perfect recipe for the busy days, it's ready to enjoy in less than 30 minutes!
Cut chicken thighs into 1-inch chunks and transfer into a bowl. Marinate the chicken with 1 Tbsp lemongrass, 1 tsp minced garlic, oyster sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce and ground black pepper. Let marinate while continuing with the next steps.
Core the red bell pepper and cut into chunks. Separate the green onion root from the stems and chop each section.
Set the Instant Pot to Sauté on High. When hot, add the vegetable oil and sugar. Cook until the sugar is melted and turns a caramel color, approximately 3-4 minutes. Add the remaining lemongrass and minced garlic and stir fry for 1 minute. Add the marinated chicken and combine together until evenly coated with the caramel sauce. Sauté the chicken for 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water or just enough so all the chicken is in liquid.
Cover with pressure cooker lid. Set the steam valve to seal. Set to High Pressure cook for 2 minutes.
When the cook time is completed, quick release the steam. Remove the lid. Set the Instant Pot to Sauté on High. Add the chopped red bell peppers and green onion root and cook until half the liquid is evaporated.
Transfer to a plate and top with green onion stems. Enjoy while hot!
Notes, Tips & Tricks
- Use fresh or frozen minced lemongrass or 1 Tbsp lemongrass paste or 1-2 tsps lemongrass powder.
- Cook the sugar just until it turns a honey color, approximately 3-4 minutes. Be careful not to let it burn.
- Cooking down in the liquid is an optional step. If you're short on time or prefer the dish with more sauce, cook the red peppers just until they start to turn tender.
- Optionally add red chili peppers to make this dish spicy.
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