It's one of our favorite go-to, quick, easy, flavorful chicken marinades! Our Asian Grilled Chicken is a delicious grilled chicken recipe to enjoy the chicken on its own, in a banh mi, or sliced on top of a salad. It's an incredibly versatile recipe that's made with just a few ingredients!
We have been making this grilled chicken recipe for years, friends. When we want a flavorful chicken that makes the most delicious chicken sandwiches (hey hey banh mis), to top a salad with, or just to enjoy with some delicious summer sides, our Asian Grilled Chicken is one of our favorites!
- Chicken Breasts - Breast meat is our usual go to, but this is also delicious using chicken thighs, too.
- Fish Sauce - This is what adds a ton of Asian flavors!
- Lime Juice - The acidity needed to balance the salty umami fish sauce flavors.
- Fresh Garlic - You could use garlic powder, too.
- Sugar - Just a little sweetness to balance out the saltiness.
- Fresh Cilantro - Fresh is our favorite for this, but you could use dried, too!
What is Fish Sauce?
Fish sauce is a staple in a lot of Asian cooking. It's a liquid condiment made from fish that have been salted and fermented for about 2 years. As a result, you had a fishy, briny, salty, but also savory umami flavor-packed sauce that's used in a variety of Asian dishes. Similar to oyster sauce (just thinner in consistency), this sauce is a great addition to marinades, stir-fry recipes, and pad thais.
You can find fish sauce usually in the Asian section of your major grocery store, however, the best (and most affordable!) fish sauces are found in Asian markets. While you're there, pick up some rice noodles, too as there's always much more variety at a much better cost than your big grocery stores!
Easy to Make
Another great aspect of this Asian-inspired chicken marinade recipe is that it's ready in just minutes. Chop some garlic and cilantro, and add it all to a bag with the lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar.
Add the chicken and give it all a good mix. Let this marinate for at least 1 hr but up to overnight.
You can substitute oyster sauce for fish sauce for a similar flavor, but it's not quite the same. The fish sauce really adds more flavor. Also, having a good fish sauce in your fridge is a great way to add a ton of flavor to some of your favorite Asian dishes, so we highly recommend having some around, anyway!
You should be able to find it in any major grocery store. However, our tip is to buy it at your local Asian Market. Not only is it better priced there, but there are more options and you can stock up on some rice noodles while you're there - which are also a much better deal there than at a larger grocery store.
Breasts are our go-to, but bone-in or out thighs, legs or quarters, or even bone-in breasts are a delicious option, too. Just keep in mind that bone-in cuts will take a lot longer to grill.
Of course! See recipe notes for baking instructions.
So juicy, so flavorful, and ready for a homemade Grilled Chicken Banh Mi or to serve with our Asian Cucumber Salad, Sesame Soba Noodle Salad, 15 Minute Garlic Fried Noodles, Asian Sesame Giner Slaw, or any of our other sides or salads!
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Asian Grilled Chicken
- ziplock plastic bag
- basting brush
- 2 lbs boneless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup fish sauce
- 1/2 cup lime juice
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4-5 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro chopped
- Prep Marinade: Add sugar to a large ziplock plastic bag and then add lime juice and fish sauce. Massage the bag with your hand to dissolve the sugar. Add garlic and cilantro and mix more.
- Marinate Chicken: Add chicken breasts to the bag, seal, and then use your hands to mix the chicken in the marinade. Store in the fridge to marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 24.
- Grill: Pre-heat grill. Remove chicken from the bag and cook on a grill (or in a grill pan on medium-high heat) for about 7-8 minutes per side (dependent upon the thickness of the chicken), baste the chicken with the marinade every 60-90 seconds. Cook until the chicken is cooked through and has an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees.
- Serve and Enjoy!