Lemongrass Chicken with Cashews and Edamame

Lemongrass Chicken with Cashews and Edamame

This is the last week of most of the restaurants and hotels being open on the island. From mid-August to mid-October, Virgin Gorda turns into a desert island. Literally. It is the height of hurricane season, which tends to deter most of the tourists from visiting us during this time period. And therefore, most of the businesses who rely on tourism close in an effort to manage their costs. Since almost everything is closed, it is also a good time for the locals to leave the island to visit with their families or simply go on vacation.

Lemongrass Chicken with Cashews and Edamame

That means that for the next 2 months we won’t have the option to go out and have dinner in a restaurant. I will have to cook every meal myself, which means I am in need of recipes that can be made (1) with whatever I have on hand, and (2) without spending too much time in the kitchen. And this Lemongrass chicken fits the bill perfectly.

Lemongrass Chicken with Cashews and Edamame


First of all, it is a weeknight dinner that is super easy to put together. All you have to do is to make the paste, marinate the chicken in it, and pop it on the stove. The whole process takes around 30 minutes.

I used chicken thigh meat because it has more flavor than chicken breasts, but if breasts are all you have, feel free to use breast meat instead. To flavor the meat, I made a paste using fresh lemongrass, garlic, ginger, chili, honey, sesame oil, fish sauce, and rice vinegar. After 15 minutes of marinating the chicken in the paste, it was ready to be cooked. To make it crunchy, I added some cashews and edamame beans. However, you can also use peanuts and snow peas instead, if you like.

Lemongrass Chicken with Cashews and Edamame

For the quiet island summer evenings ahead, this simple and filling chicken dish is a real lifesaver – a hearty meal without the fuss.


Lemongrass Chicken with Cashews and Edamame

Lemongrass Chicken with Cashews and Edamame

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from reviews

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4


  • 2 lbs. chicken thigh meat, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, chopped (inner white parts only)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 inch ginger, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1 cup edamame, shelled
  • 2 stalks of scallions, green and white parts chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds (optional)
  • Cooked white rice, to serve it with


  1. Using paper towels, pat-dry the chicken thigh pieces. Place in a medium bowl.
  2. Process lemongrass, garlic, ginger, chili, honey, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, fish sauce, and rice vinegar in a food processor until they are well blended and paste-like.
  3. Toss the chicken with the lemongrass paste. Cover it with stretch film and place it in the fridge. Let it marinade for 15 minutes.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of sesame oil in a wok or large pan (I used my 12 inch cast iron skillet) over medium heat.
  5. Stir in the soy sauce into the chicken mixture and give it a stir.
  6. Cook the chicken thigh pieces for 4-5 minutes on each side or until browned. (see note)
  7. Pour in the chicken stock. Simmer for a few minutes and stir in the cashews. Cook, stirring frequently until the chicken stock is reduced and cashews are all coated with the sauce.
  8. Stir in the edamame at the last minute. Cook until warm, 3-4 minutes.
  9. Serve with rice and garnish it with scallions, cilantro, and sesame seeds.


Note: When cooking the chicken, make sure that each piece have enough room to brown. If your pan is small, I’d recommend to cook the chicken into batches.

Lemongrass Chicken with Cashews and Edamame

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  • Caitlin - No restaurants?! Wow that must be hard. But hopefully it’s nice with no tourists around. This chicken dinner looks delicious.ReplyCancel

    • Aysegul Sanford - Hey Caitlin,
      Yup.. No restaurants.. or no maybe one..
      Still, not enough. The good thing is that we have the whole island to ourselves. I will be doing a lot of shooting around the island, photographing the empty (but gorgeous) beaches of Virgin Gorda.
      Thank you 🙂

  • Maggie - Interesting recipe! I like the idea of mixing everything with mixer and us it for marinating chicken. It’s difficult to find fresh lemongrass here. Wonder if it’s ok to used the dried ones. The recipe looks so delicious!ReplyCancel

    • Aysegul Sanford - Hi Maggie,
      Quite honestly, I have never used fresh lemongrass until we moved to the BVIs.
      It is in abundance in the island we live on. That is why I made this recipe. Also, the locals say that it is the best medicine when you have a cold or fever. They boil it to make tea and drink it throughout the day. At first, I wasn’t a big fan but in time I got used to it. Lately I have been using it to flavor when I make green-tea ice tea. It is yummy. My husband thinks that it tastes like the bottled cold Tazo teas.
      I don’t really know about the dried version. Do you guys use lemongrass in Chinese cooking? I know Thai cuisine uses it a lot.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Emily - hi Ayşegül,

    came across your blog via women who live on rocks. Love it so much and all the wonderful recipes you have up. Living in Tortola I seem to have got stuck in a bit of a cooking rut, but your blog has filled me with inspiration for new meals.

    One quick question for you which I hope you don’t mind – where on earth are you getting edamame beans from on VG? Only place I can find that will sell them is Origin and they charge a small fortune.



    • Aysegul Sanford - Hi Emily,
      I am so glad you found me. 🙂
      I totally understand what you mean about being stuck when it comes to cooking on an island. That was the reason why I started blogging about food.Talk about getting out of my comfort zone!!? :))
      Supa Value is where I get edamame beans from and I do not think that they are that expensive. Don’t quote me on this, but i think I paid something like between $3 and $4 for a pack..
      Thanks for stopping by!

      • Emily - Thanks so much – that’s great to know. Looking forward to making this a lot. EmilyReplyCancel

  • Nussy - it’s look delicious!! I like that you use herbs for this dish. Especially lemongrass. Not only we can use it for cooking, but also we can make lemongrass tea. and here is about the benefits of herbal tea that I like to share.


    PS I will try cooking this dish to my family. I think they will like it.
    Thank you.
    Nussy ^^ReplyCancel

    • Aysegul Sanford - Hi Nussy,
      How nice of you to share this great article. Thank you for doing that.
      I had never used lemongrass before I moved to the British Virgin Islands (where we currently live). It is in abundance here and I love it.
      It is so good to know that it has so many health benefits as well.
      I hope you and your family will like this recipe.
      All the best from the sunny Caribbean.

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