Damn Delicious

Thai Chicken Thighs

Thai Chicken Thighs - Cilantro, Thai basil, fish sauce, lime juice and brown sugar = best marinade ever. Grilled or cooked on a grill pan on the stovetop!

Cilantro, Thai basil, fish sauce, lime juice and brown sugar = best marinade ever. Grilled or cooked on a grill pan on the stovetop!

Thai Chicken Thighs - Cilantro, Thai basil, fish sauce, lime juice and brown sugar = best marinade ever. Grilled or cooked on a grill pan on the stovetop!

Greetings from NYC!

Guys, it is toasty here. What’s so funny is that the last time I was here with Ben, it was for the Thanksgiving parade last year and it was 19 degrees, tying it for the second-coldest Thanksgiving Day in New York City’s history, and the coldest since 1901. (Temperatures dipped to 15 degrees in 1871.)

And now it’s just shy of 100 degrees F.

That’s okay though.

Thai Chicken Thighs - Cilantro, Thai basil, fish sauce, lime juice and brown sugar = best marinade ever. Grilled or cooked on a grill pan on the stovetop!

I’m just thinking about being even hotter right now, behind a hot grill, flipping these perfectly crisp-tender chicken thighs that’s been marinated in cilantro, Thai basil, fish sauce, lime juice, lime zest, brown sugar and ginger.

It’s legit a bath of all the best Thai flavors ever.

If you’d rather cook this on the stovetop, you can easily throw these on a grill pan over medium-high heat, cooking until golden brown and cooked through, about 4-5 minutes per side.

But grill or stovetop, please stay cool this weekend, folks. It’s a hot one!!!

Thai Chicken Thighs - Cilantro, Thai basil, fish sauce, lime juice and brown sugar = best marinade ever. Grilled or cooked on a grill pan on the stovetop!

Thai Chicken Thighs

Cilantro, Thai basil, fish sauce, lime juice and brown sugar = best marinade ever. Grilled or cooked on a grill pan on the stovetop!

2 hours 15 minutes20 minutes


  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped Thai basil leaves
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs


  1. Preheat grill to medium high heat.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine cilantro, basil, green onions, fish sauce, 2 tablespoons canola oil, lime juice, lime zest, brown sugar, ginger, salt and pepper.
  3. In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine chicken and cilantro mixture; marinate for at least 2 hours to overnight, turning the bag occasionally. Drain the chicken from the marinade.
  4. Preheat grill to medium high heat.
  5. Brush chicken with remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add chicken to grill, and cook, turning occasionally, until chicken is completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 10 minutes.
  6. Serve immediately.

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  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    This was so easy to make, attractive, aromatic, tender and delicious. I am new to using fish sauce and was delighted to find that it adds a wonderful depth to the flavour of the grilled chicken. I will be adding it to other dishes. As mentioned by others, the smell of the fish sauce is not appetizing out of the bottle, but it completely transforms once on the grill.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    This was so yummy. Pan fried the chicken thighs, and sauteed bok choy garlic and onions in the brown bits with some soy sauce. Added the thighs and their juices back to the pan at the end and served over basmati rice. Will DEFINITELY make again.
    I couldn’t find thai basil, so added mint and basil to the marinade.

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Wow, so delicious! My family loved this recipe. Will be adding this to the rotation. Thank you! 

  4. Rated 4 out of 5

    Delicious! Marinated for about 2.5 hours then cooked in a cast iron and finished in the oven. The only problem is my boyfriend hates the smell of fish sauce but that is not the smell you are left with after this cooks. We served with a salad of fresh carrots, peppers, and cold diced sweet potato covered in peanut sauce. Super yummy!

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    Would this recipe work in an air fryer such as Philips or Ninja makes? Things come out of the air fryer pretty crispy.

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    Wow! So delicious and fresh tasting. My husband said this is his favorite recipe we’ve ever made! Definitely a keeper recipe! 

  7. Rated 5 out of 5

    Fam loved it. Made recipe exactly and added a couple boneless breasts in addition to thighs. Served with a cilantro rice and asparagus for a bowl presentation.

  8. I have made several times and it is awesome. Has anyone froze it? I need to prep some some meals for freezer and would love this one. 

  9. Rated 5 out of 5


    It looks delicious!

    Before trying it, I have a few questions:

    1) What about adding grated lemongrass stalks, bird’s eye chilies, and kafir lime leaves to the marinade? All of them are widely used in Thai cuisine.

    2) Can I reuse the marinade as a cooking liquid for veggies (mushrooms, bell peppers, tomatoes) to accompany the chicken? In this case, should I multiply the marinade ingredient quantities by an appropriate factor?

  10. Rated 5 out of 5

    We grilled the chicken after only marinating for 2 hours and it turned out great!! I made it with coconut rice and asparagus. I will definitely be making this again with no changes.

  11. Rated 5 out of 5

    These were delicious! I only used 1 tbsp of fish sauce in the marinade and cooked them in a cast iron pan! Very good dinner with jasmine rice and broccoli!

  12. Hi,

    This looks so delicious. Just wondering if you have any recommendations for cooking this in the oven. I don’t have a grill.

  13. Rated 5 out of 5

    This was the tastiest delicious recipe I’ve had in a long while. I served it with steamed rice and broccoli. 

  14. Rated 5 out of 5

    Great tasting, family loved it. We marinated for 5 hours next time I will do long. There will definitely be a next time!

  15. Rated 5 out of 5

    I made thus yesterday and it was really delicious. I didn’t have time to marinate overnight, but four hours was enough to get a really good flavor. 

    Due to the brown sugar in the marinade, you have to pay attention to the heat though. It burns more easily when it gets caramelized. 

    I will definitely make this again 🙂

  16. Rated 5 out of 5

    Fantastic recipe!  I marinated the chicken thighs for about 9 hours before it hit the grill and it was so delicious.  Husband and son loved it — served with basmati rice and pan seared shishito peppers.  The flavors were just perfect and didn’t overpower.  Will make this again!

  17. Rated 5 out of 5

    We made this tonight and it is just fabulous!!! The flavors are so rich and complex but the chicken shines through. It’s easy and so tender!! This is going to take top spot on my stack of chicken recipes. We’ll make it again and again, I’m sure. It looks like a fair amount of prep, but the fresh herbs go quickly because I chopped up the stems, too, since it was going to be drained off. Quick, easy, perfect!! I’m already sharing it with my cooking friends!!

  18. Rated 5 out of 5

    I used peanut oil (we don’t like canola oil odor or taste)and date palm sugar (less harsh-traditional Thai ingredient) plus some minced Thai Chiles/Phrik Kee Nu (also available in jar minced if fresh not available)

  19. Rated 5 out of 5

    My family LOVED this recipe!  We will absolutely make this again.  I saw lots of comments on the “stinky” fish sauce.  Invest in a quality fish sauce like you would invest in a good olive oil. It makes all the difference! I personally love the brand of fish sauce called Red Boat. 

  20. Rated 1 out of 5

    Don’t know the recipe managed to smell more like the fish sauce than anything & the taste wasn’t good enough to get past the fish smell. I wanted to really love it, especially since it had such great reviews but unfortunately was not what I was expecting

  21. Rated 5 out of 5

    My husband and I thought these were absolutely delicious – I used a combo of fish sauce and soy sauce as I finished up my fish sauce and did not have quite enough – it worked fine. They smelled heavenly while cooking – We will be doing these again. Thank you for such an easy and delicious recipe!

  22. Rated 5 out of 5

    Where is the nutrition information?

    • Hi EB! Nutritional information is provided only for select and new recipes at this time. However, if it is not available for a specific recipe, we recommend using free online resources at your discretion (you can Google “nutritional calculator”). Hope that helps!

  23. Rated 5 out of 5

    Made this for supper last night and it ended with deliciously positive reviews from my family! So quick and simple to make, I love trying new marinades! 

  24. Rated 5 out of 5

    Although these are a little stinky where the marinade is concerned (the fish sauce is culprit), the end result is absolutely delicious…i.e. Damned Delicious.  We marinated overnight to get maximum flavor and used Italian basil instead of Thai basil because of availability.  After grilling them, the chicken thighs remained succulent and mildly flavored with the marinade ingredients with a slight kiss of the smoke from the grill.  These are quite simple, but extraordinarily tasty and tender and would make a great dinner party entree.

  25. Rated 5 out of 5

    I was so excited to try this recipe. It’s not often that I have all the ingredients at home! I’m actually growing Thai basil in my garden this year, so I was anxious to use it. This recipe did not disappoint! I love the flavors and it was easy to put together in the morning for dinner. Thank you. 

  26. Rated 5 out of 5

    This recipe looks amazing.  However, I live in a senior apartment building and we are not allowed to grill.  Please post the recipe for stove top cooking.  Thank you so much.

  27. I have the chicken marinating in the fridge since last night! I’m super excited to try this recipe. Even my six year old said the marinade (before putting the chicken in) was delicious!

  28. Rated 5 out of 5

    I made this tonight and it was delicious. My family loved it, I’ll definitely make it again.  Thank you Chungah!

  29. Rated 4 out of 5

    I love your recipes!!!!! I wonder if I can make this Keto friendly….will try and wish me luck friend

  30. Thai basis substitute???  HELP. Asian market is distance prohibitive and regular supermarket does not carry.  Could probably purchase a plant at nursery but cannot wait for it to grow enough for me to make this receipt ASAP.  

  31. Rated 5 out of 5

    This looks amazing. Can’t wait to make this.
    The cilantro lime chicken thighs are on repeat at our house. I bet this will too!