Grilled chicken (gai yaang) recipe

Gai yaang is a popular street food originally from Thailand’s Isaan region, but now found throughout the country. In this recipe, the chicken is refrigerated overnight in a simple marinade, and then grilled the next day.

Serves 8
Preparation 25min
Cooking 35min
Skill level Easy

Amy Chanta & Palisa Anderson


2 x 1 kg whole chicken, deboned, thigh bones and wings intact
12 cm piece ginger, finely chopped
4 lemongrass stalks, white part only, finely grated
⅓ cup finely chopped coriander root
8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp white pepper
2 tsp caster sugar
160 ml (⅔ cup) Thai sweet soy sauce (see Note)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time overnight

Place chickens in a large container. Place ginger, lemongrass, coriander, garlic, pepper and caster sugar in a mortar and pestle and grind to a paste. Add soy sauce, stir to combine, then pour mixture over chicken to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Heat a barbecue or chargrill pan to low heat. Cook chickens, basting with marinade and then turning halfway, for 35 minutes or until chicken is dark, sticky and the juices of the chicken run clear when the thickest part of a thigh is pierced. Alternatively, preheat oven to 200°C. Place chickens on 2 large oven trays lined with baking paper and cook for 35 minutes, basting with marinade and swapping trays halfway. Rest for 5 minutes, then cut into pieces to serve.


• Thai sweet soy sauce is available from Thai food shops.

Photography by Ben Dearnley

As seen in Feast magazine, December/January 2014, Issue 38. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine

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