Asian Chicken Marinade

This Asian Chicken Marinade is packed with big, bright, bold flavors! Use on chicken breasts or thighs, boneless or bone-in, whatever type of chicken you like. Marinate your chicken in the morning and you’ll have a quick and delicious dinner ready to go!

chicken breasts on platter with scallions

What’s In Asian Chicken Marinade?

This Asian Chicken Marinade is so packed with bold flavors, it’s going to make anything taste good. Whether you’re using bone-in chicken breasts, thighs or all boneless, you’re not going to have to worry about boring, dry chicken.

Because the ingredients in this chicken marinade are so flavorful, the chicken will only need a few hours to get some really nice flavor. We like to marinate our chicken as long as we can, even overnight! But if a few hours is all you have the chicken is still going to be delicious.

ingredients for asian chicken marinade
  • Soy Sauce: Use low sodium if that’s a concern, but regular soy sauce is also fine, too. Soy sauce adds that “umami” flavor to the chicken and also gives it a nice color.
  • Oyster Sauce: You can find oyster sauce in the Asian aisle at your grocery store. Adds tons of flavor and also, like the soy sauce, adds to the nice color of the chicken when finished.
  • Chili Garlic Sauce: One of our favorite Asian ingredients. Won’t add a ton of spice, just a little background heat and lots of flavor. If spice isn’t your thing then leave it out.
  • Brown Sugar: We like brown sugar instead of honey for this marinade because there’s less chance of it sticking if you’re using a grill.
  • Toasted Sesame Oil: A little goes a long way! This flavorful oil is super nutty and delicious.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic for the best flavor.
  • Ginger: Fresh, grated ginger for the best flavor.
asian chicken marinade in bowl with whisk

Variations On Asian Chicken Marinade

While we think this chicken marinade is on point, you can definitely adjust the flavors to your liking. Also, we like to add alternatives in case you really don’t feel like running out to the store for one ingredient.

Instead of using fresh ginger and garlic, there are tubes of both in the produce aisle at the grocery store. The tubes are refrigerated and they are a fresh product. We use these often in a pinch.

Honey is also a good swap out for the brown sugar. Just be careful if you’re grilling your chicken, the honey might make the chicken stick but just be sure to oil the grill grates well before cooking.

Sriracha can also be used instead of chili garlic sauce. Again, if spice isn’t something that you like then just leave it out of the marinade recipe.

chicken breasts in a bag with marinade

Can You Use A Chicken Marinade As A Sauce?

You can after boiling the marinade for at least 5 minutes. Boiling the marinade will kill any bacteria that’s left behind from the chicken.

If you’re still unsure, double the marinade recipe and reserve half for reducing as a sauce before adding the chicken.

How Long Should You Marinate The Chicken?

Like we mentioned before, the ingredients in this chicken marinade are so powerful, even a couple of hours will add tons of flavor to your chicken.

However, we love the flavor in this Asian Chicken Marinade so much, we usually marinate the chicken in the morning and throw it on the grill come dinner time.

If you’re baking the chicken, you can pour the chicken and the marinade into a baking dish. Since the marinade will be heating up in the oven with the chicken, it’s safe to consume.

grilled chicken breasts on a platter with Asian marinade

How To Store

After you’ve added chicken to the marinade, store in the refrigerator for 8 hours or up to overnight. If you’d like to make this Asian marinade in bulk, store in containers or resealable bags in the refrigerator for up to a week.

How To Freeze

Freeze marinade in resealable freezer bags or containers for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and then just add your chicken of choice to the marinade.

You can also add the chicken to the freezer bag with the marinade and freeze. That way all you need to do is defrost in the refrigerator overnight, let the chicken sit in the marinade until dinner and you’ve got an easy meal!

sliced chicken on a board with sesame seeds and scallions

Looking For More Chicken Marinade Recipes?

grilled chicken breasts on a platter with Asian marinade

Asian Chicken Marinade

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: For 3 pounds of chicken 1x

This Asian Chicken Marinade is packed with big, bright, bold flavors! Use on chicken breasts or thighs, boneless or bone-in, whatever type of chicken you like. Marinate your chicken in the morning and you’ll have a quick and delicious dinner ready to go!



  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons fresh, grated ginger


  1. Combine all of the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. Pour the marinade into a resealable bag or a dish big enough to hold all of the chicken.
  3. Add the chicken and toss to coat in the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.
  4. Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill, bake or air fry the chicken as desired.
  5. Optional: Boil the remaining marinade in a small pot for 5 minutes, then use as a sauce to spoon over the cooked chicken. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds if desired. 

Recipe Notes

This marinade makes enough for 3 pounds of chicken.

See post for additional information on storing and freezing this marinade.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: American / Asian

Keywords: mantitlement, asian chicken marinade, marinade recipe, chicken marinade recipe, easy chicken recipes

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