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Spicy Grilled Chicken With Fish Sauce Marinade

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Spicy grilled chicken

So good. I served the spicy grilled chicken with homemade sriracha sauce and fried sticky rice.


This spicy grilled chicken recipe is one I usually make with chicken wings and serve as a starter course. Today I had some beautiful free range chicken legs and thighs and decided to cook them using the recipe.

I’m telling you… this is one you’ve got to try if you love Thai food as much as I do. The recipe is so simple yet packed with flavour.

You’ve got the sour flavour of the lime juice, the salty flavour of the fish sauce and a touch of sweetness from the sriracha that together with the chilli flakes gives the dish a nice spicy kick.

Marinating the spicy grilled chicken

I only had a few hours to marinate the chicken today. You could actually get away with only marinating the meat for 30 minutes but if time allows, 24 hours is best.

In the photos below, it doesn’t look like there is a lot of marinade on the chicken. There’s plenty. These ingredients work so well together.

I love fish sauce, especially the Thai variety. My brand of choice is Squid. I actually added a bit more than suggested in the recipe because I like it so much.

If you’re not sure, however, keep to the recipe.

Grilling the Chicken

This recipe could also be cooked over indirect heat on the barbecue or in the oven. Aim for about 200c/400f if cooking on the barbecue.

In this recipe, I used a much more authentic Thai method, cooking directly over medium hot coals. This gives the chicken a delicious looking golden brown colour. The skin becomes nice and crispy without a lot of char.

There are some grilled chicken fans out there who might prefer to cook over more intense heat to blacken the skin. I like that too but for this recipe, I recommend cooking over a low flame so that you don’t lose the subtle flavours of the marinade.

Making marinade

The marinade is simple but delicious. Only takes minutes to prepare.

Marinating chicken

Marinate the chicken for at least an hour. 24 hours is much better.

Setting up BBQ

One charcoal tower of charcoal is plenty for this job.

Barbecuing grilled chicken

Cook slowly over direct heat for about 35 minutes.

Serving spicy chicken

Garnish the finished chicken with coriander, red onions, red spur chillies and roasted sesame seeds.

Spice grilled chicken

Dig in!

Love Thai food? Try some of these delicious recipes!

Thai Green Curry
Thai Red Curry
Beef Massaman Curry
Chicken Satay and peanut sauce
Thai Drunken Noodles
Steamed Sea Bass with Garlic and Lime Sauce
Tom Yum Gai
Tom Kha Gai
Hot and Sour Prawn Soup
Fried Calamari

Yield: 4

Spicy Grilled Chicken With Fish Sauce Marinade

Spicy grilled chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 6 cloves garlic - smashed
  • 1 x 2.5cm (1 inch) galangal - cut into thin coins
  • 2 tbsp red chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp sriracha sauce
  • Juice of one lime
  • 6 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 8 chicken legs with thigh attached
  • 1/2 red onion - thinly sliced into rings
  • 4 tbsp coriander - roughly chopped
  • 2 spur chillies - thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds


  1. Place the garlic and galangal in a pestle and mortar and pound to a paste. Add the chilli flakes, sriracha, lime juice and fish sauce and stir to combine with your pestle.
  2. Leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. The longer the better.
  3. When ready to cook, set up your BBQ for direct heat cooking. You want to cook directly over low heat so spread those coals out. Cook the chicken, turning often for 35 minutes or until cooked through.
  4. Transfer the cooked chicken to a serving platter and garnish with the sliced spur chillies, coriander, red onion rings and sesame seeds. Serve with sriracha sauce.

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