Lemongrass Chile Mushroom Stir-Fry

Yield 4 servings

Called nam xao xa ot in Vietnamese, this vegetarian dish can be a main or side. The mushroom-y result can be served cooled atop a salad, if you like. It would be great in tacos, too. Use different mushrooms so you get a variety of textures, shapes, and flavors.

If you only have lemongrass paste, use 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons and stir-fry on medium heat at the front end to avoid burning. Crank up the heat before adding the mushrooms. The following recipe was adapted from Cameron Stauch's Vegetarian Viet Nam.



  1. Make the mushroom powder, if you haven’t.
  2. For a seasoning sauce, stir together the mushroom powder, soy sauce, sugar, and water. Set aside. Ready the lemongrass, garlic and chile and keep near the stove.
  3. As needed, tear, slice or quartered the mushroom into large bite-size pieces. (Trim the ends of pioppini and they’ll fall into clusters or singles. Oyster mushrooms can be torn. Other mushrooms may be quartered or sliced. Set aside.
  4. Warm the oil in a very large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the lemongrass and garlic and stir-fry for 1 1/2 minutes, until fragrant and the raw garlic flavor mellows.
  5. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, until they soften and glisten. Add the green onion, stir to combine, then pour in the seasoning sauce mixture. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes, until the liquid is no longer visible and the mushroom have cooked through.
  6. Turn off the heat and let sit for a minute develop flavor. Taste and if you want to brighten the flavor, add a squirt of lime juice. Stir in the cilantro, then heap onto a serving dish and enjoy.


Adapted from Cameron Stauch's Vegetarian Viet Nam (Norton, 2018)

Courses main

Cuisine Vietnamese

Recipe by Viet World Kitchen at