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Laotian Grilled Chicken (Ping Gai)

Rated as 4.65 out of 5 Stars

"This particular ping gai (Laotian for 'grilled chicken') recipe seems to have originated from the Queen Mother Cafe in Toronto, so some North-Americanization may have occurred. But rest assured, this is at least twice as good as your average grilled chicken, North American or otherwise. Generous amounts of freshly ground pepper and chopped cilantro are the main players in the marinade, while a sweet, garlicky dipping sauce is the perfect accompaniment."
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4 h 30 m servings 221
Original recipe yields 10 servings (10 chicken thighs)


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  1. Grind peppercorns coarsely using a mortar and pestle, electric grinder, or spice mill.
  2. Chop cilantro finely and transfer to a mixing bowl. Stir in the freshly ground pepper, oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, oil, and cayenne. Add chicken thighs and toss by hand until completely coated. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for 4 to 12 hours.
  3. Combine rice vinegar, lime juice, garlic, sambal, fish sauce, cilantro, and honey to make the dipping sauce. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Preheat grill for medium- to medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.
  5. Place chicken thighs on the grill, discarding any excess marinade. Cover and grill until thighs spring back to the touch, 5 to 6 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 155 degrees F (68 degrees C). Slice and serve with the dipping sauce.


  • Chef's Notes:
  • If you're part of the 10% of the population for whom cilantro tastes like soap, you can substitute using equal parts basil, parsley, and mint.
  • Some recipes call for garlic in the marinade, and some don't, but since my dipping sauce was going to be very garlicky, I didn't add any to mine.
  • Editor's Note:
  • Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of marinade ingredients. The actual amount of marinade consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 221 calories; 11.1 10 20.2 71 961 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 13
  1. 23 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

Turned out great. Typically we do not test new recipes on company....they loved this chicken. The dipping sauce (strangely enough) has a flavor profile similar to a vinaigrette.

Most helpful critical review

I just finished making this dish as a birthday present to myself. If I were to make it again, I would slice the thighs thinly to cook better, using a frying pan, or use chicken breasts instead a...

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Most positive
Least positive

Turned out great. Typically we do not test new recipes on company....they loved this chicken. The dipping sauce (strangely enough) has a flavor profile similar to a vinaigrette.

Excellent recipe. We followed it precisely. I have a problem with people not giving five stars to a recipe yet saying they changed it. You need to give the original recipe a chance.

Some of the best chicken we've made! Added some lime juice to the chicken marinade. I've also made this with bone-in skin-on chicken thighs which are also incredibly juicy. 8 min on grill skin s...

Amazing dish, delicious & so easy to make! Definitely a keeper.

I didn't make any change other than marinating it overnight so I could have it ready to put on the grill after work. I thought it was good without the sauce, but then tried the sauce and it was...

And yet another 5-star dish from Chef John. His recipes never disappoint. This was absolutely delicious and the dipping sauce, just divine. I marinated the chicken overnight. Followed the recip...

Made this twice so far since the video aired, my new go to chicken thigh recipe! I use the full 2 tbsp of black peppercorns, it adds a nice punch. Definitely will look into other Laotian recipe...

I scaled down a bit. My chicken pack had 6. I made about half the sauce too. I made the recipe pretty much as directed. I grilled about 4 minutes per side, but the Mother Nature had other plans ...

I made it as written except that I substituted Thai curry past for the sambal olek because I didn’t have any. I served sliced avocados on the side and the dipping sauce was really good with them...