Image: Mai Siam

Emerald Chicken

Gai Ho Bai Toey

Toey or Pandanus leaves are used in many sweet and savoury dishes of Thailand and Southeast Asia. In this recipe, they are used to wrap up marinated chicken thighs and then deep fried. The leaves impart their wonderful aroma and flavour to the chicken resulting in a truly delightful starter. Traditionally, chicken thighs are used but feel free to replace this with breast meat if preferred.



  • 4 chicken thighs (boneless)
  • 8 pandanus leaves
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying (approx 550ml)
  • Mai Siam Sweet Chilli Sauce



  • 2 tbsp light soya sauce
  • 1 heaped tbsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 28 g Mai Siam Palm Sugar
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander (include the roots)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2?tsp pepper



  • Take the skins off from the chicken thighs and cut each one into half. If the thighs are large, then cut into 3 pieces.
  • Microwave the palm sugar for approximately 20 seconds to soften, then chop.
  • Mix the marinade in a glass bowl and marinade the chicken pieces in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (preferably overnight).
  • Clean, dry and trim the pandanus leaves. If the leaves are too long, cut away the thicker part of the leaf at its base. This can be frozen for later use.
  • Place a piece of chicken in the centre of the pandandus leaf and fold into a triangle around the chicken.
  • When the chicken has been encased, tie the pandandus leaf into a knot to secure the chicken into a parcel. If the leaf is too thick to tie, secure with a cocktail stick.
  • Make up eight parcels.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or deep pan and when it is hot, cook 4 chicken parcels at a time.
  • When cooked, drain well, keep warm and finish cooking the remaining chicken.
  • Serve 2 parcels per person as a starter or place on a plate thus allowing guests to help themselves.
  • Serve with Mai Siam Sweet Chilli sauce as a dip.


Serves 4