Skip to content

Asian Chicken Skewers

Asian chicken skewers are teeming with the mouthwatering flavors of a sweet and sour Asian marinade that’s perfect for a cookout and guaranteed to leave no leftovers!

Asian chicken skewers on a plate
Asian Chicken Skewers are tender, juicy, and full of flavor!

Video: Watch Us Make This Recipe

The Best Asian Chicken Skewers

These Asian-inspired skewers are smothered in a sweet and spicy glaze that is bursting with flavor. Honey, siracha, and the works combine into just the right amount of heat that is sure to leave everyone at the table satisfied and coming back for seconds whether it’s dinner, lunch, or time for the family cookout.

Plus, this is your next easy meal. The marinade can sit for a few hours up to overnight which makes it perfect for a cookout meal the next day – all you need to do is pull the chicken out and pop it on the grill. For all the spice-loving folks out there, Asian chicken skewers are sure to leave you satisfied.

Why You’ll Love These

  • These skewers are simple to make. Whisk the glaze ingredients, cover the chicken to marinade, and let it sit before pulling it out to grill.
  • This recipe is perfect for a make-ahead option. The marinade can be left from 2-3 hours up to overnight.
  • Asian Chicken Skewers are cost-effective. Chicken thighs are a cost-effective cut of chicken, and the glaze ingredients are all staple ingredients for anyone who already creates Asian-inspired masterpieces.
  • Your mouth will be bursting with flavor after devouring these wings. The sauce is just the right amount of sweet, spicy, and fresh when garnished with herbs like cilantro.
  • There’s a place at the table for burgers and hot dogs, but this recipe will help you step up your cookout game.
Asian chicken skewers
Grill chicken skewers just until centers are no longer pink; do not overcook.

Key Ingredients

  • Honey & brown sugar – The sweet elements of the glaze that completes the first part of the “sweet and sour” sauce.
  • Soy sauce – This gives the glaze a base and salty flavor.
  • Cloves – This also gives the sauce a subtly sweet flavor that adds the perfect warmth.
  • Siracha hot sauce – A key spicy ingredient to complete the “sweet and sour” pairing with the right amount of tang and garlic notes.
  • Spices – Ground mustard, ginger powder, and salt combine into the perfect flavor profile for the glaze.
  • Chicken thighs – Make sure they’re boneless and skinless chicken thighs and cut into one inch pieces.
  • Optional: oil for the grill; cilantro and scallions for garnish.

How to Make

This recipe may seem too fancy or daunting for a cookout where all you want to do is kick back and relax, but it really couldn’t be simpler and more delicious. Here is what you’ll need to do:

  1. Make the glaze – Whisk all of the glaze ingredients together.
  2. Prep the chicken – Dry the chicken pieces and pierce throughout with a fork.
  3. Marinade – Toss pieces with the marinade and let sit in the fridge for 2-3 hours or up to overnight.
  4. Make the skewers – Thread chicken pieces onto skewers. Drizzle extra marinade over the skewers.
  5. Grill – Oil the grill and preheat to medium. Grill each side for 2-3 minutes until just cooked through and grill marks show through.
Asian chicken skewers
Garnish chicken skewers with sesame seeds and serve with rice or a salad.

Tips for the Perfect Result

Like we mentioned earlier, this recipe may seem fancy, but it’s actually incredibly easy and simple which makes it even better for your cookouts; impress the crowd, but don’t sweat too much in the process! To ensure your skewers turn out perfect, here are a few tips:

  • Be sure to dry the chicken. Pat the chicken thighs down with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. This guarantees the maximum amount of glaze sticks to each piece.
  • Reserve 1/4 cup marinade/glaze for grilling. This will allow you to baste the grilling chicken as it cooks through and catch any nooks and crannies that need a second coating of the glaze.
  • Garnish. It may seem like an extra step, but garnishing these skewers with fresh herbs like cilantro or scallions will take these skewers to the next level.

Commonly Asked Questions

Are chicken breasts or chicken thighs better for skewers?

Either chicken breasts or chicken thighs would work for this recipe, but we definitely recommend chicken thighs. Chicken thighs are naturally more moist than chicken breasts which means they are less likely to dry out on the grill. Plus chicken thighs are generally more cost effective.

How spicy is the marinade/glaze?

The siracha in this glaze does add an element of heat, but even with it, we consider this sauce to be medium on the scale. Your friends and family who love extra heat will be satisfied, but those who tend to reach for a milder sauce will not be overwhelmed.

What can you serve with Asian Chicken Skewers?

There are numerous options. We recommend trying coconut rice, corn on the cob, sweet potatoes, or a salad. These skewers can be the flavor star of the meal or complement any other flavor-filled side.

What is the difference between Satay and Skewers?

Satay and Skewers are very similar. Satay is a traditional Southeast Asian dish made of small pieces of skewered meat grilled over an open fire. Skewers originated from the Middle East and are made from larger chunks of meat.

More to Make and Eat

  • Kalbi (Galbi) Korean BBQ Short RibsFind out the secret to making ridiculously tender grilled short ribs.
  • Grilled Shrimp Kabobs – A healthy grilled option made with Thai sweet chili sauce and an array of other fresh flavors and spices.
  • The Best Grilled Chicken Legs – Covered in a juicy sauce and marinaded to perfection, these will surely make the cut for your next cookout!
  • Huli Huli Chicken – Try a new recipe with this Hawaiian grilled chicken that literally means “turn-turn” and will leave everyone coming back for more.

Did you make this?

Please give us a rating and comment below. We love hearing from you!

Asian chicken skewers on a plate

Asian Chicken Skewers

5 from 40 ratings
These skewers are teeming with the mouthwatering flavors of a sweet and sour Asian marinade that's perfect for a cookout and guaranteed to leave no leftovers!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Amy Dong


For the Glaze-Marinade:

For the Skewers:

  • 2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Oil for grill
  • Optional: Freshly chopped cilantro or scallions for garnish


  • In a large bowl, whisk together all glaze-marinade ingredients to combine well. Reserve 1/4 cup of mixture and set aside.
  • Thoroughly dry chicken pieces with paper towels and pierce holes throughout with a fork. Add chicken to large bowl of marinade and toss to coat well. Cover and marinade in fridge 2-3 hours or overnight.
  • When ready to cook, thread chicken onto desired amount of skewers (exact amount varies, depending on how many pieces of chicken you thread per skewer and how long your skewers are.) Save used marinade and briefly boil it for drizzling over the skewers at the end.
  • Oil the grill and preheat over medium. Baste skewers throughout cook time, using the 1/4 cup reserved marinade-glaze; about 2-3 min/side or until just cooked through and nice grill marks appear. Plate the skewers and drizzle with the boiled marinade. Garnish with herbs as desired and serve immediately.


Nutrition (per serving)

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 347kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 215mg | Sodium: 1502mg | Potassium: 661mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 76IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Cookout, Dinner, grill, Main
Cuisine: Asian, Asian American
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Lactose
Method: Assemble, Grill, marinade

Get our free email series: 5 Easy Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less

Plus our newest recipes each week