Asian-Inspired BBQ Chicken

Tested & Perfected Recipes

Think of this dish as Chicken Teriyaki with a South Asian flair, or India meets the other flavors of Asia.

Flavored with soy sauce, ginger, lime, and garam masala (an Indian spice blend), this dish blends ingredients from all over Asia. It’s deliciously different, perfect for when you want to fire up the grill and elevate the usual cookout fare. Because of the sugar content in the marinade, the chicken gets gorgeously caramelized and charred on the grill.

For the chicken, you’ll need boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I know many people prefer chicken breasts, but I hope you’ll give the thighs a try here  — they’re juicier and more flavorful than boneless chicken breasts (not to mention more economical), which makes them a much better match for the bold flavors in this dish.

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Asian-Inspired BBQ Chicken

Think of this dish as Chicken Teriyaki with a South Asian flair, or India meets the other flavors of Asia.

Servings: 4
Total Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from 2-3 limes
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon Garam Masala (substitute curry powder if you can't find it)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (use less if you don't like heat)
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 scallions light and dark green parts only, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together all of the ingredients except for the chicken and scallions. Set ¼ cup of the marinade aside and cover (you'll use this later for the sauce), then place the rest in a zip-lock freezer bag with the chicken thighs. Be sure the chicken is evenly coated with the marinade, then place the bag in the refrigerator (in a bowl in case of leakage); let marinate for 3-4 hours.
  2. Preheat grill to high heat.
  3. Grease the grill. (Lightly dip a wad of paper towels in vegetable oil; then, using tongs, carefully rub the towels over the grates several times until glossy and coated.) Place the chicken on the grill; cover and cook 3-5 minutes on each side, or until nicely browned and done. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter, then top with the reserved marinade and sliced scallions.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 653
  • Fat: 44g
  • Saturated fat: 11g
  • Carbohydrates: 26g
  • Sugar: 21g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 39g
  • Sodium: 1536mg
  • Cholesterol: 222mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Hi Jenn, I have made this recipe in the past, marinating the chicken overnight and it was superb! Question is whether it would be okay to marinate for two days – just found out my company will be a day later than expected and I already put the chicken in to marinate…
    Thanks!

    • — Robin on July 2, 2021
    • Reply
    • Yep that’s fine 🙂

      • — Jenn on July 2, 2021
      • Reply
  • Best thigh marinade ever!
    It has perfect balance of flavours, amped up, completely elevating the chicken thighs (and disguising any less-than-desirable thigh attributes).
    Served it to my Indian grandfather last month and the pan juices were being spooned over the rice (I cooked them in the oven as I don’t have an electric grill).
    Thanks again for another unbeatable recipe

    • — Savanna Faith on June 5, 2021
    • Reply
  • Jenn,

    How would this be on salmon that you roast in the oven? Also, I’d love to see a traditional teriyaki sauce/marinade recipe!

    • — Kerrie on March 29, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure, I think this would work on salmon. (And I will keep your marinade request in mind!) 🙂

      • — Jenn on March 30, 2021
      • Reply
  • This is amazing, but why wouldn’t it be because Jenn Segals recipes are ALWAYS a hit! Highly recommend this dish, it was so easy to do and the trick with the oil on paper towels on the grill worked like a charm, they didn’t stick into the grill. Thank you Jenn 💕

    • — Jackie on February 27, 2021
    • Reply
  • This recipe looks great. I plan to make it in the oven. I don’t have sesame oil- what can I substitute that with?

    • — debbie on February 13, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Debbie, you can just use more vegetable oil. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on February 13, 2021
      • Reply
  • Excellent recipe! I’ve made this many times because it’s easy enough that it doesn’t take up a bunch of time but it’s also a step up from grilled chicken with just salt and pepper seasoning. I often broil if I don’t have time to task hubby to grill the chicken and it turns out just as well. (Top shelf, high broil, same number of minutes as grilling.)

    • — Val on January 30, 2021
    • Reply
  • So delicious – the smell and taste of the marinade is divine. Made it with Thai Cucumber Salad, and my own egg fried rice and sesame green beans. Restaurant quality meal!

    • — Natalie on December 1, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hello Jen, how do you do it, another delicious and easy recipe. I used the toaster oven grill and had perfect results. Thank you so much.

    • — Susan on August 25, 2020
    • Reply
    • 🙂

      • — Jenn on August 26, 2020
      • Reply
  • This was delicious. Made it exactly as described. Reserving a portion of the marinade to baste the chicken worked very well. Served it with a side of asian noodles.

    • — Alistair Macleod on August 6, 2020
    • Reply
  • My entire family loved this chicken! Such great flavor and so easy to prep and cook. Definitely a keeper in our dinner rotation!

    • — Leslie S. on May 30, 2020
    • Reply
  • Is the marinade supposed to be watery? Mine was and my chicken was pale, no kind of “sauce” on it. Where do you think I could have gone wrong? Is there a point I’m supposed to reduce it?

    • — Ann on April 10, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Ann, Sorry you had a problem with this! The marinade doesn’t need to be reduced and the chicken should get nice color. Did you make any adjustments to the recipe?

      • — Jenn on April 10, 2020
      • Reply
  • This was AMAZING! Made this for my boyfriend and I and he couldn’t stop raving about it. He said this has to be our new go – to chicken. He ate all of it and only left me two small pieces because he felt bad I didn’t eat any…but he said he would’ve eaten them all. Thank you!

    • — Brittney Alex on April 5, 2020
    • Reply
  • This is a regular meal in our home. It works well for a week night meal, but is delicious enough for company. I usually serve it with cauliflower fried rice (although often I sub out half the cauliflower for steamed rice; then you REALLY can’t tell that you’re eating cauliflower).

    Thank you for so many fabulous recipes, Jenn!

    • — Kay on December 28, 2019
    • Reply
  • HI JENN — our grill isn’t working. How would you suggest cooking these in the oven?

    Thanks!

    • — Eve on September 4, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Eve, I’d broil them; cook time will be about the same. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 4, 2019
      • Reply
  • I had trouble flipping the chicken this time even after I had oiled the grates. It’s possible this is due to the fact that thighs are juicier and this gives them more of a reason to stick. Anyone else have this problem?

    Anyway, it still turned out great. Amazing flavor. I’m now no longer afraid of chicken thighs!

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