Served in many Chinese-American restaurants, chicken on a stick has an unmistakable Asian flavor, much like teriyaki. It is sometimes referred to as teriyaki chicken on a stick, or Chinese chicken skewers. The chicken is sweet, with a little heat and goes so well with a big plate of fragrant Jasmine rice. I hope you try my Chinese Chicken on a Stick Recipe. Family and friends will think you ordered from your local Chinese takeout.
Why You'll Love This Chinese Chicken on a Stick Recipe
- Everything tastes better on a stick!
- You can enjoy takeout style chicken skewers without leaving home.
- My Chinese Chicken on a Stick Recipe is kid friendly.
- Chicken - boneless skinless chicken thighs work great. I use them, along with some boneless chicken breast, like you use for chicken strips. I like the dark meat while hubby likes the white meat.
- Brown sugar - light or dark
- Garlic - I like fresh minced, but in a pinch, granulated garlic or garlic powder would work. I recommend avoiding garlic salt.
- Ginger - I like fresh ginger in this recipe.
- Lemon - fresh always
- Vinegar - I use Sushi vinegar but apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar are fine.
- Crushed red pepper flakes - I use red pepper flakes but a splash of hot chili oil would work as well.
- Sesame seeds - regular or black sesame seeds are fine.
- Soy sauce - I use regular soy sauce but low sodium is a good option for those watching their salt intake. Aloha Shoyu (soy sauce) is my favorite!
- Green onion - I think this is a game changer. It really complements the chicken and the rice as well. I always have scallions on hand.
- Cornstarch - If you don't have cornstarch you could use flour, but your sauce will be a little cloudy. Make sure there are no lumps in your flour/water slurry, and pour it in slowly, whisking all the time
- Honey - I use regular honey but I think next time I will use hot honey. I like it spicy!
Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the recipe card.
Combine all ingredients except seeds, green onion and cornstarch in saucepan.
Add ¾ cup cold water to the saucepan and stir to combine.
Simmer the sauce over medium-high heat. Add slurry and stir until thickened.
Allow to cool then pour over chicken and marinate for at least an hour.
Soak skewers in water while the chicken marinates so they won't burn on grill.
Remove the chicken from fridge and thread onto skewers.
Place on grill pan over medium heat and cook for 3-4 minutes. Baste with sauce.
Flip and and baste. Cook to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Remove from heat and place on serving plate.
Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.
- You could add more savory flavor by including a bit of oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, or my favorite, fish sauce. Start with just a tablespoon, adding more if needed.
- Add more heat with hot chili oil.
Looking for More Asian Chicken Recipes?
If you like my chicken on a stick recipe, look no further than these two Asian food favorites. One features dark meat chicken thighs and the other chicken wings.
- Charcoal grill or gas grill
- Small Saucepan
- Airtight container (for marinating the chicken pieces)
- Wooden or bamboo skewers
- Make sure you cut your chicken into roughly the same size pieces. If they are different sizes, the thick parts will not be cooked to a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees and the smaller pieces will dry out or burn. Also, don't scrunch them up tightly on the skewer. They need a little room to cook through.
These chicken skewers go very well with Jasmine rice. Save a little of the teriyaki sauce to spoon over your rice. Don't forget to sprinkle some green onion on the rice too.
Chinese Chicken on a Stick
- wooden skewers or bamboo skewers
- Small saucepan
- Large bowl for marinating or plastic bags
- Grill or indoor grill pan
- 1.25 pounds chicken thighs or breast
- 5 tablespoons brown sugar
- ¾ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ teaspoons sliced ginger
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil (optional)
- 1 tablespoon sushi vinegar or rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- Combine brown sugar, soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, and vinegar in saucepan. If using optional sesame oil, add it now too.
- Add ¾ cup cold water to the saucepan and stir to combine.
- Simmer the sauce over medium-high heat. Mix cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water and stir until there are no lumps. Slowly add the slurry to the saucepan and stir until thickened to your liking.
- Allow the sauce to cool, then pour over the chicken and marinate in an airtight container for at least an hour up to 24 hours.
- Soak skewers in water while the chicken marinates so they won't burn on grill.
- Remove the chicken from fridge and thread onto skewers.
- Place on hot grill pan over medium heat and cook for 3-4 minutes. Baste with sauce.
- You can also cook them on any type of outdoor grill or barbecue. Cook on the indirect side of the grill to avoid burning. The sauce has a lot of sugar and can burn easily. Cook to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- Flip and and baste. Cook to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- Remove from heat and place on serving plate.
- Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.
Approximate nutrition information is provided as a convenience and courtesy only. You are encouraged to do your own calculations if precise data is required.