Grilled Turmeric Chicken (Gai Yang Khamin) Recipe

Leela Punyaratabandhu

This is a skewered, simpler version of Thai-style turmeric-scented grilled chicken that greatly reduces the time it would take you to grill a whole chicken as traditionally done. The flavor is not compromised, however.

Note: For best results, use chicken thighs. Breast meat can be substituted, but the dish will be drier.

Recipe Details

Grilled Turmeric Chicken (Gai Yang Khamin) Recipe

Active 30 mins
Total 3 hrs
Serves 4 servings


  • 2 tablespoons finely-chopped cilantro stems or 2 cilantro roots

  • 2 teaspoons whole white peppercorns

  • 2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds

  • 4 large cloves garlic

  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (see note)

  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce

  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric

  • 2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar


  1. Combine cilantro, white pepper, coriander, and garlic in a mortar and pestle and pound into a fine paste. Alternatively, combine in a small food processer and process until a fine paste is formed.

  2. Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes; Transfer a large mixing bowl along with fish sauce, oyster sauce, ground turmeric, brown sugar, and the prepared paste. Mix everything together well, cover, and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

  3. Thread the chicken pieces onto bamboo skewers, pushing them tightly against each other to form a tight, compact body of meat on the skewers.

  4. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals over the full surface of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set the burners on a gas grill to the medium-high, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.

  5. Grill the chicken, turning occasionally, until thoroughly cooked through and slightly charred, about 8 minutes total. Remove the chicken from the grill and serve.

Special equipment

Grill, bamboo skewers

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
474 Calories
20g Fat
12g Carbs
64g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 474
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 26%
Saturated Fat 6g 31%
Cholesterol 311mg 104%
Sodium 1763mg 77%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 64g
Vitamin C 3mg 17%
Calcium 71mg 5%
Iron 4mg 24%
Potassium 857mg 18%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)