Lemongrass Ginger Chicken Skewers

I believe skewers to be the ultimate summer time appetizer. I basically grew up eating lamb kebabs at every outdoor BBQ or gathering up until I was 18. Once I moved out I usually always get a craving for meat on a stick at least once every two months. I usually try to make a different marinades as much as I can because you really can rarely go wrong with meat on a stick.

The most recent marinade I’ve made over and over again is a combination of Lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and honey. All the different flavours compliment each other so well that I’m positive you’ll want to make these more than once as well.

Lemongrass itself is used most often in Vietnamese cooking, which means it’s usually the least expensive in Chinatown where the turnover is better. However, lemongrass can also be found in the majority of grocery stores already in paste form in a squeeze tube or in stalks in the organic section. For this recipe, I used the stalks just because I wanted it to be as fresh as possible, but you can’t find any, the squeeze tube version works perfectly fine! If you end up getting the stalks, I found the best way to mash it up to release the most flavour is to mince it up as much as possible, then mash it using a mortar and pestle.

Switching up the protein in the recipe is 100% doable, hell I’d even recommend it. I’ve made it with chicken and shrimp so far and I honestly can’t tell which one I like more. I can imagine this marinade would be great with beef, pork, or even extra firm tofu. I baked mine in the oven because I can’t have a BBQ at my current apartment, however grilling them would most likely make it taste even better! Making the skewers themselves is super simple and make for a killer appetizer for you and or your friends!

Let’s get started on what you’ll need and how much it’ll cost you.

Lemongrass Ginger Chicken Skewers

Ingredients & Costs

  • 1 Chicken Breast ($2.33)
  • 1 Lemongrass stalk (or 3 Tbs of Lemongrass Paste) ($0.89)
  • 1 Tbs Ginger (minced or paste) ($0.01)
  • 1 Garlic clove ($0.02)
  • 1 ½ Tbs Honey  ($0.21)
  • 1 Tsp Dark Soy Sauce ($0.01)
  • 1 Tsp Sesame Oil ($0.07)
  • 1 Tsp Canola Oil ($0.02)
  • 1 ½ Tsp Lime Juice (or half a lime) ($0.05)
  • ½ Tsp Turmeric ($0.001)
  • ½ Salt ($0.01)
  • 1 Thai Chili Pepper (optional)

Serves 2, takes 30 Minutes

Total Cost = $3.62* for 4 skewers!

Compared to the $10-15 at restaurants with Satay!

*Depending the cost of the ingredients in your area, the cost may be more or less. I live in a fairly inflated part of town, so chances are your cost will be less.

Need the proof? Head down to the bottom of this page!


DIRECTIONS

First things first, turn your oven on to 400°F (or get your grill ready if you’re using a BBQ). Next, mince up your lemongrass and crush it with the salt. If you’re using the store bought paste, you can skip this step.

Lemongrass-chicken-skewers-ingredient1

Once the lemongrass is in a paste-like form, chop up your garlic, ginger, and optional Thai Chili and throw it in the mortar and begin crushing again! This is basically the funnest part of the recipe so take your time and mash it up as much as possible!

Lemongrass-chicken-skewers-ingredient3

After a couple minutes of crushing, your paste should look something like this, feel free to add in some canola oil if you want it to be more paste-like.

Lemongrass-chicken-skewers-ingredient2

Finally, chop up the chicken breast into cubes and put the marinade together. This includes the paste you just made, canola oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, lime juice, turmeric, and I added some freshly ground pepper.

Lemongrass-chicken-skewers-marinade

Now it’s time to mix it all together, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it sit in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes.

After that, it’s time to put them on the skewers. I used metal skewers, so if you are as well, make sure you oil them before putting the chicken on. If you’re using bamboo or wood skewers, make sure you soak them for at least an hour or two (this was a mistake I made many skewers ago).

Place your skewered on a rack and make sure that it’s elevated with the tray or roasting not touching the chicken, this is to make sure the skewers don’t get soggy on the bottom.

Let them cook for about 15-20 minutes then turn the broiler on high to caramelize the skewers for about 3-5 minutes. Turn the skewers over and do the other side. The honey in the marinade should allow them to caramelize fairly fast.

And there you have it! A super easy and delicious appetizer.

Lemongrass-chicken-skewers-3

Lemongrass-Chicken-Skewers-1

If you end up making these, I sincerely hope you enjoy them! Any feedback & comments are definitely appreciated 🙂

Lemongrass-chicken-skewers-2


INGREDIENT COSTS

I’m referring to a Loblaws (a generic grocery chain in Canada) weekly flyer and their website.

Pack of 4 Chicken Breasts – $9.33
2 Lemongrass Stalks – $1.79
Garlic – $0.88/100g
Ginger – $0.43/100g
500 g Farm Boy™ Pure Ontario Honey ($4.99) – $0.99/100g
500 ml Rooster Superior Dark Soy Sauce ($1.99) – $0.40/100ml
946 ml No Name Brand Canola Oil ($4.19) – $0.44/100ml
443 ml LKK Pure Sesame Oil ($6.99) – $1.59/100ml
1kg Windsor Table Salt ($1.69) – $0.17/100g
125 ml Realime Single Strength Lime Juice ($0.99) – $0.79/100ml

Advertisements

Fresh Chicken Summer Rolls

healthy-Summer-rolls-1.jpg

Summer rolls are my go-to quick meals in the summertime and occasionally in the Winter when I want a light but filling meal. They can be packed full of your favourite veggies, proteins, herbs, and always be delicious. Though a lot of people know what summer rolls are – it seems a lot of people also don’t seem to realize how easy (and cheap!) they are to make!

In most restaurants, two of these wraps can go for $5-6. It’s a lot more cost saving (and fun) to be making these at home! Try to go through this recipe and see if it becomes a staple for your own hot summer days.


INGREDIENTS & COSTS FOR 6 WRAPS
TAKES 30 MINUTES, SERVES 2

1/4 of a package of thin vermicelli noodles ($0.49)
6 Rice Paper Wraps ($0.39)
1 Carrot ($0.16)
1/3 Cucumber ($0.66)
6 Romaine Lettuce Leaves ($0.30)
1/2 cup of fresh Basil (Thai Basil if you can find it!) ($0.49)

FOR THE PROTEIN: (You can use any protein you’d like, ex: substitute chicken with 1/2 block of Tofu)

1 Chicken breast ($2.33)
1 Tsp Corn Starch ($0.01)
2 Tsp Soya Sauce – 1 for marinade, 1 for sautéing ($0.02)
1 Tsp Ginger ($0.01)
1 garlic clove ($0.02)
1 scallion ($0.09)
1 Tbs Canola Oil ($0.05)
1 Thai Chili Pepper (Optional)

Total Cost = $5.02* – $0.83 each!

Compared to the $5-6 for 2 at restaurants! For the amount you make – its comparing $5.00 to $15.00-$18.00! That’s a great trade off.

*Depending the cost of the ingredients in your area, the cost may be more or less. I live in a fairly inflated part of town, so chances are your cost will be less.

Need the proof? Head down to the bottom of this page!


DIRECTIONS

The very first thing you should do is boil a small pot of water for your vermicelli noodles. I personally think the texture of the noodles is the most important part of these wraps, they should never be wet and soggy! While the water boils, gather all your ingredients!

ingredients-summer-rolls-fresh-healthy

Preparing your protein should be the next step. Chop the green onions then mince the garlic, ginger, and Thai chili if you opted for it to be spicy! Next slice your protein (I used chicken), then add in the cornstarch and soy sauce. Mix it all together!

By now your water should be boiled. Add in the 1/4 package of vermicelli noodles. Lower the heat to medium and cook the noodles for about 2 minutes. Once the noodles look cooked, drain and rinse using a sift. Try to squeeze are much water out as possible and cool the noodles in the fridge. Putting the noodles in the fridge allows it dry out a bit more and allows it to have a great texture!

chicken-ingredients-rolls

Once your protein ingredients are ready, set a pan on the stove at medium-high heat. Pour in the oil and wait for it to heat. Once heated, add in the ginger. As soon as it gets aromatic, add in the protein. Stir for about 2 minutes and wait for the chicken (or your choice of protein) to cook through. Once it does, add in the green onions, garlic, soy sauce, and chili. Now stir quickly for another 30 seconds and take it off the heat. Set it aside.

marinated-chicken-rolls.jpg

Now that your protein is set, start cutting up your veggies! I chose the julienne most of the vegetables so it’s easy to fit into the wraps.

chopped-vegetables

Once your veggies are ready, you can now start making your wraps! Take the noodles out of the fridge and shake them up a bit so they pull apart.

Take a large flat bottom pan or bowl (wide enough to fit the rice paper) and fill it with warm tap water. Grab a couple paper towels and put them next to the pan, you’ll be using these to dry the rice wraps! Put a rice paper wrap in the warm water and wait for it to get soft – it shouldn’t take more than 1 minute. Once it does, take it out and try to shake off as much water as possible, then dry it on the paper towels. This allows it to stick and hold better as your make your roll! Place the wrap on a cutting board or a flat surface and start filling!

summer-rolls-healthy-instructions-copyThe easiest way to wrap is to pull up the bottom half, then the side of the wrap, and then roll it up. And there you have it! In less than 30 minutes and 5 dollars, you have a wonderfully light but filling, healthy lunch for two!

healthy-summer-rolls-3

These wraps can be further enjoyed with sriracha, hoisin sauce, and especially my All Purpose Thai Peanut Sauce! I can’t recommend that enough, it’s just wonderful.

This recipe can be gluten free if you substitute the soy sauce used in the protein to a GF soy sauce!

summer-rolls-dip

Enjoy! And any feedback is 100% appreciated.


INGREDIENT COSTS

I’m referring to a Loblaws (a generic grocery chain in Canada) receipt, weekly flyer, and their website, as well as my Farmboy receipt.

Pack of 4 Chicken Breasts – $9.33
500 g No Name 100% Pure Corn Starch ($2.29) – $0.46/100g
500 ml Rootster Superior Dark Soy Sauce ($1.99) – $0.40/100ml
1 bunch of green onions ($0.79)
Garlic – $0.88/100g
Ginger – $0.43/100g
Romaine Lettuce – $1.50
3 Lbs Carrots – $2.00
1 Cucumber – $1.50
Basil – $1.99
400 g package of Thin Vermicelli Noodles – $1.99
Six Fortune Rice Paper Wraps – $2.99(comes with 45-50 papers)