This 4 ingredient sticky soy sauce chicken is utterly delicious. Ridiculously quick and easy to make, it is perfect when you want a tasty meal in minutes with minimum fuss.
Sticky Soy Chicken
I love recipes and dishes that deliver loads of flavour with minimum effort. This 4 ingredient sticky soy chicken is a perfect example. The recipe is the essence of simple, and just right for a week-night supper after a long day at work. You just mix up a three ingredient marinade, let the chicken soak for a few minutes and then cook up a full-flavoured treat.
There are so many ways to enjoy this sticky soy chicken. For the fastest, simplest version, eat it tossed into a leafy salad, the fresh leaves contrasting the delicious savoury/umami flavours from the soy sauce. We think this makes a perfect light lunch or supper. For a more substantial dinner, just add rice and some steamed greens. We’re big fans of our microwave rice steamer, which gives us perfectly cooked rice every time in about a quarter of an hour.
If you want to take it a step further, try this sticky soy chicken with my teriyaki sauce.
Sticky Soy Chicken Ingredients
- Chicken – I’ve used a chicken breast here, but generally I prefer thighs, as I think the flavour is better and they aren’t as lean as breasts, so the end chicken will be juicer.
- Sweet Soy Sauce – This is such a useful addition to your pantry – a thicker, and sweeter soy sauce, perfect for sauces, dipping and marinades. If you don’t have any, regular soy and honey or maple syrup would work well.
- Chilli Sauce – I have used sriracha, but pick your favourite!
- Sesame Oil – Regular supermarket sesame oil is usually toasted and has a full nutty sesame flavour and aroma. You can also buy cold pressed sesame oil which will have little, if any flavour. A wok oil that contains sesame will have approximately the same flavour as toasted sesame oil and makes a good substitution.
Soy sauce is so useful in so many recipes that we always make sure we have a bottle or two in the cupboard. Found across Asian cuisines, there is actually a myriad of different types available. Each country has its favourite.
8 facts about soy sauce
- Soy sauce is one of the world’s oldest condiments, originating 2,500 years ago in China. There is a huge variety of different sauces.
- Traditionally fermented soy sauce takes a while to mature: from months for everyday products to years for super premium brands. Always buy the real thing, not chemically produced non-brewed sauces. You’ll really notice the difference.
- Different Asian countries have their own preferred recipes. Traditionally, the Chinese used only soy beans to make soy sauce, while the Japanese used a blend of soybeans and wheat grains. Modern Chinese soy sauce, however, often contains wheat flour.
- Just to muddy the waters, Japanese tamari uses only soybeans and is therefore gluten free.
- Generally, Chinese sauces have a fuller, saltier flavour, while Japanese sauces are sweeter.
- There are numerous varieties of Chinese soy sauce. Light soy sauce, made from the first pressing of the fermented soy beans, is most widely used in cooking. Double fermented light sauces have a richer flavour and are used for dipping. Dark and double dark sauces have been fermented for longer, and can have sugar or molasses added for sweetness. These add richness towards the end of cooking and can be used as a table condiment.
- Sweet soy sauces are good both for cooking (as I have done here) and as a dipping sauce. Sweet soy sauce has added sugar and thickening agents.
Recipe Step by Step
Step 1 – Mix equal quantities of chilli sauce, sweet soy sauce and sesame oil. I use about a dessert spoon of each.
If you don’t have sweet soy sauce use a mix of regular soy sauce and runny honey and maple syrup.
Step 2 – Cut the chicken into bite sized chunks. You can use thighs or breast, cooked or raw.
Add to the marinade and give it a good stir to coat. Leave it for at least five minutes, or overnight in the fridge to soak up the flavours.
Step 3 – Scoop the chicken out of the marinade and fry in little cooking oil in a non-stick pan. The small chunks take very little time to cook through.
Step 4 – Pour the remaining marinade into the pan. Cook until the sauce reduces down and you’re ready to serve.
Serve with rice or noodles to soak up the sticky sauce. I quite like this on a salad for a light meal.
Hint and Tips
- If you don’t have sweet soy sauce swap in a mixture of regular soy sauce and honey or maple syrup
- You can marinade the chicken for up to 24 hours in the fridge. Or pack into an airtight container and freeze for advance meal prep.
- Chinese Rice – Chinese style rice with five spice and soy.
- Spicy Rice – Easy spicy rice – make as hot as you like!
- Other easy rice recipes.
- Asian Slaw – Asian inspired slaw – packed with fresh vegetables
4 ingredient sticky soy chicken
- 1 dsp sweet soy sauce
- 1 dsp sriracha hot chilli sauce
- 1 dsp Sesame oil
- 1 chicken breast
- Mix sweet soy sauce, chilli sauce and sesame oil.
- Cut the chicken breast into bite-sized pieces, and marinate in the sauce mixture for a few minutes.
- Fry the chicken pieces in a non-stick pan, turning regularly, for 10–12 minutes, until nearly cooked through.
- To finish, add the remaining marinade to the frying pan and reduce until thick and sticky.
- Serve, pouring the sauce over the chicken.
- This recipe is 7 Weight Watchers Smart Points per portion
For another twist on Asian chicken, try my fakeaway recipe for easy chicken chow mein. Use this recipe with beef or vegan tofu too!