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Sweet and Sticky Asian Chicken Recipe
Quick, easy and loaded with Asian flavor!
Our Asian Chicken is absolutely packed with flavor. You’ll love the sweetness and savoriness of this juicy chicken all in one bite.
First we make the sauce then transfer 1/3 cup to the chicken to use as a marinade. The remaining marinade is simmered on the stove-top until reduced to a thick, sweet, sticky, garlicky sauce you won’t soon forget!
This recipe for Asian chicken thighs is so easy you’ll want to put it on repeat. And no worries if you don’t have a grill or the weather’s not cooperating. We’ve included stovetop directions too. 😁
- skinless, boneless chicken thighs
For the marinade and sauce:
- ketchup for helping the sauce adhere to the chicken
- hoisin sauce (we like Kikkoman or Joyce Chen brands)
- plain rice vinegar, not seasoned
- light brown sugar or honey
- low sodium soy sauce
- toasted sesame oil
- chili garlic sauce
- fresh grated ginger
- minced garlic
- green onions, sliced thin
- toasted sesame seeds
- cooked rice
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🥣 How to make grilled Asian Chicken
1. Prepare the marinade
Combine all marinade ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until blended. You should have about 1 and 1/3 cups of sauce.
Transfer 1/3 cup of sauce to a large bowl or zipper bag and add the chicken. Turn or toss to coat and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.
Cover and refrigerate the remaining sauce until ready to grill the chicken.
2. Cook the sauce
Before you grill the chicken transfer the remaining 1 cup of sauce to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sauce starts to boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the sauce reduces to about 1/2 cup and thickens, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
3. Grill the chicken
When ready to grill the chicken clean and scrape the grill grates. Using tongs coat the grates with vegetable oil soaked paper towels. Preheat the grill on high for 10 minutes.
Cook the chicken thighs over the hot side of the grill until well charred on one side. Turn the chicken over and brush the grilled side with all the reduced sauce. Continue grilling until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.
4. Garnish and serve
Transfer the cooked chicken to a platter or baking sheet then serve garnished with sliced green onions and toasted sesame seeds.
🥣 How to cook Asian Chicken on the stovetop
If you can’t or don’t want to grill you can also cook this chicken in a skillet on the stovetop.
First combine the marinade ingredients and set aside.
TIP: Do not marinate the chicken before pan searing.
Blot the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
Next heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat until shimmering.
Add the chicken thighs to the skillet in a single layer. This can be done in two batches to prevent overcrowding the pan. Cook until browned, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Remove to a clean plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
Reduce the heat to medium and add all the sauce. Simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened and reduced, about 5 minutes.
Return the chicken to the skillet and cook turning occasionally until the chicken is coated and cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Substitutions and variations
🐓 Chicken breasts, cutlets, thighs or pieces
We like using chicken thighs for this recipe as they cook quickly, turn out juicy with plenty of flavor.
You can also use chicken cutlets or chicken breasts that have been pounded to an even thickness.
Another fun variation is to cut chicken breasts into cubes and make chicken stir-fry. Toss the chicken cubes in cornstarch then sear in a hot skillet until browned. Remove to a plate to keep warm.
Add the sauce to the now-empty skillet and cook until thickened and slightly reduced. Return the chicken pieces to the sauce and cook until coated and caramelized.
Serve the diced chicken in a lettuce wrap for a delicious lower-carb option.
Finally, add a dash of red pepper flakes to the sauce for a little added heat or kick.
🍽 How to serve Asian Chicken
Serve this chicken with hot cooked rice or rice noodles. It’s terrific served with just about any kind of fresh green vegetable too.
Storing leftover Asian Chicken
While this Asian chicken is best served the day it’s made, it also keeps well refrigerated for up to 4 days. Reheat gently in the microwave and enjoy.
We don’t recommend freezing this chicken and sauce.
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Asian Chicken Recipe
- 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs trimmed (2 1/2 to 3 pounds)
For the marinade and sauce:
- ¼ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar packed
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce low sodium
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce more or less to taste
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- scallions sliced thin
- toasted sesame seeds
- Place the chicken pieces in a large zipper bag or bowl.
- In a small bowl combine all the marinade ingredients and whisk until blended. You should have about 1 ⅓ cups of sauce. Transfer ⅓ cup of the marinade to the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate the chicken for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.
- Cover and refrigerate the remaining sauce until ready to cook or grill the chicken.
To grill the chicken:
- Transfer the remaining 1 cup of sauce to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sauce starts to boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the sauce reduces to about ½ cup and thickens, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
- When ready to cook the chicken clean and scrape the grill grates. Using tongs coat the grill grates with vegetable oil soaked paper towels. Preheat the grill on high for 10 minutes.
- Cook the chicken thighs over the hot side of the grill until charred on one side. Turn the chicken over and brush the grilled side with the sauce. Continue grilling until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.
- Transfer to a platter and serve garnished with sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds.
To cook the chicken on the stovetop:
- Do not marinate the chicken before pan searing. Blot the chicken dry with paper towels then season with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat until shimmering.
- Add the chicken thighs in a single layer. This can be done in two batches to prevent overcrowding the pan. Cook until browned on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove to a clean plate and tent to keep warm.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add all the sauce. Simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened and reduced, about 5 minutes. Return the chicken to the skillet and cook turning and stirring occasionally until the chicken cooked through and coated in the sticky, sweet sauce, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Serve garnished with toasted sesame seeds and slices green onions.
Easy, quick and delicious Asian Chicken
We adore this chicken and hope you will too. There’s so many ways to cook it with great success. I also love that it’s easily adapted and made with chicken thighs, chicken breasts or even diced chicken.Feel free to grill the marinated chicken or sauté on the stove-top. It’s great both ways.Don’t forget to let us know how it turns out for you!
Our Honey Cashew Chicken is another terrific recipe that you’ll want to put on repeat. It’s loaded with textures and flavors and is practically fool-proof.