Lime Leaf Chicken with Coconut, Ginger and Snow Pea Rice




I always like to turn a negative into a positive, so when my son slashed his knee to bits on an oyster covered jetty while kneeboarding and I had to sit in a Doctor’s surgery waiting for hours on end, I was rather pleased to find this fragrant and delicious chicken recipe in a decade old magazine.  I then spent the next 40 minutes salivating just thinking about the sensational marriage of these classic Vietnamese flavours on a plate at my table.  With a little tweaking on my part the result was amazing…….thanks Jake!


Prep time:    20 Minutes                    Cooking time:   1  Hour                 $  Low Budget


Serves 4


4 chicken maryland pieces, cut on the joint (Breast or thigh would be equally good)

8 Kaffir lime leaves, roughly chopped

2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped

2 thai chillies, roughly chopped (seeds removed if you don’t like it too spicy)

2 lemon grass stalks, white part only, roughly chopped

5cm piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

1 small red onion, diced

1/2 tsp of chinese five spice powder

1/2 tsp of ground black pepper

1 tbs of brown sugar

1/12 tbs of fish sauce

Juice of 1/2 a lime

1 tbs of peanut oil

2 tbs of extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup of light coconut cream

2 green shallots, white ends removed and finely sliced for garnish


For the rice:


2 cups of jasmine rice

2 cups of water

1 cup of light coconut cream

2 white ends of the green shallot you reserved for garnish

2 x 1/2cm pieces of ginger

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and bruised

1/2 cup of coriander leaves

200gm of snow peas, topped and cut in half diagonally

sea salt and pepper

Lime wedges to serve


To prepare the chicken place the lime leaves, garlic, chillies, lemon grass, ginger and onion into a food processor. Pulse a couple of times to get going and then process until you have a paste with the consistency of pesto.  Add the five-spice powder, pepper, peanut oil, brown sugar, lime juice and fish sauce and blitz again until combined.  Place the chicken in an oven proof dish in a single layer and rub the paste into the chicken with your hands, making sure you have it all covered.  Drizzle over the olive oil,  cover with cling wrap and marinate in the fridge for at least four hours.


Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees.  Bake the chicken for approximately 1 hour or until golden and cooked through, turning occasionally.  At about the 45 minute mark, drizzle over the coconut cream.


To prepare the rice, place the rice, water, coconut cream, ginger, garlic and spring onion in a large saucepan and stir well to combine.  Pop it on the stove and bring to the boil and cover with a tight fitting lid.  Reduce the heat to low and allow the rice to absorb the liquid for approximately 12-14 minutes.  Turn off and allow to rest for about 8 minutes.


Blanche the snow peas in boiling water for about 1 minute, drain and run under cold water so they retain their nice bright green colour.  Remove the lid of the rice and fluff it up with a fork.  Discard the ginger, garlic and spring onion and stir through the snow peas and coriander.


To plate the dish, divide the rice among four plates and top with a leg and thigh chicken piece.  Give the pan juices a good stir and spoon over each plate.  Top with spring onions and serve with lime wedges……..

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  1. Caroline says

    It was delicious and easy to prepare. I used thigh cutlets and it worked very well. I also just served it with plain rice and some steamed veggies, but the chicken was so flavoursome that it still made a delicious meal 🙂

    • Em says

      Thanks caroline, glad you liked the dish and the thigh fillets would have been sensational too……no messy bones to tackle!

  2. Jodi says

    Your recipe are so good have made a couple and I can’t pick which one is the best as they are all so yummy my family and I have enjoyed trying them all

  3. steph black says

    Hi Em made this recipe a couple of times now and marinated the chicken overnight with the paste and coconut milk added. It was delicious and the chicken so tender. The flavours were great and meat melted in your mouth, was a hit with all the family. Will be up there as one of my favourites.
    Thanks Em

  4. Jo says

    I thought this looked delicious enough to just “try it out”, my first of all your recipes on two close friends who were coming over for dinner. I’m not a great cook but wowsers was it impressive. I used chicken thigh instead. Really delicious and enjoyed by all. I didn’t quite get the coconut or other flavours in the rice so would prob just do plain rice next time. But still, a 10/10 dish. Very easy for when people are over.

    • Em says

      Thanks Jo! Plain rice is totally fine… kids love coconut rice and I throw the snow peas into give them their green veg intake. The great thing about food and cooking is that it is open slather…..whatever suits you. Anyway, so happy you liked it. Cheers Em

  5. Debra says

    i am eating this now. Delicious!! I had with rice/quinoa mix and bokchoy from my garden. Will definitely do again. YUMMY. thanks for recipe.

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