Thai Barbecue Chicken

Wherever you go in Thailand you can smell barbecue chicken!  At home I can’t reproduce that smoky, cooked over an old grate on top of wood smell and feeling, but this chicken is amazing.  So simple too.  I have another recipe I use for bbq’d Thai chicken that contains about 30 ingredients.  The simplicity of this recipe makes it  winner for anyone to try.

1/2 fresh chicken, cut into small pieces, OR 4-8 fresh chicken thighs


  • 2 Tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. dark soy sauce (OR 1 more Tbsp. regular soy sauce)
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. sherry
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. black peppercorns, crushed with mortar and pestle or spice grinder (or more or less pepper to taste)
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. grated or minced ginger


  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. ginger, minced
  • 1-2 fresh red chilies, minced – or 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce

Combine all marinade ingredients in a ziplock bag and stir/squeeze  well to dissolve the sugar. Put chicken in bag and give it a generous massage.

This is amazing with even just 1 hour to marinate, but if you leave it in the fridge overnight, so much better.  (One of my favorite tricks is to do this ahead of time and just put it in the freezer until you need a quick meal!)

To make the dipping sauce/glaze, place all the ingredients in a sauce pan. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Stir occasionally and allow it to thicken and reduce until it is that  perfect blend of all Thai dishes – a mixture of sweet, sour, salty and spicy.

Tip: this sauce can be served warm, at room temperature, or cold, so you can easily make it ahead of time and keep in the refrigerator until needed.

Brush or spray grill,  then grill the chicken, turning occasionally. Brush the chicken with the leftover marinade for the first 10 minutes or so, then discard marinade.

Serve with the dipping sauce on the side, OR spoon a little sauce over each piece of chicken as a glaze before serving.  We loved it served with a Thai curry and jasmine rice … soooo yummy!

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