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
Asian Grilled Chicken (Sweet & Spicy!)
- 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!
Love your blog! I had breastfeeding problems 20 years ago and wanted to make sure that you have considered a lactation consultant. Breastfeeding difficulties are not unusual and who knew there were experts who could help?! Best of luck..!
Hang in there with the breastfeeding…….have you contacted your local La Leche League? They helped me out quite a bit when I was nursing. It is the best thing for at least the first three months. I eventually loved nursing and both mine weaned straight to sippy cup at about 11 to 14 months. Good luck!
Judy Divoky says
I think about you many times trying to coordinate all the loves in your life. Kuddos to you always!
Cary, Katklaw, and Judy – Thanks for all the support and input. I have seen three lactation specialists, am attending a Mom’s group and went to my first breastfeeding support group this past week.
The problem is that Katie does not root… and will not open up her mouth (which is usually a primal instinct) when I bring her to my boob.
Everyone thinks it has something to do with her jaw and the way she was laying in my pelvis (some sort of compression issue).
I just saw a wonderful doctor yesterday that is known to help baby’s release the compression and get back to the boob! Hopefully we will get there soon:).
Your doing an awesome job, just keep on trying. It’s so worth it for your baby. Mine never liked the bottles but I didn’t mind. We started shifting to sippy cups around nine months. Your chicken looks great…my husband will thank you for a new marinade.
Karen D. says
My favorite is a little salt and pepper, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. It doesn’t take long to marinate – 20 minutes and can be used for grilled chicken or chicken that is skewered and done under the broiler. Serve with a simple brushetta topping, tomato, fresh basil, salt, pepper, olive oil, a little garlic and a dash more balsamic vinegar OR with pasta topped with basil oil.
I had a baby just like yours. My first could not get the latch right and it became very painful. I was determined that he would get breastmilk. I pumped and bottled fed him the breastmilk for a year. (My next two breastfed just fine.) It can be done. Hang in there.
Dani, Bravo to you! You are hanging in there and not giving up, my son had the same issue and eventually came around and breastfeeding became a wonderful expreience. I love to marinate in Olive oil, Basil chiffonade, Fresh chopped garlic, Kosher salt and Fresh Cracked pepper. I love this marinade! I rencently used it on some Beef and Chicken Kabobs and they turned out wonderfully! Goodluck.
MAnders – Thanks. And I hope you and your hubby like the chicken.
Karen D. – Your marinade sounds great, thanks for sharing. And thanks for all th BF support (lord knows I need it!).
Marcia – It’s always good to hear other peoples stories w/ BF so thanks for sharing! As for your kenbabs, I think I’m gonna give them a try!
I love your site. Was just looking through your wheat-free recipes and wanted to let you know that there is indeed wheat in your SIMPLE GINGER-SOY CHICKEN. Unfortunately soya sauce (and tamari) contain wheat. Options for the wheat sensitive are wheat free tamari or bragg’s. Be well!
Eat Clean says
Love your site – you have so many great how to videos,,, very easy to follow..Thanks
Love your recipes! …. Good luck with the feedings. I gave birth just recently (Nate is now a few weeks old) and have been seeing a lactation consultant for help with pain while feeding. I had a wonderful experience with the delivery (pain-medication free), but found breastfeeding to be a much bigger challenge.
I look forward to following your updates. 🙂
This was outstanding! I only had time to marinate for an hour, but the flavor was still incredible. I ate the chicken for dinner one night and used leftovers in salads & wraps all week. I know this will be one I will keep in the rotation. Dani, thank you for another great recipe!
I made this for dinner tonight. I thought I was going to grill it last night so it ended up marinating for 24+ hours. I cooked it on my barbecue tonight and it was just delicious.
Definitely a keeper. Thank you so much for sharing it!
I just found out your youtube channel and I fell in love with your videos.
You make healthy and clean food sooo delicious and the amount of love you put into making these videos and food is much appreciated. I am always looking for high protein recipes and yours’ were so simple and delicious!
Now about my version of ‘go to’ chicken marinade :
In a mixing bowl add 3-4 tablespoons of greek yogurt and add to it 2 tbsp Lemon juice, garlic powder , ginger powder, onion powder, salt, chilli powder, turmeric and then finally add the chicken and leave it for a day and grill it. You will have the best grilled chicken! make sure to spray some oil while grilling on the chicken to save it from becoming too dry.
Love from India ,
There is “honey” listed in the ingredients but not in the directions. Is it safe to assume that I am to add the honey to the other ingredients or am I to drizzle the honey on the chicken after cooking? Thank you!
Lori Jean Finnila says
I always trust your recipes Dani and was equally pleased when you introduced the healing benefits of sesame oil. Thank you.
Dani Spies says
Thank you! I’m so glad you are enjoying the recipes.
Barbara K says
Very tasty and easy to make! Have make several times already.
Dani Spies says
Thanks for letting me know, Barbara! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.