Last November I spent two weeks (17 days to be exact) in Southeast Asia, traveling through various cities in China, Vietnam, and Thailand. When I travel I mostly eat my way through my journey, and this voyage was no different.
Next to my love for Cajun and Creole food, Asian delicacies are a very closed second. Namely, Vietnamese cuisine has my heart for its complex yet balanced flavor profile of sweet, sour, bitter, spicy, and salty.
After my cultural immersion, I was implored to find creative ways to weld Cajun/Creole flavor with Asian flavor, for a cultural fusion for the Gods! I saw alignment as within my name food culture, we too incorporate spicy, salty, and sweet.
Lemongrass is commonly used in many traditional Vietnamese dishes. It’s an herb that has notes of a citrus (lemon) flavor mixed with hints of spicy ginger. It combines well with shallots, garlic, and onion for an all-around balanced taste.
The added blackened seasoning–comprised of paprika, garlic and onion powders, black pepper, thyme/basil/oregano, cayenne, and salt–marry well with the sweet and spiciness of the lemongrass, and adds that special Cajun element.
Blackened Lemongrass Chicken Wings
A flavor fusion that is out of this world! Welcome to your new go-to chicken wing recipe!
In the bowl of a food processor, add the shallots, garlic, ground ginger, lime zest, salt, olive oil, fish sauce, and honey.
Trim fresh lemongrass stalk of its outer leaves and grate the inner yellow stalk finely with a microplane or grater, or smash the stalk with a meat pounder and cut finely. Add to food processor. Process all ingredients until smooth.
Rinse the chicken wings with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Transfer the wings to a bowl and pour in your marinade from the food processor.
Mix marinade until the chicken is well coated. Cover bowl and let marinate in the fridge for at least one hour or overnight.
When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400°F. Take chicken out of the fridge and season with blackened seasoning.
Add oil to skillet and heat on medium-high.
Add chicken to the skillet skin side down. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Turn the chicken, add any reserved marinade from the bowl into the skillet, and let brown for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Transfer to the oven and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
Brush the oil and marinade in the bottom of the pan on top of the chicken. Serve with lime wedges and chopped Thai basil, if desired.