Lombok lemongrass and chilli chicken

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Food and Travels: Asia

Food and Travels

By Alastair Hendy

Published 2004

  • About

You could do this with your eyes shut. So, wheel on the barbie and slip the gamelan CD on, and grill to the sounds of Bali’s haunting bronze gongs, drums and xylophones in full ringing swing. Serve with salad, lime wedges and, if you’re up for it, the sambal. Lombok, by the way, is Bali’s neighbouring island.


  • 2 poussins (small chickens), or 8 chicken thighs
  • salt
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 2 sticks lemongrass, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 4 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • vegetable oil

To serve

  • crisp salad leaves and lime wedges


Spatchcock the chicken by cutting out the backbone and flattening the birds out, then make light slashes through the meat. If using thighs, slash them only. Pound together all the ingredients, except the chicken and oil - or blast in a processor until finely chopped. Smother over the flattened chicken and leave to bathe for a couple of hours or overnight. Brush the chicken with oil and grill over hot coals for 10“15 minutes on each side, or until cooked through when tested with the point of a knife. If using thighs, grill them for around 8 minutes on each side. Eat with salad.