Gai Yang – Thai Grilled Chicken - Thyme To Mango

Gai Yang – Thai Grilled Chicken - Thyme To Mango

Bring the flavour, aroma and kick-ass foodie delights of Thailand’s BBQ street food with this super delicious Gai Yang recipe!

If there is a reason I travel the world more than any other it would be for food. Because food = life (both literally and figuratively). If I’m ticking a new city, region, or even an entire country, off my “to see” list, there is a good chance I’m doing so because the food – be it a particular local delicacy, or the entire food scene itself – has caught my attention.

Sure, it’s not the entire reason. I travel far and wide to see and experience other awesome things, too. But after all the white-sand beaches, the spectacular diving, the trekking in rainforests, the temples, the historic sites, the museums, the landmarks, the hip, off-beat boutique hotels (and the odd five-star resort in between), I’m going to be seeking delicious food in some form or another.

Be it the street food of Penang, the hidden eateries in Singapore’s little India, the mountain top tavernas in Greece, the esteemed restaurant along a cobbled street in Paris, or perhaps even the roadside food truck (or cart, lol) on some rural road – these are the reasons why I grabbed my passport and jumped on a plane in the first place.

And Thailand was no different.

The Paramedic and I travelled there back in 2015. The trip was split into three very distinct chapters so that we could experience as much of the country as we could in the limited time we had: a few days in the North in the beyond-awesome city of Chiang Mai, complete with elephants and rainforest trekking; a few days in the sweat-inducing chaos of Bangkok, followed by nine sun kissed days of sheer laziness on the island of Koh Tao.

And included in this awesome trip was copious amounts of food. So. Much. Food. I think we both put on a little weight during that trip


This was most clear in Bangkok. With a street food scene that is as bright and accessible as it is delicious, it’s pretty hard not to find yourself grazing on one food item to another all day long. I think there were times we even forgave an evening meal, simply because we’d been scoffing our faces so much during the day

Because there is so much food available: on every street corner, in every little laneway, you can find a food stall/ cart offering one delicious offering after another.

And the portions are small-ish. So stopping by a food stall to buy a few fried banana fritters, only an hour after breakfast, doesn’t seem like a bad idea. Nor does the sweet, sugar syrup-drenched rice ball things you find yourself buying a few minutes later, or the Gai Yang an hour after that.

And before you know it, you’ve passed hundreds of street food sellers, came to the conclusion that this small offering won’t affect your evening appetite, and return to your hotel in the evening having eaten your entire body weight in delicious food.

(It didn’t help that we landed in Thailand right in the middle of Chinese New Year’s celebrations, so the offerings, availability, and variety of food was greater than usual!)

Again, #sorrynotsorry

So today is in memory of the fantastic time the Paramedic and I had in Thailand. Of course, without the heat, the humidity, the traffic, the feeling of being on holiday – not to mention the general ambience of the place travelled – the recreation of recipes doesn’t always hit that sweet foodie spot when made at home, but this Gai Yang recipe does pretty well. I mean, with a delicious concoction of garlic, lemongrass, fish sauce and palm sugar, how could you go wrong?

It’s also a simple recipe with a kick-ass final dish so – Gai Yang high fives all round.

A simple marinade (made in a pestle and mortar for best results, or a food processor if, like me, you’re short on time and/ or enthusiasm) is mixed with chicken, left to imbue its delicious goodness (a few hours but overnight for kick-ass results) before being grilled on a BBQ for Thai-riffic foodie awesomeness (see what I did there!).

So, what are you waiting for? Get into your kitchen and bring the flavours of Thai street food to your dinner table asap!

Until next time foodies!


Recipe adapted from Eating Thai Food

PrintGai Yang – Thai Grilled Chicken

Bring the flavour, aroma and kick-ass foodie delights of Thailand’s BBQ street food with this super delicious Gai Yang recipe!


  • 1kg boneless chicken thighs (or thighs – see notes)
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce (or Tamari for GF substitute)
  • 20 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 lemon grass stalks, thinly sliced (just the beige-white parts)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 30g palm sugar
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 3 to 4 coriander roots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
Read the whole recipe on The Nude Food Hero