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Sweet and Sticky Chicken Thighs

5 from 21 community reviews

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Incredibly tasty, this sweet-spicy Asian-style sticky chicken thighs recipe features grilled and glazed chicken with a gingery sauce and chopped peanuts. Serve with seasoned cucumbers, rice and a squeeze of lime for a quick dinner.

Chicken thighs glazed with sticky Asian sauce served in a bowl over cooked white rice, fresh lime and cucumber salad.
Easy ginger chicken is so flavorful with a salty-sweet marinade.

This is one of my go-to grilling recipes. It makes delicious sticky chicken that turns out tender and juicy with so muc flavor.

Are you a big fan of grilled sweet and savory chicken yakitori or teriyaki chicken? If so, you’re going to l-o-v-e this easy version, which is made with tasty chicken thighs.

A platter with cooked sticky chicken thighs, glazed with ginger chili sauce with lime wedges on the side.

I was inspired by traditional Chinese and Japanese chicken dishes that are so good on a grill.

While it’s not what you’d call authentic, my recipe is still really delicious and it uses ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.

This dish is similar to my sweet and spicy gochujang chicken, and it’s ready to eat in less than 30 minutes.

Recipe ingredients

Pantry ingredients for sticky chicken recipes, showing bowls of soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, brown sugar, grated ginger and crushed peanuts.
  • Chili garlic sauce: Not too hot, this fermented chili condiment amps up flavor in the best way. This is my favorite brand.
  • Ginger: Fresh grated ginger adds a layer of zest and heat.
  • Hoisin sauce: A thick, highly seasoned soybean paste from southern China. It’s so good with poultry!
  • Brown sugar: Just a touch of sweetness balances out the bold spicy flavors in the sticky sauce..
  • Tamari (or soy sauce): Tamari is a gluten-free version of soy sauce. Either one adds s a deep, complex flavor to the chicken.
  • Unsalted roasted peanuts: For crunch and flavor. Substitute with cashews if you have allergy concerns.
  • Toasted sesame or roasted peanut oil: A little goes a long way — these oils have rich, toasty flavor and aroma that brings everything together.

Tips and variations

Chicken thigh recipes are my top choice to cook for the best flavor and maximum juiciness. They’re so tasty PLUS they cook in about 10 minutes on a medium-hot barbecue grill.

Because they have a higher fat content than chicken breasts, it’s easier to barbecue boneless chicken thighs without drying out the meat.

To get them ready to cook, marinate the chicken thighs in a lightly spiced hoisin sauce mixture for about 15 minutes (or up to one day ahead, refrigerated).

Overview of cooking steps

  • Brush the chicken with the sweet sauce at the very end of cooking to avoid burning on the hot grill.
  • A squeeze of fresh lime when you’re ready to serve adds the final touch, and a pleasant spark of acidity.
  • Drumsticks or wings will work in this recipe too. Let them marinate shortly before cooking or up to a day in advance of cooking.
  • Grill as you usually would, them brush with the glaze during the last 5-10 minutes for perfect caramelization.
A platter with cooked sticky chicken thighs, glazed with ginger chili sauce with lime wedges on the side.

What to serve with sticky chicken

  • Make sure to serve the extra glaze as a dipping sauce on the side for each person to season to taste.
  • I love to pair cucumbers with spicy food — try them as is in the recipe or make this Indian Cucumber Salad to elevate the dish even more!
  • Serve the chicken with hot white or brown rice, or cook my Perfect Coconut Rice for an amazing meal.

Sweet and Sticky Chicken Thighs

Karen Tedesco
Incredibly tasty sweet and spicy Asian chicken thighs, grilled and glazed with a gingery sauce with peanuts. Serve with seasoned cucumbers, rice and a squeeze of lime.
Print Pin
5 from 21 community reviews
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Chicken
Cuisine Asian
Servings 6 servings




  • ¼ cup (60 ml) tamari or soy sauce
  • ¼ cup (113 g) unsalted roasted peanuts, crushed to crumbs in a blender or food processor
  • 3 tablespoons (45 g) light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger


  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) toasted sesame oil or roasted peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼-½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 lime, sliced into wedges

For serving

  • 4 Persian or baby cucumbers, diced
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) sesame oil or roasted peanut oil
  • 3 green onions (white and green parts), sliced
  • 1 teaspoon Korean chili pepper (gochugaru) or crushed red chili
  • 4 cups (744 g) cooked rice (optional)


Make the glaze

  • Combine all ingredients for the glaze. Measure out ¼ cup into another small bowl. The glaze can be made ahead and refrigerated up to 3 days.

Prepare the chicken

  • Put the chicken in a shallow dish. Whisk together the oil, hoisin, coriander, salt and cayenne until smooth. Pour over the chicken and toss to coat evenly. Marinate at room temperature 15 minutes, or cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours in advance.
  • Preheat a grill for medium-high direct grilling.
  • When the grill is hot, cook the chicken 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through.
  • Brush both sides of the chicken with the ¼ cup glaze, cooking about 30 seconds on each side.
  • Arrange the chicken on a platter with the lime wedges.

To serve

  • Toss the cucumbers with the sesame oil, green onions and chili pepper in a bowl. Squeeze the lime wedges over the chicken and serve over rice with the cucumbers and remaining glaze on the side.

Karen’s Notes and Tips

  • *Note: If you’re sensitive to peanuts, use crushed cashews instead or omit the nuts.
  • Make sure to serve the extra glaze as a dipping sauce on the side for each person to season to taste.


Calories: 742kcal | Carbohydrates: 113g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 790mg | Potassium: 602mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 334IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition facts are calculated by third-party software. If you have specific dietary needs, please refer to your favorite calculator.

Did you make this recipe? Search @Familystylefood or tag #familystylefood on Pinterest

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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  1. 5 stars
    My son’s FAVORITE recipie!!

  2. Making this for dinner tonight and accidentally used nine in skin on thighs. It’s marinating now. Hope it will turn out ok. I suspect I will need to increase cooking time by a lot. What do you think?

    1. Hi Tonya – Do you mean you have nine thighs? If so, the cooking time should be about the same 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    Just made this for dinner tonight. We all loved it! I didn’t have any hoisin so I used oyster sauce and added some sweet chili sauce. It had just the right amount of spice. Really appreciate the cucumber salad too.

  4. 5 stars
    cant wait to try this!