Grilled Marinated Thai Chicken (Gai Yang)

Grilled Marinated Thai Chicken is a dish that combines the vibrant flavors of Thai cuisine with the smoky taste of grilled chicken. This delicious and easy-to-make dish is perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a casual weekend barbecue or a special dinner party.

Thai cuisine is known for its bold flavors and use of fresh ingredients, and this grilled chicken recipe is no exception. The marinade is made with a combination of aromatic herbs and spices such as lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and chili flakes, as well as a touch of sweetness from brown sugar and tanginess from lime juice. This results in a complex and delicious flavor profile that will tantalize your taste buds.

Marinating the chicken overnight allows the flavors to penetrate the meat and gives it a tender and juicy texture when grilled. Once cooked, the chicken can be served on its own as a main dish or sliced and added to a salad for a lighter meal.

This dish is also versatile and can be adjusted to suit your personal preferences. If you like it spicy, add more chili flakes or a splash of hot sauce. If you prefer a milder taste, reduce the amount of ginger or garlic in the marinade.

In this blog post, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to make Grilled Marinated Thai Chicken, including tips on grilling and serving suggestions. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a beginner cook, this recipe is sure to impress your family and friends with its delicious flavors and beautiful presentation.

Grilled Marinated Thai Chicken


  • 2 lb / 1 kg chicken thigh fillets (skinless, boneless) (Note 1)


  • 1 large lemongrass stalk, white part only very finely chopped (about 2 tbsp) (Note 2)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp finely chopped red chili (optional but recommended)
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine, sherry, or sake (Japanese cooking wine) (Note 4)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil (optional)
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar or palm sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey (or 1 tbsp brown sugar)
  • 1/2 tbsp black pepper (adjust to taste – this adds spiciness)


  • Lime wedges
  • Red chili, finely sliced (optional)
  • Cilantro/coriander leaves (optional)


  1. Place Marinade ingredients in a large ziplock bag. Massage to mix.
  2. Add the chicken into the ziplock bag and massage to spread the marinade over all the chicken. Marinate for a minimum of 3 hours, preferably overnight (up to 24 hours).
  3. Remove chicken from the Marinade and discard the Marinade (unless baking in the oven – refer to Note 3).
  4. Heat the outdoor grill on medium-high. Or heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat on the stove.
  5. Cook the chicken until golden brown – around 3 minutes on each side.
  6. Rest for a few minutes before serving with lime wedges on the side, and garnished with fresh chilies and cilantro, if using.

Grilled Marinated Thai Chicken

Recipe Notes:

  1. This recipe can be made with any cut of chicken, just adjust the cooking time to suit. If using chicken breast, I recommend adding 1 tbsp of oil to the marinade to help with the caramelization.
  2. Lemongrass is readily available in supermarkets in Australia (Coles, Woolworths, Harris Farms). Peel the outer green layers off to expose the white part at the bottom of the stalk. Only use the white / very pale green parts – the other parts are tough and “reed” like.
  3. This can also be baked in the oven at 180C/350F for around 35 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of your fillets. Turn once and baste at least once (preferably twice) using the remaining Marinade.
  4. The cooking wine is an important ingredient in this so I really urge you to use it if you can. But if you cannot, then use chicken broth.

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About the Author: Julia Azedae

Food is my passion, and I'm grateful every day that I get to share that passion with others through my blog. I hope to continue exploring the world of food and sharing my experiences with my readers for many years to come.

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