Classic Gai Yang Recipe…

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 its 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.

Actually I was inspired to write this as this week I have been working with the fabulous folks at Cibes Lifts who, in the spirit of the times, have written an enlightening article about how to dine out at home.

If you are not geared up to do this Thai recipe take a look at some of the other tempting ideas and recipes they reveal here.

Chicken Marinate Ingredients:

10 white peppercorns, 4 coriander roots, 5 cloves of garlic, 1teaspoon of coarse salt, 2 teaspoons of soft brown sugar, 30ml fish sauce, 6 chicken thighs on the bone – skin on.


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.

Sweet Chilli Sauce Ingredients:

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 and 600g granulated sugar.


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.

BBQ the chicken until it is cooked through. Check it with a temperature probe and take it off the heat at 75 degrees.

Serve with Thai glutinous rice and a punchy papaya salad.

Carole Mason

Freelance food writer - Author of Mae's Ancient Thai Food

Buy the Ebook Version for £5

Carole Mason

If you would like to work with me or try my food please get in touch with me at