Char Siu (Chinese BBQ) Chicken

sticky-sweet and umami-packed
Sticky-sweet and umami-packed
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2 lbs Chicken Breast or thighs, boneless and skinless
⅓ cup Hoisin sauce
2 tbsp Honey liquid
1 tbsp Vegetable oil
1 tbsp Soy sauce dark
1 tbsp Garlic minced
For garnish:
Sesame seeds
For char siu sauce (additional glaze):
¼ cup Hoisin sauce
2 tbsp Honey
1 tbsp Fermented red bean curd
1 tsp Black pepper ground

Nutritional information

  • For garnish:

  • For char siu sauce (additional glaze):

Char Siu (Chinese BBQ) Chicken


This easy Char Siu (Chinese BBQ) Chicken is a mouthwatering dish loaded with classic Asian flavors. It’s sticky-sweet and umami-packed. After a quick sit in a hoisin honey marinade, the chicken roasts at a high temperature on a wire rack to yield juicy and tender meat. Basting the chicken while it roasts gives it the glossy finish that is a signature of traditional char siu.  

This version of char siu, an iconic Cantonese dish, is easy enough for a weeknight dinner. While the traditional dish features pork meat, this recipe uses chicken, which cooks faster than pork. The char siu sauce is a simple mix of hoisin sauce, honey, dark soy sauce, oil, and garlic. The addition of fermented red bean curd gives the meat its signature red color. If you can’t find dark soy sauce, use tamari instead. This dish is traditionally served with steamed rice and vegetables, like broccoli or bok choy. 

To make the Char Siu (Chinese BBQ) Chicken, you will need the following ingredients:

Ingridiens for Char Siu (Chinese BBQ) Chicken

Steps to make Char Siu (Chinese BBQ) Chicken


Mix chicken with marinade


Pat dry 2 pounds boneless and skinless chicken breasts (or thighs) with paper towels. Place the chicken in a ziploc bag and add in ⅓ cup hoisin sauce, 2 tablespoons liquid honey, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce, and 1 minced tablespoon garlic.


Marinate chicken


Carefully press the air out of the bag and seal it. Gently press the marinade around the chicken to evenly coat, and then transfer to the fridge to marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight.


Preheat oven and prepare roasting pan


Preheat the oven to 400 ℉. Line a roasting pan (or a quarter sheet baking pan) with aluminum foil and position a wire rack on top.


Arrange chicken on wire rack


Arrange the marinated chicken on top of the wire rack. Add a cup of water to the bottom of the baking pan to keep the pan from smoking during the cooking.




Roast the chicken for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.


Make char siu sauce


In a small bowl, whisk together ¼ cup hoisin sauce, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon fermented red bean curd, and 1 teaspoon ground black pepper.


Brush chicken with char siu sauce


Remove the chicken from the oven and generously brush the char siu sauce over each piece of chicken. Return the chicken to the oven for another 3 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven. Flip the chicken and brush the char siu sauce on the other side. Bake for another 3 minutes or until the meat registers 165 ℉ on an instant-read thermometer.




Brush the chicken with another coat of char siu sauce if desired. Then turn the broiler on high and broil the chicken for another 2-3 minutes to get a caramel brown color and until the edges of the chicken are slightly charred.



Let the chicken rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with a bowl of steamed rice and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds.

This Char Siu (Chinese BBQ) Chicken is a sticky-sweet and umami-packed dish loaded with classic Asian flavors. Give this easy and delicious recipe a try this week, and be sure to let us know what you think!

Bethany is very passionate about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and clean diet. She’s trying to cut meat out of her diet as much as possible and focuses on cooking vegetarian food and fish. Bethany gets a kick from finding ways to add new twists to classic dishes. What’s more, thanks to her Asian roots, she’s great at combining different cuisines to come up with something extraordinary. Bethany’s recipes will inspire you to add new colors and flavors to your everyday meals.

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