This Asian Chicken Marinade is fantastic for grilling/BBQ, baking or cooking on the stove. It’s sticky, sweet and savoury – classic balance of Asian flavours made with everyday ingredients you might even already have in your fridge!
This is a classic Food Memory dish. You know what I mean, don’t you?? It’s when the sight, smell or taste of a specific food brings back a flood of memories of a specific moment in your life.
And I will always remember this particular Asian grilled chicken recipe as the one that rendered my girlfriends silent.
A very rare, noteworthy moment. Because when I get together with my girlfriends, the noise never stops. Chattering, laughing, screeching. You know what it’s like when a bunch of girls get together!!!
But when I put a platter of this Asian Chicken on the table and my friends starting tucking in, silence descended over the table.
Of course, it was fleeting. Because I distinctly remember one of the girls breaking the silence with a wisecrack about….well, that we were silent because we were so busy tucking into the food!!!
This was the day. Way back in 2005. (PS That’s me at the back in the hot-pink halter top!)
This is one of my classic “back pocket” recipes that I vary from day to day, depending on what I have in the fridge. It’s not so much about having the exact ingredients, it’s more about using the same proportions of something sweet, salty, savoury and sour.
So while the end result might not taste exactly the same as my base recipe, it’s still going to be really tasty. Really, really tasty. 🙂
Which is why I’ve provided plenty of substitutions in the notes. Plus you can eyeball the measurements too. No need to pull out measuring spoons. (Unless you really don’t trust yourself to get the measures approximately right!!)
The other lovely thing about this recipe is that you can throw it on the BBQ (it’s my “go to” Asian BBQ recipe), cook it on the stove (which is what I did for these photos), under the broiler/grill or bake it in the oven.
So what’s on your meal plan for this week? If you’re preparing ahead, this is perfect to add to the menu! Just throw the chicken and marinade into a ziplock bag and pop it straight into the freezer. It will marinade in the time it takes for it to freeze and defrost which is handy.
Serve it with rice on the side (psst! Did you know you can freeze cooked rice rice? All my relatives in Japan do it! 🙂 ) and some juicy wedges of cucumber (no dressing required, the freshness is a great match with the strong flavours of the chicken).
It’s dinner in a snap! And a pretty darn sensational one at that, in my humble opinion. And if the reaction from my friends was anything to go by! – Nagi x
- 1 - 1.5 lb / 500 - 750g chicken thigh fillets , skinless boneless
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 tsp ginger , freshly grated
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 2 tbsp Oyster sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
- 1 - 3 tbsp Sriracha (adjust spiciness to taste)
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp oil
- Sesame seeds
- Finely sliced shallots / green onions
- Finely sliced red chilies
Mix Marinade ingredients together. Add chicken and mix to coat. Marinade in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour or up to overnight.
Heat oil in a large non stick skillet or BBQ over medium high heat. (See notes for other cooking methods) Add chicken and cook until each side is dark golden brown and chicken is cooked through (about 3 minutes each side). Transfer to plate, cover loosely with foil and rest for 3 minutes.
Garnish with chillies, shallots and sesame seeds if desired. Serve with white rice and slices of cucumber.
1. Substitutions / alternatives:
* Chicken - tenderloins is great, breast also works but won't come out as sticky.
* Garlic / ginger - 1 tsp garlic / ginger powder (but please try to use fresh, it's much better. Asian cooking doesn't use garlic / ginger powder)
* Soy sauce - I use all purpose soy sauce but light or dark also works. Light and Dark Soy Sauce will be labelled as such on the bottle, all purpose just says "soy sauce". I use Kikkoman. And fish sauce could also be used in place of the soy sauce, but reduce to 1 1/2 tbsp (because fish sauce is saltier)
* Tomato ketchup - Australian tomato sauce can be used
* Oyster sauce - hoisin sauce (but note it has a mild Chinese 5 Spice Powder flavour which is nice)
* Chinese cooking wine (aka Shao Xing Cooking Wine - Asian rice wine used commonly in Asian cooking, available at Asian grocery stores and some fruit & veg stores including Harris Farms) - sub with dry sherry (best option), sake (next best) or mirin or marsala. This is a key ingredient in the marinade. To make it non alcoholic, use 2 tbsp chicken stock/broth PLUS 1 tbsp extra oyster sauce.
* Sriracha - swap out with any other chili paste or finely chopped fresh chili or powder. Add a tiny bit (1 tsp or so) of vinegar (white, malt, apple cider), lime or lemon juice (because Sriracha is the "sour" component in this marinade)
* Brown sugar - white sugar, honey or maple syrup
* Sesame oil - this can be left out.
2. This can also be baked in a 180C/350F oven for around 20 minutes or grilled / broiled on high. It's also great made as skewers.
3. To make ahead: Place chicken and marinade in a ziplock bag and place in the freezer straight away. Defrost before cooking. The chicken marinades as it freezes / defrosts. Cook per directions. Cooked chicken doesn't freeze that well - the chicken itself is fine but the marinade flavour fades.
Nutrition per serving, assuming 500g/1lb thigh fillets for 4 servings. Reduces to 288 calories if chicken breast is used. Sodium can be reduced by using less soy sauce or low sodium soy sauce.
Life of Dozer – Shock horror. Guess where Dozer was camping out while I photographed this. (PS He’s wearing his robe because I took him the beach just before making this and it was cold this morning. How would you like to be walking around with wet fur all over you in the middle of winter?? 😉 )