This is a recipe for everybody’s favourite Honey Soy chicken marinade for boneless chicken thighs and breast. It does everything you expect from a marinade (tenderises, adds flavour), and gives it a lovely lacquered finish. But that’s not all! We’ve also got a glossy honey garlic sauce to smother the chicken and everything else on your plate.
Honey Soy Chicken – marinade and sauce
This is a Honey Soy chicken marinade I’ve been using for most of my adult life which is direct copycat of the store bought bottled marinades.
Except unlike store bought where a quick inspection of the label reveals it contains a mere 0.5% of honey (I felt so indignant when I saw this!!), this is actually made with plenty of honey!!!
(In case you are wondering, most of the sweetness comes from cheap syrups like glucose or golden syrup)
What you need for Honey Soy Chicken
Here’s what you need for this Honey Soy Chicken. I feel like there’s a good chance you already have all these ingredients!!
Chinese cooking wine (“shoaxing wine”) is the secret ingredient here. Without it, you will really notice that the flavour is a bit too one dimensional, especially the sauce. Used in practically all cooked Chinese recipes – such as stir fries and noodles.
Substitutes in order of preference (best first) – dry sherry, Mirin, cooking sake. Best non alcoholic substitute is chicken stock.
Some Recipe Trivia! You don’t need cooking wine when making Honey Soy Chicken on the stove or in the oven because you cook the chicken in the sauce and this gives the sauce greater depth of flavour. But when cooking on the BBQ, we don’t have that option so both the sauce and the marinade needs an extra dash of flavour which we get from the Chinese cooking wine.
Though this recipe particularly caters to grilled chicken, it’s still excellent for stovetop cooking when you want a premium version of the stove or oven version (this has more sauce and marinating adds flavour).
How to make Honey Soy Chicken
And here’s how it’s made –
mix up a batch of the sauce
save some for basting (so it’s not tainted by uncooked chicken)
save some to make the sauce
use the rest for marinating
Do not use residual marinade to make the sauce or for basting. For basting, we need clean sauce for hygiene purposes (because we do frequent basting in this recipe). For the Sauce, if you boil the used marinade the sauce comes out murky – just not pleasant.
What to serve with Honey Soy Chicken
The rice you spy in the photo above is Pineapple Fried Rice!
is coming on Wednesday! It’s a dead set perfect match with this chicken. 🙂
But don’t fret! This is a chicken dish that’s highly versatile – it’s semi Asian but also totally Western, so it’s the sort of dish that will go with anything from Fried Rice to Macaroni Salad, the Greek Chickpea Salad I shared a couple of weeks go, or even an Asian Vermicelli Noodle Salad.
You get the drift – it will suit many many sides! Here are some ideas:
SIDE DISH SUGGESTIONS
SIDE SALAD SUGGESTIONS
Also, if you’re considering this recipe for a BBQ feast, you’ll find all my favourite things to grill right here in my BBQ Recipes collection.
Note: the batch depicted in the photos and video is a bit less than what the recipe calls for – I had to sacrifice some for Dozer 🐶 having forgotten to get food for HIS dinner. 😂 – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Honey Soy Chicken - Marinade and Sauce (excellent grilled!)
- 1.25 - 1.5 kg/ 2.5 - 3 lb skinless boneless chicken thighs OR breast (Note 1)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil , for cooking
Honey Soy Marinade Sauce:
- 1/2 cup soy sauce , all purpose or light (not dark, Note 2)
- 2/3 cup honey (sub maple syrup)
- 1/3 cup cider vinegar (or rice vinegar)
- 1/4 cup Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry (key ingredient, Note 3)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil , toasted (Note 4)
- 1 1/2 tbsp garlic , finely minced
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 1/2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
- Green onion , finely sliced
- Sesame seeds
- Place ingredients in a jug and mix well until honey is completely dissolved.
- Reserve 1/4 cup for Basting, refrigerate. (Note 5)
- Reserve 2/3 cup for Serving Sauce, refrigerate.
- Marinade Chicken: Pour remaining marinade over chicken in a container. Coat chicken thoroughly. Cover, refrigerate 24 to 48 hours (minimum 3 hrs).
Serving Sauce (Makes 1 cup):
- Place reserved sauce in a small saucepan. Mix cornflour and water, then add into saucepan.
- Simmer over medium for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until it thickens to a syrupy consistency. Set aside and keep warm. (If it gets too thick, just add a bit more water)
- Brush BBQ plate or grills with oil and heat to medium high. Or heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- THIGHS: Place chicken on BBQ. Cook the first side for 2 minutes, then flip and dab with reserved Basting Sauce. Cook for 2 minutes, flip and baste. Then flip/baste every 1 minute for total cook time of ~ 10 minutes or until a thermometer reads 75°C/165°F.
- BREAST: Cook first side 2 minutes, flip, baste. Cook 2 minutes, then flip and baste every 45 sec or so for total cook time of ~8 minutes (internal temp 66°C / 151°F).
- REST: Transfer to serving plate, cover loosely with foil and rest for 5 minutes.
- SERVE chicken garnished with sesame seeds and green onion, with sauce on the side so people can help themselves.
Life of Dozer
Chilly nights + useless heating = using Dozer as my hot water bottle (he is very good at it, actually).