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Classic Thai Gai Yang BBQ Recipe

It's National BBQ week and I couldn't let it pass without giving you this Thai classic recipe for grilled chicken and sticky chilli sauce.

1y ago

My favourite way to dine out at home in the summer is to have friends around for Gai Yang – the classic Thai BBQ with sweet chilli sauce, sticky rice and papaya salad. I am eagerly looking forward to the days when we can safely do this again.

In the meantime, I thought that I should give you the recipe and then you can get some practice in with the family ready for when you are ready to show it off to your friends.

The great thing about this is that you do the majority of the work the day before so it really takes the stress out of any event.

I know it's often difficult to reliably get your hands on coriander root but sometimes you can buy it by mail order well ahead of time and then freeze it. If you need to keep it then use the root from frozen do not allow it to thaw before use as it just goes slushy.

Can't wait till it's safe to socialise again - Photo from 2018

Can't wait till it's safe to socialise again - Photo from 2018

Gai Yang Thai BBQ chicken

Classic Thai street food chicken with sticky sauce.



  • For the Marinade:
  • 10 white peppercorns
  • 4 coriander roots
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoons of soft brown sugar
  • 30ml fish sauce
  • 6 chicken thighs on the bone with the skin on
  • For the Sauce:
  • 12 large fresh red chillies - skin removed and de-seeded
  • 1 tablespoon of coarse sea salt
  • 8 coriander roots
  • 6 garlic cloves peeled
  • 750ml white rice vinegar
  • 750ml water
  • 600g granulated sugar


  1. Crush the peppercorns in a pestle and mortar followed by the coriander roots and salt. When integrated pound in the garlic. Stir in the fish sauce and sugar to complete the marinade. Put the chicken into a glass bowl and stir the sauce over - marinate overnight.
  2. To Make the sauce: Put the chillies, salt, coriander roots and garlic in a food processor and blend. Put the paste in pan with the sugar, water and vinegar. Choose a pan with a level marker inside so that you can see the level. Bring to the boil and simmer until the sauce is reduced by half, skimming occasionally. Pour into a glass bowl and allow to cool. Cover and set aside to serve the next day. It should stiffen as it cools.
  3. BBQ the chicken until it is cooked through. Check it with a temperature probe and take it off the heat at 75 degrees.

Recipe by

Carole Mason

Have you tried this recipe? Share your photos & thoughts in the comments below

Serve with Thai glutinous rice and a punchy papaya salad.

This week I have been working with a blog who, in the spirit of the times, have written an enlightening article about how to dine out at home so if you can't get hold of the root but want some more exciting ideas take a look at this.

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