Sticky Asian Chicken

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This Sticky Asian Chicken is an EASY 4 ingredient recipe that is going to rock your weeknight dinners. Salty soy sauce, sweet brown sugar, and spicy garlic chili paste combine to make one of the easiest Asian-inspired marinades you can imagine.

When you add that marinade to chicken and bake, broil, grill or pan-fry and you get an Asian chicken recipe that’s better than anything you can find at a restaurant.

Sticky Asian Chicken is a sweet, salty, spicy blend of flavors that no one can resist! Get the recipe at

Sticky Asian Chicken

My middle son cheers every single time I make this chicken which has become fairly often. Sticky Asian Chicken is so easy that it’s found its way to our dinner table countless times over the past five years.

The inspiration for this recipe came a while back when I accidentally picked up a jar of garlic chili paste while grocery shopping. I was looking for my favorite chili paste, Sambal Oelek, and in a moment of distraction, I picked up the wrong one.

The garlic chili paste looks similar to Sambal Oelek but has a slightly different flavor I liked. Th garlic gives the dish a different layer of heat without actually being spicy.

If you can’t locate garlic chili paste, Sticky Asian Chicken is easy to make without it. Just add minced garlic to your favorite plain chili paste. It’s an easy hack that works great in this recipe when you’re in a pinch!

Speaking of the chili paste, you can adjust the amount of chili paste as desired. The amount of paste you add will determine how spicy the finished Asian Chicken will be.

If you’re spice lovers, feel free to use as many as 6 tablespoons of the stuff. Those who are less spice tolerant might start with 4 and go from there. For my kids, I used 4 tablespoons and it was perfect.

Asian Chicken Recipe

Too often, Asian chicken recipes are either too spicy for my kids or too bland for me. This recipe is neither.

The sugar in the recipe balances out and there was hardly any heat. Even though the chicken wasn’t that spicy, it was completely full of rich flavor.

My middle son enjoyed this so much, he ate four drumsticks the first time I made this and would have happily eaten more.

You only need FOUR ingredients to make this irresistible Sticky Asian Chicken! Get the recipe at

Sticky Asian Chicken Recipe

The most time-consuming part of this recipe is letting the chicken marinate for a few hours. While it takes 4 – 6 hours to really let the chicken soak up that good sauce, it’s hands-off time.

I like to prep the marinade and the chicken early in the day and let it marinate while I do other things. Then, a couple of hours before dinner, I remove the chicken from the fridge to bring it to room temperature.

Drumsticks are our favorite cut of meat to use in this recipe. Skinless chicken breasts and boneless chicken thighs also work great!

You will just need to adjust your cooking times to the type of cut. Boneless thighs and breasts will usually take about half as long as bone-in cuts of chicken.

Baked Asian Chicken

Baking is one of my favorite easy ways to cook chicken and this recipe is no exception. After just 40 minutes or so in the oven, each piece of chicken is tender, juicy and flavorful.

If you enjoy oven baked Asian chicken, let me the first to insist you also try my beloved {5 Minute} Sheet Pan Chicken Dinner. It’s another easy and kid-friendly dinner meal that my family requests constantly.

Oven Broiled Asian Chicken

Another even faster way of cooking this chicken is to place it under the broiler for about 10 minutes. My family also really loved the way the chicken tasted when it was broiled. This is a great option for busy nights when you need a tasty meal and don’t have time to waste.

Pan-Fried Chicken

If you prefer your chicken cooked on the stove-top, this recipe works great with a pan-frying method of cooking. I let each piece cooking in the pan, covered, until deeply brown and crispy.

Pan Fried Italian Chicken Thighs are another great stove top chicken recipe I love that results in perfect crispy chicken pieces every time.

Asian Marinade

While the chicken is cooking, a portion of the marinade is simmered on the stovetop until slightly thickened and reduced. Drizzle the marinade over the finished cooked chicken and be prepared for one of the tastiest chicken dinners of your life.

The portion of the marinade you’ll simmer should be set aside before adding raw chicken to the rest of the marinade. Remember to discard any marinade that has touched raw chicken, for food safety.

Kitchen Tip: I use this measuring cup, this whisk, and this baking sheet to make this recipe.

If you like this recipe you might also enjoy my Asian Chicken Salad recipe, Spicy Bacon and Chicken Stir-Fry and Ginger Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry.

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You only need FOUR ingredients to make this irresistible Sticky Asian Chicken! Get the recipe at

Sticky Asian Chicken

5 from 5 votes
Sticky Asian Chicken can be baked or broiled in the oven, cooked on the stove-top, or grilled. However you cook it, this chicken is irresistible!
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Servings: 6 -8 servings


  • 4 pounds chicken about 12-16 drumsticks, depending on size
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4-6 tablespoons garlic chili paste or a chili paste like Sambal Oelek plus 2 cloves minced garlic


  • Combine the soy sauce, sugar and chili paste in a large measuring cup or bowl and whisk to combine. Pour HALF the marinade in a separate container and refrigerate until needed, this will be the glaze on the chicken. Place the chicken in a gallon size ziploc bag or airtight container. Cover with the remaining marinade and seal. Place in the refrigerator, turning bag ever hour or two until ready to cook. Marinate for 4 - 6 hours.
  • 30 - 60 minutes before you are ready to cook, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and place it on the counter to come closer to room temperature.
  • OVEN BAKING DIRECTIONS: Preheat the oven to 400 degress. Place the chicken pieces on a foil lined baking sheet, discard all the marinade that has touched the chicken. Bake the chicken for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven, turn pieces over and return the chicken to the oven. Bake an additional 8-10 minutes until the juices run clear when pierced with a knife. While the chicken finishes baking, place the clean reserved marinade in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil for at least 1 minute. Reduce to a low simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Serve the chicken with the slightly reduced marinade sauce drizzled over the chicken. Enjoy!
  • OVEN BROILING DIRECTIONS: Preheat the oven to broil. Place the chicken pieces on a foil lined baking sheet, discard all the marinade that has touched the chicken. Broil the chicken for 10 minutes. Place the clean reserved marinade in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil for at least 1 minute. Reduce to a low simmer while the chicken cooks.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven, turn pieces over and lightly baste with the marinade. Return the chicken to the oven and cook another 5 - 8 minutes until the juices run clear when pierced with a knife. Serve the chicken with the slightly reduced marinade sauce drizzled over the chicken. Enjoy!
  • Warm a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Place the chicken pieces in the skillet skin side down, discard all the marinade that has touched the chicken. Cover the chicken with a lid and allow it to cook without touching it for about 10 minutes. Place the clean reserved marinade in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil for at least 1 minute and then reduce to a low simmer while the chicken cooks.
  • Turn the chicken over. The skin should be super crispy and deeply browned. If it is not, increase the heat and let
  • it cook a couple more minutes before turning it. Turn the chicken and let the other side brown for another 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces. Serve the chicken with rice, with the slightly reduced marinade sauce either drizzled over the chicken or on the side. Enjoy!


Drumsticks are our favorite for this recipe, although it works great with other cuts of chicken as well. I have also used boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts with success. Simply adjust the cooking time as necessary. Thighs and breasts will take about half as long to cook as bone-in pieces, maybe slightly longer than that, depending on thickness.
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(originally published 9/27/2012 – recipe notes and photographs updated 10/17/2019)

Sticky Asian Glazed Chicken can be baked, broiled, grilled, or pan-fried! Get the recipe at

Chicken Recipes

When you’re busy and have a family to feed, you can never have enough chicken recipes.

Give Copycat Chick-fil-A Nuggets by Chocolate Chocolate and More a try next time you’re having a fast-food craving. Buffalo Chicken Spinach Alfredo by 365 Days of Baking is a delicious take on chicken and pasta.

Creamy Spinach Artichoke Chicken by Spend with Pennies and Slow-Cooker Chicken Tacos by Love from the Oven are two more chicken recipes to add to your list!

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Tricia @ saving room for dessert says

    These must be finger licking good! I can just see your boys with sweet sauce around their mouths – and you too for that matter! You know one day all the neighborhood kids will want to stay and have dinner at your house! You'll be (if not already) the Kool-Aid mom!

    • Mary says

      You read my mind, Sue. I'm planning to try this with salmon in a couple of weeks. If you do try it, let me know how it works!

    • Mary says

      Chili paste is not the easiest condiment to locate, but it is almost always found on the top shelves of the Asian sections at Fry's, Safeway, Super Target and Wal-Mart. It probably goes without saying that you would more easily find it at an Asian market, but if you really can not locate it, Sriracha sauce might work, although I have not tried it in this recipe. Although, if you are having trouble locating Sambal Oelek in your area, Sriracha might be as difficult to find.

      From Cook's Thesaurus:
      Asian chile paste = a blend of hot chile peppers, garlic, oil, and salt that's commonly used in Asian cuisine. Substitutes: hot sauce OR harissa OR crushed red pepper flakes (to taste; start with 1/4 as much) OR dried red chili peppers.

      I think that crushed red pepper with garlic and possibly hot sauce added in might be the closest option. As far as amounts, it would definitely be a taste and see kind of substitution.

    • Caroline says

      Is it garlic chili “paste” or garlic chili “sauce”? I can find the sauce, not the paste. Thanks in advance! Love all of you recipes, thanks for sharing. 🙂

  2. Liz says

    I am planning to put sliced chicken breasts on skewers to grill for a potluck tomorrow night. Do you think this sauce will due okay on the grill? It sounds wonderful!

  3. Kim | Just For Clicks Blog says

    Linking over from Rachel Cooks… Loved reading your interview. And love your blog. (My son and husband love all things spicy and chili paste is a staple in our home) Looking so forward to connecting through social media and being a regular reader here.

  4. Anonymous says

    You don't tell us how long to broil the chicken before taking it out, turning over and basting it.

  5. BHPen99 says

    Made this tonight and it was yummy. Just me, so I cut the recipe in half and baked 5 legs. I didn’t add garlic, just not a garlic fan. I will make this again on a regular basis, it was so easy. I was cleaning up the kitchen and a friend called, so I walked out to the mailbox. When I came back inside, I said wow, my house smells good!!! She said I thought you didn’t like to cook and I said but I found this recipe and I got hungry so I made it. It’s wonderful. I had steamed cabbage and creamy corn with it 🙂

  6. Nikki Harris says

    These tasted as good as they looked😋😋😋
    Only be sure to double the amount of everything as all my family headed straight back to kitchen for seconds…

    • Mary says

      I have no idea how that would work. I might consider it with skinless meats, but I don’t typically care for chicken with skin cooked in the crock-pot.

  7. Mike V. says

    Love this easy recipe. I do mine on the grill indirect till almost done.
    Also, I microplane ginger into the sauce. Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

  8. Alton says

    Could you please explain what you mean by (discard all the marinade hat has touched the chicken)?

    • Mary Younkin says

      You’ll use half the marinade to actually marinate the meat, reserving the other half to reduce for a finishing sauce. I am very clear about discarding any marinade that has touched the chicken, just in case someone might think to reduce and use the marinade from the meat.

  9. Sara F says

    This is SOOO delicious!! I didn’t add a full 1.5 cups of soy sauce, just because I didn’t have enough. But, even with that modification….this chicken was perfect. I made it and put it on top of an Asian style salad with mandarins and a peanut butter based salad dressing. I’m saving this recipe for sure!!!!!5 stars