Authentic Thai Grilled Chicken Recipe (Gai Yang ไก่ย่าง)

I can't believe it's been over 6 years since Mark Wiens posted this video. My dad and I were craving Thai food and we really want to eat chicken. But restaurants in Toronto just don't do it the same. So we thought about cooking it ourselves. My dad loves watching this guy on YouTube so I followed his tutorial and man this chicken is bomb!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Resting Time 1 d
Total Time 1 d 2 hrs
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Servings 4


  • Mortar and Pestel
  • Charcoal Grill or BBQ


  • 2 Whole Chickens (Approx. 1.8kg Each)
  • 4 Sticks Skewers
  • 1 Grill


  • 4 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Palm Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Sweet Dark Soy Sauce
  • 8 tbsp Water
  • 4 heads Garlic (30-40 Cloves)
  • 2 stalks Lemon Grass
  • 2.5 tbsp Black Pepper Corns
  • 8 roots Fresh Corriander

Gai Yang Sauce

  • 1.5 tbsp Khao Kua
  • 1.5 tbsp Chilli Flakes
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 3 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 8 tbsp Tamarind Juice
  • Few Sprigs Cilantro



  • Mark Wiens used 2 full chickens (1.8kg each). But we used maybe like 4 chicken pieces but they were like smaller chickens. The total was like 3 kilos so I think that's all that really matters
  • Be prepared to marinade the chicken overnight cause that makes it all the difference. But if you're really impatient, I suppose you can getaway with only marinating for a few hours but its so good if you can rest teh chicken overnight.

Creating the Marinade

  • Peel your four heads of garlic. This should give you about 30-40 cloves of garlic.
  • Slice the lemon grass and cutoff the roots of the corriander
  • Now pound everything (garlic, lemongrass, black peppercorns, and coriander roots) with the mortar and pestle. You can use a blender but the juices and smell of the herbs I find aren't the same. You'll do this a couple times and see the oils come out to make a paste.
  • With all the ingredients mashed up, pour it into a mixing bowl and stir them up. Add 4 tablespoons of light soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, and 2 tablespoons of palm sugar. Mix everything together while adding about 8 tablespoons of water to the mixture. You should end up with a potent marinade that looks like a chunky garlicky sauce.

Marinating the Chicken

  • You want the chicken to absorb as much marinade as possible you'll want to butterfly cut it. All this means is you want the chicken to be as flat as possible.
  • Now that the chicken has been cut to show as much surface area possible, massage the marinate to every spot that your hands can get into. (I just put the chicken in a large pot with the sauce)
  • When you think they're pretty covered in the sauce. You can just cover the chicken and toss em in the fridge. We used a pot so I just tossed the lid on it and let it sit.

Gai yang sauce (Nam jim jaew น้ำจิ้มแจ่ว)

  • Mark Wiens used a tamarind pulp and mixed it with hot water, but I think we had some just lying around. So we just put that in a bowl
  • In a bowl, mix 1.5 tablespoons of khao kua, 1.5 tablespoons of chili flakes, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 3 tablespoons of fish sauce, and 8 tablespoons of tamarind juice.

Grilling The Chicken

  • We only had a BBQ so we just turned everything to a low heat and had all the burners on.
  • We put the chicken on and I added some of the marinade on spots that looked like it needed it. After about 30 minutes the colours started changing and looked like it sealed some of the marinade so that's when I flipped the chicken.
  • I let it sit for another half hour and also added more marinade any where I felt necessary. I like putting it inthe grooves so it can absorb more sauce.
  • I like it when the chicken gets crispy so just added more heat and put the chicken on the sides I wanted to get crispier. Probably not the most chef-like action but whatever I like food.
  • Once the chicken was golden dark brown. I took em out, tossed it on our cutting board and used a cleaver to chop it up into bite sized portions.


  • We put sticky rice, added the chicken, poured the gai yang sauce and topped it with cilantro.
  • Now prep your tastebuds for the most bomb-ass chicken!!!
Keyword Grilled Chicken, Smokey

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