Lao Stuffed Lemongrass (Ua Si Khai)
Recipe type: Main Dish, Entree, Meat
Cuisine: Lao, Laotian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • 6 stalks of lemongrass, trimmed to six inches in length (measuring from the bottom)
  • ⅓ lb ground pork (ground chicken or ground turkey will do too)
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying
  1. Wrap the lemongrass stalks loosely with a piece of paper towel and microwave on high for 4 minutes or less. You want them to be justsoft enough to be pliable while still retaining as much of their fragrant essential oil as possible.
  2. With the tip of a sharp paring knife, make several 4-inch cuts lengthwise all around the lemongrass stalks, starting about ½ inch from the bottom. By doing this, you’re turning each stalk of lemongrass into a basket — a cage, if you will — which will hold the meat. So it’s imperative that you leave both ends of the lemongrass stalks intact.
  3. In a mixing bowl, mix together all ingredients, except the eggs and the frying oil. Divide the mixture into six portions.
  4. Stuff one portion of the meat into each lemongrass “cage.” Try to get the meat to stay inside the cage as best as you can, but if some oozes out, it’s not the end of the world.
  5. Once you’ve filled the lemongrass stalks with all the meat, press each filled stalk with your palms (easier if your hands are moistened) to form a tight rugby ball-shaped capsule.
  6. Heat up the frying oil until it reaches about 300°F. (We don’t want the temperature to get too high as the outsides of the filled lemongrass stalks will burn before they’re cooked all the way through.)
  7. Dip each filled lemongrass stalk into the beaten eggs, making sure it’s thoroughly coated, and drop it into the hot oil slowly and carefully.
  8. Once the filled lemongrass stalks turn golden brown, give each one a light squeeze with a pair of tongs. If the inside is cooked all the way through, you should feel some resistance.
  9. Transfer your Ua Si Khai from the oil and let them cool on a paper towel-lined plate.
  10. Serve with steamed jasmine rice or sticky rice.
Recipe by SheSimmers at