Grilled Chinese Chicken on a Stick is marinated in a delectable blend of oyster sauce, soy sauce, sriracha sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger and then threaded onto a skewer to be grilled to perfection.
Grilled Chinese Chicken Skewers are tender, juicy, and bursting with flavor. This easy-to-make recipe requires less than 20 minutes from start to finish, making it perfect as an appetizer or main dish that can be eaten with your hands.
Whether you’re hosting a barbecue, planning a gathering, or simply looking for a quick and flavorful meal, these Grilled Chinese Chicken Skewers should be on the menu. We love Chinese chicken, especially when it’s got the char from the grill. Yum.
What is Grilled Chinese Chicken on a Stick?
Grilled Chinese Chicken on a Stick is often served as an appetizer, either on its own or with accompanying dipping sauces. It is a favorite at barbecues, street food stalls, and casual gatherings, where its delicious flavors and being easy to eat make it a hit.
It has a flavorful marinade that’s made with typical Chinese sauces, so it has that delicious taste of Chinese chicken. You can make it with either chicken breast or thigh meat.
- Boneless chicken breasts or thighs – I think chicken thighs are the best option here, but you can even mix and match. The thigh meat will be slightly more juicy because it doesn’t tend to dry out as easily on the grill.
- Oyster Sauce – If unavailable, hoisin sauce is a good alternative
- Soy Sauce – Use low-sodium for more control over the level of salt in the sauce.
- Sriracha Sauce – The sriracha gives a little kick of heat, but if you prefer milder heat you can use a chili garlic sauce or leave it out.
- Sesame Oil
- Ground Black Pepper – Feel free to adjust the amount of black pepper to suit your preference
- Sesame Seeds – For garnish
- Sliced Green Onions – For garnish
What Temperature Should Chinese Chicken on a Stick Be Grilled At?
The best temperature for grilling this dish is 400°F. This temperature allows for a nice sear and char on the outside of the chicken while ensuring that the inside cooks evenly and remains tender and juicy.
By grilling the skewers at the appropriate temperature, you’ll achieve a combination of flavors and textures that will leave you with tender, juicy, and perfectly grilled skewers.
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How Long Does It Take to Grill Chinese Chicken on a Stick?
The grilling time can vary depending on the thickness of the chicken pieces. However, it usually takes around 10-15 minutes to grill. To ensure even cooking, it’s recommended to grill the chicken skewers for approximately 4 to 6 minutes on each side.
To ensure that the chicken is cooked thoroughly, it’s always advisable to use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature of the chicken should reach a minimum of 165°F.
Cooking Temperature for Chicken
To ensure that chicken is cooked safely and properly, it should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Using a food thermometer, insert it into the thickest part of the meat without touching the bone to accurately measure the internal temperature.
Chicken breasts, being leaner and containing less fat, cook relatively quickly and can become dry if overcooked, so you’d want to remove it from the grill when it reaches 160°F, then rest it so it reaches165°F.
On the other hand, chicken thighs have a higher fat content, which means they can be cooked longer without drying out and are often more forgiving in terms of cooking time.
To ensure meat at the bone is no longer pink, you’d want to cook bone-in pieces, like thighs and wings, to 165°F and let it rest to come up to 170°F.
How to Grill Chinese Chicken on a Stick
Cut the chicken into thick slices. Mix together all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl or sealable plastic bag. Place the chicken in the bowl or bag and marinate in the sauce for 2 hours.
Thread the chicken slices onto the skewers. I do this in a back and forth accordion style, so each slice of chicken goes through the skewer a few times.
Preheat the grill to 400° F. When hot, place the chicken skewers on the grill and cook for 2 minutes per side. Baste with a bit of the remaining sauce and then cook until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165° F.
The sauce does have sugar in it so it can burn quickly on the grill. You’ll want to keep an eye on it as it cooks so it doesn’t get too charred for your liking.
Remove from the grill and serve with sesame seeds and green onions as garnish. Serve it over air fryer cabbage for a complete meal.
Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill
For this recipe, I used my Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill, which is a new offering from the kitchen appliance brand that makes our beloved favorites, the Ninja MaxXL Air Fryer and the Ninja Creami. The Woodfire Grill is a portable outdoor grill with 7 functions: grill, smoke, air fry, bake, roast, broil, and dehydrate.
Why I Like It
- It imparts an amazing amount of woodfire flavor into the food with just 1/2 cup of pellets.
- It’s incredibly fast and efficient.
- It cooks faster and with more smoker flavor than my full-size smoker – by far.
- There’s no guessing, especially with the built-in temperature probe available on the Pro version.
- The food comes out with a perfect crispy or seared exterior that’s both gorgeous and super tasty.
- It’s very portable and can be set up anywhere on a sturdy surface with a power outlet nearby.
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Tips for Grilling Chinese Chicken on a Stick
- If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for about 30 minutes before threading the chicken onto them. This prevents them from burning during grilling.
- Thread the chicken pieces onto the skewers, leaving a bit of space between each piece. This allows for even cooking and ensures that the chicken cooks through.
- Do not overcrowd the grill to ensure that the heat circulates evenly around the chicken skewers.
Place the leftover grilled chicken skewers in an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.
If you plan to freeze the leftovers, make sure the chicken is completely cooled. Place them in airtight freezer bags or containers, removing as much air as possible. The frozen chicken skewers can be stored for up to 3 months.
Oven: Place the leftover chicken skewers on a baking sheet and cover them with aluminum foil to prevent them from drying out. Reheat for about 10 to 15 minutes or until warmed through.
Grill: If you want to retain the smoky grilled flavor, you can reheat the chicken skewers on a preheated grill over medium heat. This method helps re-crisp the exterior while warming the interior.
Microwave: Arrange the chicken skewers on a microwave-safe plate and cover them with a microwave-safe lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap. Heat in intervals of 30 seconds.
Salads: Slice or dice the leftover chicken skewers and add them to salads for a protein-packed meal. They work well in Asian-inspired salads or as a topping for green salads.
Wraps and sandwiches: Shred or thinly slice the chicken and use it as a filling for wraps, sandwiches, or sliders. Pair it with fresh vegetables and your favorite condiments for a tasty lunch option.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is it called Chinese chicken on a stick?
These chicken skewers are marinated in a sauce that many Chinese restaurants use to make their BBQ chicken, so the name comes from the sauce used to marinate the chicken that we’ve threaded onto a skewer.
Can I make these skewers on the stove instead of the grill?
Our grilled Chinese chicken on a stick is best when cooked on a grill so they can get a nice char on them, but you can do that on the stovetop as well, if you don’t have access to a grill.
What to Serve on the Side
For sides, there is an endless array of salads and veggies that would make a good choice. Here are a few of our favorites:
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Grilled Chinese Chicken on a Stick
- 1 1/2 pounds (680 g) boneless chicken breasts or thighs
- 4 tablespoons (59 ml) Oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) Sriracha sauce
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon (2 g) ginger grated
- 1/2 teaspoon (1 g) ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon (8 g) sesame seeds for garnish
- 2 tablespoons (12 g) sliced green onions for garnish
- Cut the chicken into thick slices.
- Mix together all of the sauce ingredients in a sealable plastic bag.
- Place the chicken in the bag and marinate in the sauce for 2 hours.
- Thread the chicken slices onto skewers.
- Preheat the grill to 400° F. When hot, place the chicken skewers on the grill and cook for 2 minutes per side. Baste with a bit of the remaining sauce. Cook until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165° F. Remove from the grill and serve with sesame seeds and green onions as garnish.
🥧 If you’re interested in more great recipes, I share all my favorite recipes at A Food Lover’s Kitchen, Instant Pot recipes over at A Pressure Cooker Kitchen, air fryer recipes at Air Fry Anytime, and cocktails and drinks at Savored Sips. Check it out today!
Laura is a passionate home cook and grill enthusiast who has spent years perfecting her culinary skills, with a particular focus on grilling techniques and flavor combinations. Her fascination with the grill, smoke, and the mouthwatering results they produce has led her on an exciting journey to discover the best methods for grilling delicious and unforgettable meals.