Thai street food is very popular and one of the most extraordinary things about Thailand every visitor remembers. Among the most loved foods found in the street of Bangkok and big cities in Thailand is authentic Thai grilled whole chicken on wooden strips (or Gai Yang Siab Mai in Thai). Most Thais enjoy the grilled chicken with sticky rice and papaya salad (or Som Tum in Thai). The marinade and the dipping sauce are the unique features of Thai grilled whole chicken. Follow the recipe below to find out why.


Ingredients for the marinade: 

20 medium garlic cloves

3 stalks of lemongrass

7 cilantro roots

4 medium shallots

3 tablespoons of oyster sauce

1 tablespoon of ground black pepper

1 ½ tablespoon of light soy sauce

1 teaspoon of salt

¼ cup of milk

2 fresh pandan leaves 


Ingredients for the dipping sauce: 

2-3 tablespoon of fish sauce

2 tablespoon of tamarind concentrate

1 tablespoon of palm sugar

1-2 tablespoons of lime juice

1 tablespoon of ground toasted rice

1 tablespoon of ground chilies

1 tablespoon of chopped scallions

1-2 sprigs of cilantro


For the chicken, you will need 1 whole chicken (approx. 2.2 lb), spine removed, butterflied.



  1. Slice lemongrass, shallots, pandan leaves, cilantro roots and garlic. Then, combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Process until a rough paste is formed. Set the marinade aside. Note: if you can’t find cilantro roots, use thick cilantro stems instead.
  2. Rub on all surfaces of the whole chicken with the marinade. Cover, transfer to refrigerator, and allow to marinate for at least 5 hours and up to over night (most preferred).
  3. Once the chicken is ready, use two pairs of wooden strips to hold the chicken.
  4. Place chicken skin-side up on cooler side of grill with legs facing towards hotter side. Carefully flip chicken and place skin-side-down on hotter side of grill with breasts pointed towards cooler side. Cover and cook until skin is crisp. You can also use an oven to cook the chicken with a temperature set at 350°F. Start with the skin-side down for 30 minutes and then flip to have the skin-side up for another 30 - 45 minutes or until the skin is crisp.
  5. Combine all of the dipping sauce ingredients to make the dipping sauce.
  6. Bon Appétit!

Hope you enjoy the famous Thai grilled chicken recipe. Visit our Recipe page for more authenthic Thai recipes and our Shop page for our authentic Thai menu!