Turmeric Chicken Recipe

By Marcus Samuelsson |

In honor of our Global Street Food Pop-up Cafe opening, we’ll feature various street food recipes throughout the month for you to try at home. If you’re in NYC this week, be sure to stop by our Global Street Food Pop-up Cafe in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. If not, here’s a quick and easy recipe for a popular street food in Thailand, Turmeric Chicken.

Turmeric Chicken (Gai Ka-Min) is a common street food treat found in Thailand, especially south of Bangkok in the beach towns of Pattaya or Bang Saen. Grilled by street vendors, who push their carts next to the beach, Turmeric Chicken is eaten with a batch of sticky rice and enjoyed right there on the beach. Even if you don’t have a beach near you, this recipe just might make you feel a bit more exotic right at home.

Adapted from Real Thai Recipes


4 tbsp coriander leaves and roots, washed and chopped

1 1/2 tsp powdered turmeric

1/2 cup garlic cloves

1 tsp black peppercorns

2 tsp fish sauce

3 tsp soy sauce

2 tsp sugar

2 legs & 2 thighs chicken


Photo: avlxyz

1. In a mortar, smash the garlic, coriander, peppercorns, and turmeric powder to make a paste.

2. Rinse the chicken and add to a bowl. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce, & sugar.

3. Put your hand inside a plastic bag and rub the paste into the chicken. Poke the chicken with a fork a bit to make holes for the marinade to seep in. Coat well, cover and refrigerate for 4-5 hours or overnight.

4. After marinating, either grill or bake in the oven until cooked.

5. To test if your chicken is done, poke with a fork on the thickest part of the meat to the middle of the piece. Pull out the fork and watch the juice come out of the hole. If it's pink, it's not done. If it's clear, it's done. Don't cut big slices into the piece or the meat will dry out.