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Thai Herb Stuffed Steamed Chicken with Fiery Dipping Sauce

Updated on December 23, 2009

I never would have imagined making steamed chicken prior to coming to Thailand. I mean, steamed chicken…what could be more boring that that – right?

Wrong! Thai style steamed chicken is delicious; subtly flavored with herbs and perfectly moist throughout - and since it’s served with a chili filled dipping sauce that will ignite some serious mouth fire – boring isn’t a word that springs to mind as you eat this meal.

This is a recipe for a herb rubbed steamed chicken. It’s a cinch to make and it’s something quite different from your everyday roast chicken. It’s also a snap to make, especially if you’ve got a stove top steamer (see pictures below). These handy devices cost next to nothing and although low tech – work really well.

As an added bonus, steaming chicken is a no-fat added method of preparation.

Thai Herb Stuffed Steamed Chicken with Fiery Dipping Sauce

For Chicken

  • 1 small chicken (about 2 to 2.5 pounds)
  • ¼ cup of very finely chopped galangal root
  • 1 cup of very finely chopped lemongrass
  • 6 lime leaves, julienned
  • 10 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsps of salt

For Sauce

  • 6 Tbls of fresh lime juice
  • 5 Tbls of fish sauce
  • 2 tsps of sugar
  • ¼ cup of finely minced garlic
  • 1-4 Tbls of finely chopped Thai bird chilies (use the lesser amount unless you enjoy very spicy food!)
  • 2 Tbls of finely chopped cilantro stalks (not the leaves, just the stalks)
  • 2 tsps of MSG (optional)


  1. Mix the galangal, garlic, lemongrass, lime leaves and salt. Take a couple of spoonfuls of this mixture and rub over the exterior of the chicken. Spread the remaining herb mixture inside the chicken cavity.
  2. Set up a steamer on high heat (vigorous steam). Put the chicken in a pan or dish that will fit inside your steamer (to collect the juices) and place this pan inside your steamer. Steam the chicken for about 35-40 minutes, or until the chicken has cooked through
  3. To prepare the sauce, simply mix together all the ingredients and taste for seasoning. You are looking for a tangy, sour spicy and savory sauce, add more lime juice, fish sauce or chili as needed to get where you need to go.
  4. To serve, cut the chicken into serving sized pieces (Thais would use a cleaver for this) or carve, whatever you prefer. Arrange the chicken on a serving platter and pour the collected juices that remain in the pan over the top of the chicken pieces.

Serve with steamed jasmine rice and with the dipping sauce along side.

Stove Top Steamers


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    • The Rope profile image

      The Rope 8 years ago from SE US

      Wonderful! I can't wait to share...