In the countryside in Cambodia this is actually a really fantastic premium dish that a local might cook for their friends and family. It's a rustic chicken recipe but made using cola (which is quite expensive for a local person to buy). Chef Luke Nguyen recommends cooking this in a traditional clay pot if you can get your hands on one.






Skill level

Average: 3.7 (42 votes)


  • 5 cm piece fresh galangal, peeled, finely sliced 
  • 10 makrut lime leaves 
  • 3 red Asian shallots, finely sliced 
  • 3 lemongrass stems, bruised 
  • 1 tsp sea salt 
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce 
  • 1 kg whole chicken 
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce 
  • 330 ml can Coca-Cola 
  • ground white pepper, for sprinkling 
  • lemon dipping sauce or lemon juice, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Soaking time: 2 hours (if using a clay pot)

If you can, use a large round clay pot, about 5 litre capacity, for this recipe. You will need to soak it in water for 2 hours before using it in this recipe. If you don’t have a large clay pot, use another pot that is just large enough to hold the chicken, and skip the soaking step.

Combine the galangal, lime leaves, shallots and lemongrass in a bowl.

Add the salt and oyster sauce and mix well, and then stuff the mixture inside the cavity of the chicken. Brush the soy sauce over the whole chicken.

Place the chicken, head down, in the clay pot, then pour half the cola into the cavity. Place the chicken breast side down in the clay pot. Cover the pot and place over a gas burner or charcoal, over a medium heat. Cook for 30 minutes.

Turn the chicken over, and then pour the remaining cola over the chicken. Cover and cook for a further 30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and cooked through.

Cut the chicken into quarters, and then sprinkle with sea salt and ground white pepper.

Serve with the lemon dipping sauce, or lemon juice for drizzling.