This Ginger Soy Marinade is our favorite asian-inspired sauce for chicken skewers! Marinate chicken thighs or chicken breasts in a simple 1-2-3 marinade, thread with scallions, and grill for the perfect easy dinner. [extra- recipe included for saucy noodles!]
This recipe was created for Whisk magazine, photographed by Shoshi Sirkis, styling by Anat Lobel.
It is officially summertime AKA grill season! We have a super simple charcoal grill, seriously nothing fancy, and we use that baby all summer long. My husband gets the kids to help start the fire and I marinate some chicken or kalbi beef ribs, and we set the table while the sun sets. Its seriously dreamy and my absolute favorite thing to do for dinner.
With the long days ahead, and the kids home a lot and constantly hungry(does anyone else spend all their money on food or is it just us?!), I love a simple, easy chicken marinade. One I can go back to time and time again- and that always gets compliments!
What do you need to make Ginger Soy Marinade?
The main ingredients for this recipe are soy sauce and Mirin, which is Japanese rice wine. Sweet and full of flavor, I love using Mirin in my Teriyaki Plate Lunch and Chili Peppa Chicken. We also have a nice amount of fresh ginger and garlic, and of course some toasted sesame oil and chili flakes for added flavor.
How long should you marinate the chicken?
I like to marinate chicken for at least one hour before grilling it. Of course, when it comes to marinades, longer is better! If you can marinate the chicken overnight, that is best- the marinade really seeps into the chicken and it just tastes better and better.
PREP: You can even cube the chicken and add it along with the sauce to a ziplock bag and pop it in the freezer in portions- perfect for easy meal prep!
SHORTCUT: if you’re in a rush/making this last minute: the lowest time I would go is 30 minutes marinating.
Use chicken breast or thigh
I have tried this recipe with both cubed chicken breast and chicken thigh(spring chicken).
Both are great!! I find chicken thigh to be more tender, but also more expensive! If using breast give it extra time to marinate if you can- it really helps tenderize the meat and makes it softer.
What vegetables go well with ginger soy sauce?
Today we are making simple chicken and scallion(green onion) skewers! These look elegant and are frankly, just delicious. Make sure to thread the scallions horizontally, like pictured!
If you want to add more vegetables, try red or yellow bell pepper, purple onion, or pineapple.
Serve these lovely skewers with a colorful Bahn Mi Slaw, or the saucy noodles as pictured, and enjoy!
Love BBQ? Try these other recipes:
Ginger Soy Marinade(for chicken skewers)
- 1-2 lbs chicken thighs (or breasts), uniformly cubed
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup mirin(japanese cooking wine)
- 6 TBSP sugar
- 2 TBSP fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 TBSP sesame oil
- 1 tsp chili pepper flakes
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bunches scallions
- small wooden skewers
- rice noodles(optional)
- black sesame seeds(optional)
Prepare the marinade
- In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, mirin, sugar, ginger, sesame oil, chili flakes, and garlic.
- Pour half the marinade into a container or zip top bag. Add chicken and marinate for 1 hour or up to overnight(longer is better!).
- Pour the remaining half of the marinade into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute, stirring. It will thicken a bit. Set aside to brush on the chicken or use a a dipping sauce.
- Soak the wooden skewers in water to prevent them from burning.
- Slice scallions into 1 1/2-inch pieces(white and light green parts are best, closer to the stem. they keep their shape better when grilled).
- Assemble the skewers, alternating scallions and chicken.
- Fire up the grill or heat up a grill pan over medium heat. Grease the grates/pan to prevent sticking. Taking care not to crowd the skewers, grill 3 minutes on the first side and 2-3 minutes on the second side, until golden and cooked through. Brush with extra glaze or serve on the side for dipping.
- prepare the noodles:Add noodles to a large pot, cover with boiling water and let sit for 10-15 minutes, until softened. Pour sauce over the noodles and toss to coat. Garnish with sesame.