Grilled Lemongrass Shrimp – Vietnamese Tom Nuong Xa Recipe

Hold on tight, because we’re about to take your taste buds on a wild ride with this Vietnamese delicacy: Grilled Lemongrass Shrimp (Tom Nuong Xa). This dish is the epitome of explosive flavors – combining the tangy zest of lemongrass with succulent shrimp and delicate rice noodles. Trust me, when you get a whiff of those aromas sizzling over the grill, you’ll be salivating like Pavlov’s dog!

Now, I know some of y’all might be intimidated by the idea of grilling seafood. But hear me out – this recipe is easy peasy lemon squeezy! And we’re using farm-raised shrimp – so don’t worry about any fishy business.

So fire up that grill and get ready to impress your friends and family with this mouth-watering Vietnamese Grilled Lemongrass Shrimp recipe – aka Tom Nuong Xa. Let’s go!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Grilled Lemongrass Shrimp - Vietnamese Tom Nuong Xa
Grilled Lemongrass Shrimp – Vietnamese Tom Nuong Xa

Listen up, my food-loving friends! Do you love the rich and exotic flavors of Vietnamese cuisine? Are you a fan of succulent grilled shrimp that just melts in your mouth? Then, you’re going to fall head over heels in love with this Grilled Lemongrass Shrimp recipe, also known as Vietnamese Tom Nuong Xa!

Let me tell you why you’ll adore this dish. First of all, lemongrass is the star of the show here, adding an earthy and citrusy kick to the already scrumptious shrimp. This ingredient is undoubtedly what elevates this dish from ordinary grilled shrimp to an explosion of flavor in your mouth.

Secondly, the marinade used for the shrimp is perfection itself! It’s a combination of fish sauce, honey, olive oil, and other spices – it’s like a party for your tastebuds! Trust me when I say that this savory concoction makes the shrimp absorb all the flavors so that every bite is an adventure.

Lastly, it’s easy to make and customizable to your liking! You can adjust the spice level if you’re not a fan of heat, or maybe switch out the shrimp for chicken or beef! The possibilities are endless with this versatile recipe.

In conclusion, if you love lemongrass, have a knack for grilling, and just wanna impress your family or friends at the next BBQ party, then this Grilled Lemongrass Shrimp recipe is perfect for you! Trust me; one bite will leave you craving more.

Ingredient List

 Get ready for a flavor explosion with this Grilled Lemongrass Shrimp!
Get ready for a flavor explosion with this Grilled Lemongrass Shrimp!

Here we will list all the essential and flavorful ingredients you need to make this delicious grilled lemongrass shrimp recipe. Make sure to get everything before starting the recipe, so you don’t run out of an important element halfway through cooking!


  • 1 lb peeled, deveined shrimp (medium size)
  • 2 tbsp lemongrass, finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 5 stalks of fresh lemongrass
  • Bamboo skewers

When shopping for the ingredients, look for fresh and organic herbs such as lemongrass as it is the star of this dish. If fresh lemongrass is not available in your area, you can opt to buy a pre-made paste from the grocery store or online. Make sure that your shrimp are fresh and cleaned so that they cook evenly and taste flavorful. Also, choose bamboo skewers that are long enough to thread five to six pieces of shrimp.

The Recipe How-To

 These juicy shrimp are infused with aromatic lemongrass and other savory spices that will make your taste buds dance.
These juicy shrimp are infused with aromatic lemongrass and other savory spices that will make your taste buds dance.

Grilled Lemongrass Shrimp Recipe

Looking to spice up your barbecue? Try my lemongrass shrimp recipe, inspired by the delicious flavors of Vietnamese cuisine. This recipe is packed with bold and zesty flavors that are sure to leave a lasting impression on your taste buds.


  • 1 lb of large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tbsp of lemongrass (finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp of curry powder
  • 1 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Green onions (chopped, for garnish)

Step One: Prepare the lemograss marinade

Begin by making a marinade for your shrimp. Combine finely chopped lemongrass along with curry powder, fish sauce, honey, olive oil, and juice from one lemon in a Ziploc bag or a container big enough to hold the shrimp.

Step Two: Add shrimp to marinade

Place the uncooked, peeled and deveined large shrimp in the plastic bag or container with marinade mixture. Marinate for at least 30 minutes to overnight for enhanced flavor.

Step Three: Preheat your grill

Preheat your grill into high heat or prepare charcoal grill as you usually do.

Step Four: Grill the shrimp

Thread marinated shrimp onto skewers that have been soaked in water for at least half an hour. Grill your shrimp on high heat for approximately two minutes per side until slightly browned and caramelized.

Step Five: Serve and enjoy

Garnish with chopped green onions and serve with white rice, vermicelli noodles, or vegetable stir-fry!

Substitutions and Variations

 Take your grilling game to the next level with this Vietnamese-inspired dish.
Take your grilling game to the next level with this Vietnamese-inspired dish.

Ah, you’re feeling adventurous and want to shake things up a bit? I got you covered. Here are some ways to tweak the recipe or sub in/out ingredients:

– Want a burst of heat? Add minced chili peppers (jalapeño, bird’s eye, serrano) to the marinade or serve hot sauce on the side.

– Don’t have lemongrass? Use lemon zest and ginger instead for a similar citrusy zing. You can also use the same marinade for chicken, pork, beef, or firm tofu.

– Out of fish sauce? Use soy sauce or tamari as a vegan substitute. Worcestershire sauce also works in a pinch.

– Don’t dig shrimp? Swap them with sliced chicken thighs or pork belly. You can even use portobello mushrooms or eggplants for a vegetarian option.

– Want some crunch? Add julienned cucumber, carrot, bell pepper, and/or lettuce to the vermicelli noodles for texture and freshness. You can also use mung bean sprouts or shredded cabbage if you like.

– Feeling fancy? Grill some giant gambas (prawns) instead of regular-sized shrimp to make a bold impression. Or try making shrimp and pork egg rolls as an appetizer or snack.

Remember that cooking is all about experimenting and discovering what works best for your taste buds. Don’t be afraid to play around and have fun with the recipes!

Serving and Pairing

 Savor the taste of Southeast Asia with every bite of these delectable grilled shrimp.
Savor the taste of Southeast Asia with every bite of these delectable grilled shrimp.

When it comes to serving and pairing this grilled lemongrass shrimp dish, there are a few options that can help elevate your culinary experience. One classic way to enjoy Vietnamese Tom Nuong Xa is by serving it with a side of jasmine rice, which soaks up the flavorful marinade of the shrimp. But that’s just the beginning.

For some extra variety, try pairing the grilled shrimp with rice vermicelli noodles and fresh vegetables such as cucumber slices or shredded lettuce. This refreshing combo is perfect for hot summer days and gives you an easy way to watch your carb intake.

If you’re in the mood for a more substantial meal, consider sautéed bok choy or stir-fried green beans as a veggie side dish. You can also wrap each shrimp in a lettuce leaf for a low-carb, protein-packed meal on-the-go.

Finally, we recommend washing down your meal with some crisp, cold beer or refreshing lemonade. A light lager or wheat ale pairs particularly well with the bright flavors and fragrant aromas of this Vietnamese grilled lemongrass shrimp recipe.

Regardless of how you choose to serve or pair it, we guarantee that this lemongrass shrimp recipe will be a hit at your next cookout or family dinner. So grab some bamboo skewers, fire up the grill, and get ready to impress your taste buds!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 These shrimp make for a stunning centerpiece dish that will impress your guests.
These shrimp make for a stunning centerpiece dish that will impress your guests.

You know what’s better than dining on succulent grilled lemongrass shrimp? Being able to reheat your delicious leftovers and having another go at it the next day. Fortunately, this recipe is perfect for make-ahead preparation and can be stored easily.

To make things simple, I suggest that you skewer your marinated shrimp before storing them in your refrigerator or freezer. This allows for quicker thawing and saves time when you’re ready to grill again. To maximize freshness, store the shrimp in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to three days.

If you’re looking to store them for longer periods, simply freeze them immediately after skewering without marinating. They should last up to several months, though I suggest consuming them within the first month for optimal flavor.

When reheating grilled lemongrass shrimp, place your skewers on a baking sheet and preheat your oven to 350°F. Brush the shrimp with some olive oil and bake them in the oven for 10-12 minutes until heated through. Alternatively, you can heat up a cast iron skillet over medium heat and add some oil before cooking each side of the shrimp until heated through.

But let’s face it: cold lemongrass shrimp is also super tasty! You can add some of these babies on top of a salad or cold noodle bowl with rice vermicelli and vegetables bun tom – they’re sure to be a hit at any BBQ or dinner potluck. Enjoy!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Who needs a beach vacation when you can transport your taste buds to Vietnam with this dish?
Who needs a beach vacation when you can transport your taste buds to Vietnam with this dish?

As an assistant to a BBQ chef, I have picked up various tips and tricks for achieving perfect results when grilling. Here are some tips that will make your Vietnamese grilled lemongrass shrimp recipe unforgettable:

1. Marinate the Shrimp: For enhanced flavor, we marinate our shrimp for at least 30 minutes in our homemade marinade made of fish sauce, honey, olive oil, curry powder, and lemongrass before grilling.

2. Soak Bamboo Skewers: Before skewering the shrimp, soak the bamboo skewers in cold water to prevent them from burning when grilling.

3. Grill Over Medium Heat: Grilling over medium heat is key to achieving perfectly cooked and succulent shrimp. High heat will lead to overcooked or charred shrimp while low heat will leave you with undercooked shrimp.

4. Use a Grill Basket: If you don’t have bamboo skewers, use a grill basket to grill your shrimp. This will prevent them from falling through the grates.

5. Don’t Overcrowd: Avoid crowding the shrimp on the grill since it can affect the cooking time and cause unevenly cooked shrimp.

6. Keep Lemon Juice Handy: To add extra freshness and acidity to your dish, squeeze a bit of lemon juice over your grilled lemongrass shrimp just before serving.

7. Let Rest: Letting the grilled lemongrass shrimp rest for a few minutes after taking it off the grill allows it to redistribute its juices evenly throughout the meat.

By following these simple tips and tricks, you’ll be able to achieve perfectly succulent and delicious Vietnamese grilled lemongrass shrimp every time!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this grilled lemongrass shrimp recipe is more than just a dish – it’s a trip to Vietnam. The perfect balance of savory and sweet, the tender yet crispy texture, and the bold aroma of lemongrass will satisfy any craving for Southeast Asian cuisine. Plus, it’s versatile enough to pair with rice vermicelli, vegetables, or even egg rolls!

Don’t settle for bland and boring meals – elevate your taste buds with this Vietnamese tom nuong xa recipe. Trust me, once you try this flavor bomb of shrimp marinated in lemongrass and fish sauce, you won’t look at grilled shrimp the same way again.

So gather your ingredients from the list above, grab your bamboo skewers, and fire up that grill. You’re about to transport your taste buds to the vibrant streets of Vietnam – without leaving your own backyard. Go ahead and give this lemongrass shrimp recipe a try; it will leave you wanting more!

Grilled Lemongrass Shrimp - Vietnamese Tom Nuong Xa

Grilled Lemongrass Shrimp – Vietnamese Tom Nuong Xa Recipe

Lemongrass is used as skewers in this recipe, but it’s optional and you can certainly use bamboo sticks instead. The recipe is ideal for outdoor grill, indoor grill, or under the broiler and makes 1 skewer with 3 shrimp per person as appetizer for 4 servings. If you want to make this as main dish, make 2-3 skewers per person.
5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Vietnamese
Calories 68.2 kcal


  • 12 shrimp, medium to large, shelled and deveined
  • 4 stalks lemongrass (for skewers) or 4 bamboo skewers

Marinade Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons lemongrass, chopped or 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 green onions, fined chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste, Asian


  • If using bamboo skewers in place of lemongrass, soak them in water for 30 minutes so they won’t burn.
  • Combine all marinade sauce ingredients and marinate the shrimp for 15 minutes.
  • If using lemongrass, cut lemongrass into 10" (25 cm) lengths. Skewer 3 shrimp with lemongrass or bamboo skewer.
  • Grill or broil shrimp until nicely charred.



Serving: 50gCalories: 68.2kcalCarbohydrates: 6.4gProtein: 3gFat: 3.7gSaturated Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 22.7mgSodium: 457.3mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 4.7g
Keyword < 15 Mins, Asian, Vietnamese
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Shara @The Bird BBQ

Shara loves to experiment with different flavors and techniques when it comes to BBQ. She has been perfecting her craft for years and loves hosting backyard BBQs with friends & family. She often comes up with creative recipes that her guests rave about.