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Thai-style grilled chicken (Gai yang)

"Gai yang is a street food from north-east Thailand. However, it's so delicious it's found throughout the country. Often eaten with green papaya salad and sticky rice, this is the quintessential Issan meal. The traditional recipe uses a whole chicken, split open and flattened, rubbed with marinade and grilled over charcoal until beautifully fragrant. This recipe is adapted from The Elegant Taste of Thailand by Pinyo Srisawat and Sisamon Kongpon." You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.

You'll need

2 tbsp finely chopped ginger (about 20gm) 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander root (about 2) 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped 1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, finely chopped 2 kg small chicken drumsticks 250 ml (1 cup) light soy sauce 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper 2 tsp white sugar   Sweet chilli sauce 80 gm white sugar 50 ml white vinegar 4 long red chillies, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped


  • 01
  • Pound ginger, coriander root, garlic and lemongrass in a mortar and pestle, or process in a small food processor, until smooth, then transfer to a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients, mix well to coat chicken, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • 02
  • For sweet chilli sauce, combine sugar, vinegar and 125ml water in a saucepan, stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the simmer, add chilli and garlic, cook until syrupy (5-6 minutes). Season to taste with salt, cook for another minute, cool slightly, process in a food processor until smooth. Cool.
  • 03
  • Preheat a char-grill or barbecue to low heat. Remove chicken from marinade and grill, turning occasionally, until cooked through (10-15 minutes). Serve hot with sweet chilli sauce.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Featured in

Jan 2010

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