Asian Chicken Marinade: a simple recipe that's BIG on flavor! Serve this chicken on bowls, in wraps, over salads, and more!
This recipe was originally published on April 28, 2019. It was updated on May 26, 2021.
Make delicious and healthy chicken the whole family will love with this Asian Chicken Marinade Recipe. This chicken is savory, tender, and full of flavor. You'll love it because it's easy to make and versatile!
Tried and true chicken recipes are popular around here. I know that most of you have made and love my Spicy Honey Chicken Marinade Recipe and my Mexican Chicken Marinade Recipe, so I figured it was due time that I created an Asian Chicken Marinade!
When it came to an Asian chicken recipe, I knew I wanted to develop a recipe that's simple to make, made with easy-to-find ingredients, and always delicious. The kind of chicken recipe that you would be proud to serve at a weekend barbecue but that's also easy enough to make during a busy week.
And an easy this recipe is! Just whisk up the simple marinade together in a large mixing bowl, add the chicken and turn to coat, and marinate.
For weekdays, you can even toss the chicken in the marinade in the morning before you leave for work (or the evening before if you're really on it!).
Then, of course, this grilled sesame chicken is also a meal prep dream! Whip up a batch or two of this chicken on a Sunday night and enjoy it throughout the week. The marinade keeps the chicken juicy and tender and the flavor never gets old.
Make this recipe with any cut of chicken. I offer directions for boneless and skinless chicken breasts and thighs, as they marinate and cook up quickly, but this recipe is also friendly to bone-in chicken. Just add cooking accordingly, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Well enough talking about the food. Let's get cooking, shall we? Enjoy this favorite chicken recipe, my friends!
To skip straight to the recipe, just click "Jump to Recipe" at the top left of this post. To browse the post quickly, just click the headings in the table of contents below.
Table of contents
- What does Asian grilled chicken taste like?
- How to make this Asian marinade for chicken:
- Recipe pro-tips:
- Asian chicken recipe FAQs:
- Options for cooking this chicken:
- Serving suggestions:
- Dietary adaptations:
- Storage Directions:
- Tools needed for this recipe:
- More great grilling & marinade recipes:
- Get new recipes to your inbox every week! Sign up for the Mae's Menu newsletter:
What does Asian grilled chicken taste like?
This chicken tastes savory and nutty with notes of ginger and garlic. It's juicy and salty and has a lightly sweet finish.
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs and/or breasts
- Reduced sodium soy sauce
- Rice vinegar - you can find this at most major grocery stores, Trader Joe's, and Whole foods
- Lime juice - fresh is best but bottled also works
- Toasted sesame oil - this can also be found at most major grocery store chains, Trader Joe's, and Whole Foods
- Ginger powder
- Garlic powder
- Sweetener - agave nectar can substitute for honey
- Soy sauce - coconut liquid aminos can work in place of the soy sauce; using aminos will make this recipe gluten-free
- Ginger & garlic - fresh spices can substitute for the dried; use 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger and 1 minced garlic clove
How to make this Asian marinade for chicken:
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients until combined.
- Add the chicken to the marinade and turn to coat.
- Marinate the chicken for 2 hours- 24 hours.
- Add the chicken to a preheated grill and cook until the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the chicken from the grill. Cover and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve the chicken warm.
- Turn the chicken in the marinade: for the best results, turn the chicken in the marinade halfway through the marinating time. This will help the marinade to penetrate the chicken evenly.
- Marinate the chicken for as long as possible: this will give the best flavor to the chicken. To give the best flavor in the shortest amount of time, cut the chicken into halves or thirds. The increased surface area of the chicken allow it to marinate faster.
- Adjust the spiciness to your liking: use as much or as little red pepper as you like. ⅛ teaspoon will add dimension to the marinade without adding heat whereas ½ teaspoon will add a little kick.
Asian chicken recipe FAQs:
Asian chicken needs to be marinated for 2-24 hours. The longer you marinate the better flavor, but 2 hours will still provide a great flavor to the chicken.
Yes, you definitely can freeze the chicken in the marinade. Pour the chicken and the marinade into a freezer-safe container or plastic bag and freeze for up to 3 months. For best results, defrost the chicken in the refrigerator for 24-36 hours before cooking.
Yes, you can use leftover chicken marinade. It needs to be cooked or boiled down before consuming, though, to protect from bacteria and other microorganisms and raw chicken juices. Just boil the marinade in the microwave or on the stovetop for 1.5-2 minutes and then it's perfect to drizzle over the chicken while serving.
Options for cooking this chicken:
- Grilling: cook up delicious grilled sesame chicken by following the directions below on the recipe card.
- Stovetop: preheat a non-stick skillet or grill pan over medium or medium-high heat. Spray the pan with non-stick spray or add 2 teaspoons avocado or olive oil. Remove the chicken from the marinade and add to the pan. Grill for 8-11 minutes, flipping every 2-3 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Baking: pour the chicken and the marinade into an 8 x 13-inch pan sprayed with cooking spray. Bake the chicken uncovered in an oven preheated to 425 degrees for 18-22 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Serve this chicken with rice, garlic angel hair pasta, crispy air fryer potatoes, and any of your favorite veggie sides. I recommend sautéed spinach, stir-fried snap peas, air fryer green beans, or steamed veggies.
- Gluten-free: substituting coconut liquid aminos or tamari for the soy sauce makes this recipe gluten-free
- Processed sugar-free: use raw honey to keep this recipe processed sugar-free
- Refrigeration: leftovers store covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days
- Freezing: leftover chicken does not freeze well
Tools needed for this recipe:
- Large mixing bowl
- Measuring cups & spoons
- Grill, grill pan, or non-stick skillet
- Grill tongs or spatula
More great grilling & marinade recipes:
- Jamaican Turkey Burgers
- The Best Grilled Chicken Thighs
- Curried Yogurt Marinated Chicken
- Sweet Soy Tri-Tip Steak Marinade
- Sweet Chili Lime Chicken
- Rubbed Turmeric Chicken
- Cuban Chicken
- Stovetop glazed honey garlic chicken thigh recipe
If you make and like this recipe, please review and rate it 5-stars at the top of the recipe card. This helps other people to find the recipes and helps this reader-supported publication, too!
Thank you so much for your feedback and support of Mae's Menu!
- ⅓ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce (coconut liquid aminos if gluten-free)
- ½ lime, juiced
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- ¾ teaspoon ginger powder (or 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 minced garlic clove)
- ⅛ -½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 ½ pound boneless skinless chicken thighs and/or breasts
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, lime juice, honey, rice vinegar, ginger powder, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and sesame oil until combined.
- Add the chicken to the marinade and turn to coat.
- Marinate the chicken for 2 hours - 24 hours.
- Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the grill and cook for 8 -10 minutes, flipping every 2 -3 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the chicken from the grill. Cover and let rest for 5 -10 minutes. Serve the chicken warm.
- For most flavorful results, turn the chicken in the marinade halfway through the marinating period if possible.
- To cook this chicken on the stovetop: preheat a non-stick skillet or grill pan over medium or medium-high heat. Spray the pan with non-stick spray or add 2 teaspoons avocado or olive oil. Remove the chicken from the marinade and add to the pan. Grill for 8 -11 minutes, flipping every 2 -3 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- To bake this chicken: pour the chicken and the marinade into an 8 x 13-inch pan sprayed with cooking spray. Bake the chicken uncovered in an oven preheated to 425 degrees for 18 -22 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Recipe leftovers last covered in the refrigerator for 4 -5 days. Cooked leftovers do not freeze well.
- The chicken can be frozen in the marinade in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Defrost the chicken in the refrigerator for 24 -36 hours before cooking.
Amount Per Serving Calories 275Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 116mgSodium 707mgCarbohydrates 9gFiber 0gSugar 7gProtein 44g
This nutrition breakdown is just an estimate of the nutritional value of this recipe and cannot be taken as facts. The owners of Mae's Menu are not nutritionists or dietitians and therefore cannot be held accountable for this nutrition estimate. Please contact your nutritionist or medical professional for a nutritional breakdown of this food. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.