Rick Stein's Turmeric-Marinated Chicken Wrapped in Lime Leaves

The appetising look of this dish caught my eye while flipping through Rick Stein's cookbook. I really like how this recipe has made use of the very fragrant kaffir lime leaves to wrap the chicken to keep moist and from burning. This is a dish made by a Frenchman who lives in Hanoi since the mid-1980s, so he is pretty much local. He made this dish for Rick Stein during his visit in Vietnam.

This recipe is best cooked on a barbecue but cooking on a pan or grill on the stove will still taste as amazing, only without the smokiness from the charcoal barbecue. 

Turmeric-marinated Chicken Wrapped in Lime Leaves

Adapted from Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey
Serves 4


  • 1kg skinned boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 3 bird's eye chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 40 double-lobed kaffir lime leaves
  • Vegetable oil
  • Bamboo skewers
  • Vietnamese dipping sauce (Nuoc Cham) - recipe below


1.  Cut the chicken thighs to about 2.5cm cubes.
2.  Mix the turmeric, fish sauce, lime juice, chopped chilli, shallots and white pepper in a bowl.
3.  Add chicken into the bowl and stir well.
4.  Cover and leave to marinate for about 2 hours or more.
5.  Meanwhile, soak the bamboo skewers in cold water and prepare the dipping sauce (recipe below).
6.  When the marinated chicken is ready, wrap each piece of chicken with lime leaf and thread through the bamboo skewers.
7.  Brush the skewered chicken with some oil and barbeque or grill for about 3 minutes on each side until just cooked. Careful not to burn them.
8.  Place the cooked chicken skewers on a plate and serve with Nuoc Cham dipping sauce. 

Nuoc Cham:

Recipe (doubled) from Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey


  • 4 tbsp lime juice (about 2 lime)
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar
  • 2 tsp chopped ginger
  • 2  bird's eye chilli, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 tbs water


1.  Mix all ingredients in a bowl and divide into dipping saucers before serving.


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