Laotian stuffed lemongrass is a beautiful little appetizer or dessert, as it ended up being for our Laotian meal. It is an intriguing way to use lemongrass. It is stuffed with ground meat, I used chicken but pork is also often used.
You make little baskets out of the lemongrass and stuff the seasoned filling inside. It is then dipped in egg and then deep fried. It is served with peanut sauce like you would use for a satay.
I actually prepped these ahead of time and forgot about them until near the end of the meal. My first attempt at making the dessert had failed, so we enjoyed these little treats as dessert instead, which worked out great. It may have been our favorite of all the dishes. It is a little tricky to make the baskets and stuff them but you can do it, it is well worth the effort. Just buy a few extra lemongrass stalks in case one doesn’t make it. No worries.
Laotian Stuffed Lemongrass (Ua Si Khai)
An absolutely delicious and lovely appetizer that is unique and authentically Lao.
- 1 cup ground chicken beef or pork
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 4 green onions chopped
- 1 bunch of cilantro chopped
- 4 kaffir lime leaves stem removed and chopped finely
- a pinch of salt
- 8 lemongrass outside leaves removed plus a couple extra in case of a mistake
- 2 eggs lightly beaten with a pinch of salt
- oil for deep frying
- In a mortar pound garlic, onions, cilantro, lime leaves and salt until a paste forms
- Add in the ground chicken or meat of your choosing and pound until all is well combined
- Using a sharp knife, starting about 1/2 inch above the base of the lemongrass, make a slit about 3 to 4 inches in length through the lemon grass, rotate the lemongrass stalk about 45 degrees and repeat until the slits form a basket. Cut off the top of the lemongrass an inch or two about the basket.
- Using a spoon or your hands to insert about 1/8 cup of the chicken or other meat filling, Carefully rotating the lemongrass to stuff the meat inside.
- Heat oil over medium high heat, dip the lemongrass in the beaten egg mixture and place in the hot oil.
- Fry until the the filling is cooked through. This can also works well in a deep fryer.
Place the stuffed fried lemongrass on a paper towel to remove any excess oil.
- Serve with peanut sauce on the side.