Sweet & spicy Asian grilled chicken with flavorful soy, garlic, and ginger glaze. This Asian chicken marinade will infuse your chicken with so much flavor! You’ll have the juiciest, most tender, tasty grilled chicken breasts and will find yourself coming back to this recipe time and time again.
One of the things I love most about this time of year is firing up the grill for a quick and easy dinner. I love the smell of the food cooking on the grill, and sitting in the sunshine while the food cooks, cold beverage in hand, especially if someone else does the grilling for you! Just another reason to love summertime.
This easy Asian chicken marinade is made with pantry staples and requires minimal prep, making it perfect to maximize outdoor time.
I usually throw the marinade together in the morning and then let the chicken marinate all day. Allow enough time to marinate the chicken, at least one hour, but four hours or overnight is even better, so the meat really absorbs all the flavors. Then when it’s dinnertime, simply grill and enjoy!
I used this chicken on top of my Asian Chicken Salad and liked it so much that I’ve made it two weeks in a row!
- Chicken breast – For this recipe, I used 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Feel free to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs if preferred. You can also cut this recipe in half to make less.
- Ground ginger – brings a nice peppery, warm flavor to the chicken.
- Garlic – I love using fresh garlic for this recipe but if you are in a pinch, garlic powder works as well.
- Rice wine vinegar – this will serve as the acid in the marinade.
- Soy sauce – I recommend low sodium soy sauce, so you control the saltiness of the recipe. Tamari is a great option to make this recipe gluten-free.
- Honey – gives the marinade a sticky sweetness that is absolutely delicious.
- Sriracha – for a kick of spice! You can also use a few shakes of red pepper flakes or omit if you’re sensitive to spicy food.
- Toasted sesame oil – adds lots of Asian flavors!
How to marinate chicken
For juicy, delicious grilled chicken, it is essential that you marinate your chicken before grilling. Marinating your chicken is a step that should not be skipped – it helps lock in tons of flavor and the natural juices of the chicken, so you’re not stuck with dry grilled chicken.
Simply stir up the marinade in a large measuring cup or small bowl. Put the raw chicken pieces into a zip-top bag or a shallow glass dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken, turning the pieces so they are thoroughly coated.
If you’re using a bag, squeeze out any excess air, seal the top, place the bag in a bowl or pan (you don’t want to risk a leak that makes a big mess in your fridge), and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. If you’re using a dish to marinate the chicken, just cover the top with plastic wrap or a cover and refrigerate.
How to grill marinated chicken
Once your chicken breasts are marinated, place them on a heated grill of about 400ºF. Cook them for about 6 minutes on each side, not lifting during the cooking process (you don’t want to lose your pretty grill marks!). If your chicken breasts are thinly sliced, the cooking time may just be about 4 minutes.
Flip the chicken and cook for an additional four to six minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the largest part of the chicken breast reads 165°F. If you happen to be using thicker cut chicken breast, you’ll most likely need to cook them for about seven to eight minutes per side.
Pro tip: I recommend allowing the cooked chicken to rest about three to five minutes before cutting it to keep it juicy (just enough time to fill your plates and get to the table).
Tips for recipe success
- Size of chicken. Choose chicken breasts that are all about the same size and shape so that they’ll cook evenly. I stay away from the overly thick chicken breasts because they take a lot longer to cook.
- Make ahead. The marinade can be made up to one day before you plan to use it. If you make it in advance, store it covered in the fridge.
- Grill time. This chicken needs to grill for about 6-8 minutes per side. The grilling time depends on the size of your chicken breasts. A medium-sized (4-ounce) chicken breast will typically cook for 10-12 minutes total. A larger breast (6-8 ounces) can take 20 minutes or longer to be done.
- Always use a clean plate for the cooked chicken. Don’t put it back onto the plate that you used to bring the raw chicken to the grill because it could contaminate the cooked chicken.
- Always discard leftover marinade. It should not be reused or used for basting.
How to know when chicken is done
The best way to gauge whether your chicken is done is to use a thermometer to test the thickest part of the breast. The thermometer should read at least 165 degrees F. I use an electronic thermometer with a remote so that I can just leave the chicken on the grill and monitor its progress by using the remote inside the house.
There are so many delicious ways to serve this Asian chicken recipe! Here are some of my favorites:
- Layer chicken alongside some sliced cucumbers and bell peppers for an easy grab-n-go meal during the week.
- Serve alongside your favorite grain and veggie. I love this chicken with quinoa and sauteed bok choy.
- Toss this chicken with a bright, colorful salad! My Asian Chicken Salad is a perfect match.
Leftover grilled chicken: This chicken will stay fresh in the fridge for 3 to 4 days, which makes it great for meal prep.
To freeze this chicken marinade: simply pour it into a resealable, freezer-friendly bag, add your chicken and freeze the entire bag for up to 3 months.
More chicken recipes
Looking for more healthy chicken recipes? Give these favorites a try:
- Chicken Burrito Bowls
- Rotisserie Chicken Salad
- Lemon Garlic Baked Chicken Breast
- How to Make Baked Chicken Breast
- Grilled Chicken Breast
- 1.25 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1 tablespoon Srirracha
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepepr
- Combine rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, ginger, garlic, Srirracha salt and pepper in a bowl. Whisk well to make sure all the ingredients are well combined.
- Place marinade and chicken breasts in a large bowl or ziplock bag and toss around until the chicken is coated in the marinade. Pop in the fridge and allow to marinate for at least one hour (the longer the better, so if you have more time go for it!).
- Heat grill over high heat and cook chicken for about six minutes on each side or until cooked through. Enjoy!