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June 28 | Comments (0)

Gai Yang

Grilled chicken with hot and sweet dipping sauce, otherwise known as Gai Yang or Ping Gai. A dish from north-eastern Thailand/Laos, usually cooked in markets and served with a bag of sticky rice. We've made this dish a few times, usually takes about 1 hour to prepare and cook, but the longer you marinate the chicken the better it tastes. This is a great dish for a party, as it tastes great both hot and cold. Pull out the BBQ and make your neighbours jealous with the smell coming from your backyard. Serve with a sweet chili dip and a quick cucumber salad, dressed simply with yoghurt, malt vinegar and pepper.

You can find all sorts of versions using Google. Our slightly adapted version comes from Hot Sour Salty Sweet by Jeffery Alfrod and Naomi Duguid. They've got a website, although it could use some work. It's a shame they haven't spent as much time on their site as they have on their books. Anyhow, here's the recipe.

2 tablespoons of black pepper corns
5/6 large cloves of garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons of chopped corriander
Pinch of salt
2/3 tablespoons of thai fish sauce
1 tablespoon of soy sauce

3 pounds of chicken thighs or legs (about 10 to 12 pieces)

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl (not the chicken though), then pour the contents into a large zip-lock bag. Now add your chicken to the bag, seal and shake, i've found this is the best way to get an even coating. If you need to use more than one bag, just make sure you split the marinade evenly. Leave the chicken sit in the bag, in the fridge for 1-3 hours.

Heat your grill or fire up the BBQ, place chicken on the grill with the bone side down and grill it until it turns brown (usually about 7-8 minutes). Turn over the chicken and cook until golden on that side aswell and until the juices run clear when pierced with a fork.

Hot and Sweet dipping sauce (taken directly from the book, forgive me copyright gods)
1/2 cup of rice or cider vinegar
1/2 cup of sugar
1 to 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoons of dried red pepper flakes

Place the vinegar in a small nonreactive saucepan and heat to a boil. Add the sugar, stirring until it has completely dissolved, then lover heat to medium-low and let simmer for 5 mins. Meanwhile, using a mortar and pestle, pound or mash the garlic and salt into a smooth paste, stir in pepper flakes and mix well. Remove vinegar mixture from the heat and stir in the garlic paste. Let it cool to room temperature. Makes about 1/2 cup of sauce (about enough for 2/3 people).

I love this type of food, the kind reminds us of our travels to Thailand. Simple food, designed for quick lunches on the go.

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I am a Planning Director at Critical Mass in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. At the moment I'm focusing on the luxury market. I also work on Forkd with my friends at Isotoma.

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