Kasma's Thai Barbecue Chicken with Dipping Sauce (Gai Yang Sohng Kreuang)
Thai grilled chicken is one of the most delicious road-side (or hawker) meals in Thailand. Whenever we visit Thailand it is one of the first meals we stop for.
Here cooking instuctor and author Kasma Loha-unchit offers us a recipe for Thai Barbecue Chicken with Sweet & Tangy Dipping Sauce which is perfect for summer.
Thai-Style Marinated Barbeque Chicken
- 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro roots (or substitute with bottom stems)
- 8 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 tsp white peppercorns, freshly ground
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds, freshly ground
- 2 tsp yellow curry powder
- 2-3 tbsp fish sauce (nahm bplah), to taste
- 1-2 tsp sugar, to taste
- 1 large roasting chicken, cut into smaller sections (or see note below), or half a dozen leg-thigh pieces
- Coconut milk for basting chicken while grilling (about 1/2 cup)
Using a heavy mortar and pestle, pound cilantro roots, garlic and shallots to a paste. Add the freshly ground white pepper, coriander and curry powder. Stir and pound to blend the dry and wet ingredients. Add the fish sauce and sugar. Stir well to dissolve the sugar.
Trim off excess fat around the edges of chicken pieces, leaving the skin on. Rub paste onto the surface of the chicken and under the skin. Marinate two hours or up to overnight.
Grill over medium-hot charcoals (preferably mesquite or other wood coals). Turn frequently to prevent charring and burning. Add about 1/2 cup coconut milk to the bowl with the remaining marinate. Stir to mix and use this coconut milk mixture to baste pieces after each turning. Grill until cooked through. Serve with Sweet and Tangy Dipping Sauce (see below).
Serves 6-8 with other dishes and rice in a shared family-style meal.
Sweet and Tangy Dipping Sauce
- 10-15 dried whole red hot chillies
- 4-6 large cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- Juice of 1/2 to 1 lime
- 3 or more tbsp fish sauce (nahm bplah), to taste
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar, to desired sweetness
- A few cilantro leaves and/or a 1-inch section of green onion, chopped (optional)
Cut the stem tip off the dried chillies and place in a bowl. Add tap water to cover. Soak until softened (about 1/2 to 1 hour) and then chop. Reduce the garlic with a mortar and pestle to a paste. Add the chopped softened chillies. Pound well to blend. Then add the vinegar, lime juice, fish sauce and sugar. Stir well to dissolve sugar. Adjust flavors so that the sauce has the blending of salty, sweet and sour taste to your liking. Let sit for at least 15 minutes for the flavors to blend and mingle. Just before serving, add the chopped cilantro and/or green onion if you wish.
Note: Sauce may be made a day or more ahead of time- it keeps up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
Please visit Thai cooking instructor and cookbook author Kasma's website Thai Food & Travel for more Thai recipes and cooking tips.
Recipe © 2001 Kasma Loha-unchit, used with the kind permission of Kasma. Image © 2001 ThaiKitchen.org