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I believe this ping gai chicken is the first Laotian recipe we’ve ever posted on the blog, but based on how incredibly delicious this was, it won’t be the last! Having said that, based on my several minutes of exhaustive research, this particular recipe seems to have originated from the Queen Mother Cafe in Toronto, so I’m not sure how much North Americanization has occurred, but it’s only a matter of time before someone lets me know.


Besides all the freshly ground black pepper, the other key element here is the equally generous amount of chopped cilantro, which unfortunately not everyone is able to enjoy. For roughly 10% of the population, the herb tastes like soap, so below I’m going to provide you with a substitute herb blend that will get you pretty close.

You can use this same marinade with chicken breasts, but I really think the darker, richer meat makes for a much better match with the herbaceous, black pepper flavor profile. By the way, 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. As usual, suit yourself, but either way I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!



Ingredients for 4 Large Portions Ping Gai Chicken:
2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 10)
For the marinade:
1 to 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns, freshly and coarsely ground
1 very large bunch fresh cilantro, stems and leaves (about 1 cup packed)
note: instead of cilantro, you can use equal parts basil, parsley, and mint
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the dipping sauce:
2/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
juice from 1 lime
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Asian chili paste or sauce
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
2 to 3 tablespoons honey, or to taste

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