Asian BBQ Chicken

This Asian BBQ Chicken recipe is always on my most-requested list.  I often make it for company because it’s such a reliable hit.  If you haven’t discovered this one, then definitely put it on your to-make list!  Chicken thighs soak up a great marinade with flavors including soy sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, garlic and ginger. Make sure to check out my recommendations for side dishes at the end of this post, because it’s especially great with some of our coordinating rice sides.

Asain BBQ Chicken on Plate

Ingredient Notes

  • Soy Sauce – My favorite brand is Aloha, but feel free to use any brand you like.  With the exception of Aloha brand, I suggest a low-sodium soy sauce.

  • Brown Sugar – this adds the perfect balance of sweetness.  Use light, or dark would be fine as well.

  • Ginger – this recipe calls for fresh ginger, which I think is especially great.  If you’ve never worked with fresh ginger, here’s a how-to.  I’ve also used powdered dry ginger in a pinch and that will work as well, if you don’t have fresh.

  • Lime Juice – I recommend using a fresh lime, as opposed to bottled lime juice.

Asian BBQ Chicken Marinade

How to Make Asian BBQ Chicken

Combine all ingredients in a zip top bag and add chicken thighs.  It’s that easy!

Asian BBQ Chicken Marinade
Then grill it up on your bbq (or use an indoor grill pan or broiler if you don’t have a bbq).

asian bbq chicken plated with rice

One of the reasons I love this chicken is that it can be served with so many things.  You can go Asian-ish, or Thai-ish, or Polynesian-ish.

Serving Suggestions

I love it with this Lime-Cilantro Rice with Pineapple, and it’s also great with Sweet and Savory Coconut Rice, or even Fried Rice.  When I made it for these photos I made some Jasmine rice and when it was done cooking I added a few pats of butter, a handful of both sliced green onions and cilantro, some diced mango and salt and pepper.

And if you end up with extra chicken, try this Asian BBQ Chicken Pizza!

 

Asian BBQ Chicken on Plate

Asian BBQ Chicken

A combo of sweet and savory, this chicken compliments any Asian or Island inspired meal.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Marinating Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings6 servings

Ingredients

Marinade

  • ¼ cup brown sugar packed
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice about 1 lime
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon curry powder
  • 3-4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, fresh grated

Chicken

  • 8 chicken thighs boneless, skinless
  • green onions, sliced for garnish, optional

Instructions

  • Combine everything but the chicken and optional green onions in a small bowl. (See note.) Whisk to dissolve brown sugar. Place marinade and chicken in a zip-lock bag. Pop that bag in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours, or longer if you have it (even overnight).
  • Preheat a grill (or an indoor grill pan or broiler). Spray cooking surface with cooking spray and place chicken on it to cook. Cook for 5-10 minutes on each side depending on the thickness.  Using a digital thermometer, cook chicken until it is a minimum temperature of 165°. However, you’ll want to aim for between 170-175° for improved flavor and texture.
  •  Optional:  garnish with sliced green onions.

Notes

  • I recommend making 1 1/2 times the marinade.  I reserve some of the marinade before adding the chicken and then use it in the last few minutes of grilling, or just brush it on after for extra flavor.

Nutrition

Calories: 226kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 16g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 92mg, Sodium: 290mg, Potassium: 219mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 90IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 15mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Main Courses
Cuisine: Asian, BBQ
Keyword: Asian BBQ Chicken, Chicken Thighs
Calories: 226kcal
Author: Sara Wells, adapted from Cooking Light
Cost: $10
Did You Make This Recipe?Snap a picture, and hashtag it #ourbestbites. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @ourbestbites!

 

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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. Made it with chicken tenders due tos dietary restrictions. My entire family loved it. That says a lot with my picky eaters.

  2. Just found this and was going to make it this week for friends – one of my friends is a vegetarian, do you think I could do a veggie version with just veg? What vegetables do you think would work? Looks delicious!!

  3. This recipe was SOOO good! Something I did to make it even better was add some chopped cilantro to the marinade… ahhh it was so good with the cilantro!!
    Thanks for this recipe! Definitely share worthy!

  4. I’m extremely excited about this recipe. I was out of chicken thighs so I’m using steak instead. I can’t see how that would be a bad thing, and leaving out the curry as I don’t have any and we aren’t huge fans of the flavor. Did I mention I’m excited about it?

  5. Our family loves any recipe with curry in it so I made this tonight. It was delicious!! I used bone-in thighs because thats all they had at the store. I took the skin off and marinated for 6 hours. Turned out great!

  6. I made these last night and they were so yummy. 3 boys plus 2 parents loved it which is so rare to hit a home run like that so this is definitely a keeper. Used the thighs and so glad I did. Thanks!

  7. Looks delish! I’m trying it this week and wondered if I can use ginger powder instead of fresh? What would be the correct measurements?
    Thanks!

    1. You can- I would just check your bottle of ginger and see what it says the ratio of fresh to powdered is. If all else fails, I use a 1part dry to 3 parts fresh ratio (the ratio for herbs).

  8. I have made gobs of this recipe. love it. I even save myself some time and prepare 4x the recipe of marinade and just freeze the portions of thighs in each portion of marinade in it’s own bag. then as its defrosting in the fridge, its also marinating. this way I only have to grate knuckle busting ginger and garlic at one time and I always have this ready to roll, when I am having one of those mommy brain days when I don’t know what to make. I also always make sure I have a can of coconut milk in the pantry too, that way I can pull this out of the freezer, and then an hour before dinner, I start making coconut rice in the rice cooker and grill up some chicken. just add a side of frozen broccoli or green beans and everybody is oohing and aahing. 🙂

  9. Made this on the grill tonight for dinner and it is amazingly good! Made it with the fried rice recipe on this site, which I will review there, as it didn’t turn out like I thought. Still good, just different than what I expected.

  10. I am currently without a grill and ended up without a lot of time the day I planned to make this so I threw it in my crockpot! I added more of the marinade and shredded the chicken about an hour before serving and then used it in tacos. It was sooooo good, I ate 3 tacos and made myself sick (in a good way)! We also used the juice down in the bottom to put on our rice (I did the pineapple cilantro rice). THANK YOU!!!

  11. I made this tonight with enough for plenty of leftovers… tomorrow night we’ll use it on pizza! I broiled it in my convection oven and it only took 10 minutes to cook – nice! My husband is glad that I finally decided to make dark meat – he has always wished I liked it. Between this recipe and Spicy Honey Chicken (which we have made twice in the last month), he is very happy with my cooking right now!

  12. Hahah, I love how you say if t here is left over chicken use it on pizza. Left overs?? Of this?? Impossible! It is just TOO delicious! (I made a family size pack of thighs for just my husband and I and we were licking the platter wishing for more!) Wish I had mango’s to try the rice.
    I made it on the inside grill as there is snow on the ground and no one wanted to go out and barb=b-q, but I can not wait to try it out there next!
    (snow on the ground, on the West coast of Canada, in March??? I know… Crazy! I have never seen this before!) Come on spring!

  13. So amazing! My husband and I LOVE every recipe we’ve made from your site. Thanks! And I made mine with chicken breast, used ground ginger (since I didn’t have fresh on hand) and only marinated it for an hour and half and it was still awesome. But I can definitely see how it would be super super good with the tender thigh meat. My only regret is I did not make more to have leftovers!

  14. aww man. When I was at BYUH we used to have a similar bbq chicken during our shifts at PCC. Man I was missing that stuff… but not nowwww.. cos now I can make it 😉

  15. I’m a newlywed with a chef for a mother, so needless to say I have not spent a lot of time cooking in the kitchen mostly just watching and being the taste-tester. When I came across your website via my mother-in-law I fell in love with it. Love this recipe it was easy enough for a kitchen-simpleton like me to do it.

  16. This is our family’s favorite grilled chicken recipe! Even my son, who “hates chicken” goes back for seconds. I have made it a few times this summer and have not had leftovers 🙁 I use about 3.5 lbs of chicken thighs for our family of 6. Delicious!!!

  17. The best bbq chicken ever! The thing I like most is that it tastes just how my dad used to make it (and my dad is Chinese, so that must mean something about its authentic Asian taste 🙂 Thank you so much for all the tasty recipes!

  18. Oh my. This is fantastic!!! Made it last night for supper. It ended up marinating in the fridge for 2 days because my plans changed. I cheated and picked up some fried rice from the restaurant I work next to. Steamed some broccoli and we had peaches for dessert. It was amazing!!! I was excited to make the pizza with the leftovers, but there weren’t any! My husband said, that’s ok, you can make it again next week! Definitely a keeper! Thank you!!! And I hope to try to make your fried rice sometime when I have more time.

  19. My sister-in-law made this chicken a few weeks ago and it was delicious!! My husband and I have had it several times since. We have tried several other recipies from this site and have loved every one of them!! We are so glad my sister-in-law showed us your site, we were in a cooking rut! I actually like planning dinner now because I know it won’t be the same ole things we have all the time!

  20. Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! We all loved it–even my SUPER-picky 10-year-old son. Thanks!

  21. We really like it! We did cayenne pepper instead of the red pepper flakes (only because I didn’t realize it till right before I started grilling), so next time we’ll try with the red pepper flakes. Thanks for another great recipe!

  22. I made this for my moms 62nd birthday! It was a hit! I used thighs, drumsticks, and bone in breasts. they all were delish.

  23. IMPRESSED!!! Added your site to my favorites IMMEDIATELY!By the way, anything that has mangoes is just yummm, yummm, good….Cilantro + lime + pineapple = GENIUS!

  24. i’m about 5 weeks pregnant… i just saw the picture and this is my first pregnancy craving! i’ve not made this before but i MUST eat this soon!!!!!

  25. The only complaint I’ve heard about it is that it’s too spicy but my parents complain that ketchup is too spicy.

  26. I made this marinade for a BBQ and let boneless skinless chicken breast marinade in it overnight. I got RAVE reviews and everyone asked for the recipe. Thank you, it was AMAZING!

  27. I made this for dinner today. My family loved it! I love when there are no complaints at dinner. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!