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Cambodian Marinated Chicken Thighs with Sweet Pickled Slaw

In Khmer we call this Groeung Sach Moin Ang. When you make a batch of Groeung -lemongrass herb paste- you always end up with extra. Here's one of my favourite ways to use it up.

Whenever I make a batch of Groeung paste I tend to have more than enough for multiple recipes. Check out my post on Groeung paste for the different dishes it gets used for. For this recipe I'm marinating chicken thighs!

Groeung is a great marinade for chicken, pork, and beef. A popular Cambodian summer snack is marinated beef skewers cooked on the bbq! Growing up we lived in apartments and couldn't have a bbq so my mom would bake any marinated dishes in the oven. We often ate marinated chicken thighs or pork ribs with rice and Chrook (Cambodian quick pickled veggies) for dinner.


  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs

  • 3/4 cup Groeung paste

  • 1 tsp Salt

  • 1 tsp MSG

  • 1 1/2 tbsp Sugar

  • 1 tbsp Oyster Sauce

  • 1 tsp Dark Soy Sauce

  • 1 tbsp Canola or Vegetable Oil

Chrook (Quick Pickled Veggies)

  • 2 cups Shredded Carrots

  • 2 cups Shredded Green Cabbage

  • 1/2 Cucumber

  • 1 clove of Garlic

  • 1 tsp Salt

  • 1 tsp MSG

  • 1 1/2 tbsp Fish Sauce

  • 3 tbsp Sugar

  • 3-4 tbsp White Vinegar

  • 1 Thai Chilie (optional)

How to cook the chicken thighs

Place your chicken thighs in a large bowl and add the Groeung paste, salt, sugar, MSG, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, & canola oil. Mix thoroughly with your hands ensuring every piece of chicken is coated. Place plastic wrap over the bowl and marinate in the fridge for at least 1hr. You could also marinate the night before.

While the chicken is marinating move onto your quick pickled vegetables (See Below)

Once chicken has marinated, place in a baking pan and cook in the oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes (depending on the thickness of the chicken thighs). Remove from the oven and finish on a grill pan on medium-high heat to achieve those beautiful char grilled marks.

You can also grill these chicken thighs on the bbq for about 10-13 minutes, making sure to flip thighs halfway through. Chicken is cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius).

Serve with jasmine rice and Chrook (Cambodian quick pickled veggies)

Note on cooking time

Cooking time is going to vary depending on size and cut of your chicken. I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs which are going to cook a lot quicker than bone in/skin on. You can also use this marinade on drumstick pieces or chicken wings. Whichever cut, chicken is cooked when the internal temp has reached 165 degree Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius). I highly recommend purchasing a digital thermometer, it's definitely a useful tool in the kitchen!

Quick Pickle Instructions

Using your box grater or mandolin shred your carrots. Slice your cabbage into long thin pieces. Chop cucumbers into longer 2 inch chunks. You could also use a vegetable peeler to peel your cucumber into long ribbons. Finely chop the garlic and place garlic, cabbage, carrots, and cucumbers into a large bowl.

Add salt, msg, 1 tbsp of fish sauce, 3 tbsp of sugar, 2 tbsp of white vinegar to the vegetables. Mix thoroughly with your hands until the sugar has dissolved. Taste and decide if you need more vinegar- add the third tablespoon, taste again- add the fourth tablespoon if needed. If you find it's not salty enough, add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of fish sauce left. If you like your pickles sweeter add more sugar. Throw in the chopped Thai chili if you want some spice in the pickle.

With pickles it's all to your taste. Don't add all the fish sauce, sugar, and vinegar at once. Try adding 1 tablespoon at a time and continually taste until it is to your liking.

Once you're happy with the pickle, place a plastic wrap over the bowl or transfer into a jar, and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.


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