Wednesday, 14 September 2011


This dish is so simple I hesitate to even call it a dish. It's embarrassingly simple, more an idea than a recipe really. But gosh, it tastes really good. It's a meat only dish - served as part of a mixed array in a shared meal.

Everyone likes this dish - it isn't spicy and although it has a strong flavour it is not sharp or bitter or especially garlicky or in any way challenging. My kids adore it almost as much as me.

I first had this when my Thai friend Aor cooked it at my house and on her next visit to Australia, some 4 years later asked if I would like her to cook it again. Clearly I had made my feelings about her cooking known.

When she went back to Thailand I was keen to reproduce it so I asked her for the 'recipe' and this is what she sent:

Subject: garlic chicken
fried garlic first then put chicken in, then put oyster oil, soy bean sauce, Maggi dipping sauce (if you have), pepper, sugar a bit. That's it perfect. Yummy...Let's do it.

I love this - its so quintessentially Thai. It's not about the quantities, there's even flexibility about the ingredients you have. It's all about the yummy taste and the just doing it! With exclamation marks because it's perfect! And fun! Arroy mark mark!

So with only slightly more precision, here's how I make it.

Garlic Chicken

Peanut oil, 1 tablespoon

Finely chopped garlic - lots. As much as you can be bothered chopping. I probably ideally use 7 or 8 cloves but you could use less or more as you felt inclined.

300-500 gms sliced chicken breast (thigh is also good but the sauce component is quite juicy so the drier breast does well.)

Oyster sauce, maybe 2 or 3 tablespoons

Soy sauce, about 2 tablespoons

White pepper, a few shakes

Sugar - maybe a teaspoon

Heat the oil in a small wok or fry pan and toss in garlic. Don't turn the heat up so high that the garlic burns, and keep stirring.

After a minute or two add the chicken. Keep it moving in the pan, you might want to turn the heat up a little here.

When the meat is just cooked through add the sauces and salt and pepper, adjusting for taste. You may alter the ratios quite a lot to get the flavour you like best - that's OK!

Serve with rice and veggies or salad.


flowerpress said...

Yum, must try this one. Sounds delicious!

theokun said...

I read your blog with google translate tool, I'm enjoying reading your review/story and will come back later.

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Anonymous said...

I usually have no idea how many there will be for dinner on any given night. Drives me c.r.a.z.y. They wander in 'whenever' and have the delighful habit of inviting friends - without advance warning.

This recipe is fantastic - everytime another one of them walked in the door I just took another chicken breast out of the fridge and chopped up more garlic.

It smelt wonderful and tasted even better and has to be the easiest dish to throw together - yum!

Thanks for sharing


Kel said...

Thanks so much for posting this, my 5 year old and 18 month old gobbled it down and we loved it too. I think this will go on regular rotation around here.