Thai Grilled Chicken (Gai Yang)

The marinade for this chicken is true to the authentic Thai grilled chicken (Gai Yang). Traditional Gai Yang is served with a dipping sauce but I find chicken thighs so juicy that it doesn't need it. Instead, I incorporate the flavour into the Marinade. Traditionally this is cooked over charcoal which gives it a wonderful smokey flavour. But it really is fantastic even cooked on the stove or in the oven, though my preference is to cook it on the outdoor grill. The key ingredients are the lemongrass and fish sauce - don't omit or substitute these!

Thai Grilled Chicken (Gai Yang)

  1. 2 lb / 1 kg chicken thigh fillets (skinless, boneless) (Note 1)

  1. 1 large lemongrass stalk , white part only very finely chopped (about 2 tbsp) (Note 2)
  2. 6 cloves garlic , minced
  3. 2 tbsp lime juice
  4. 2 tsp finely chopped red chili (optional but recommended)
  5. 3 tbsp fish sauce
  6. 2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine , sherry or sake (Japanese cooking wine) (Note 4)
  7. 1 tsp sesame oil (optional)
  8. 3 tbsp brown sugar or palm sugar
  9. 2 tbsp honey (or 1 tbsp brown sugar)
  10. 1/2 tbsp black pepper (adjust to taste - this adds spiciness)

  1. Lime wedges
  2. Red chili , finely sliced (optional)
  3. Cilantro / coriander leaves (optional)

  • Place Marinade ingredients in a large ziplock bag. Massage to mix.
  • Add the chicken into the ziplock bag and massage to spread the marinade over all the chicken. Marinate for a minimum of 3 hours, preferably overnight (up to 24 hours).
  • Remove chicken from the Marinade and discard the Marinade (unless baking in the oven - refer Note 3).