Sesame-Ginger Grilled Chicken Breasts

Sesame ginger grilled chicken breast recipe
Danilo Alfaro
  • 22 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 12 mins
  • Yield: 4 Servings
Ratings (9)

This grilled chicken recipe combines sweet, salty, and aromatic flavors into a simple but sophisticated Asian-inspired dish. The fresh ginger gives it a little kick, while the sesame and honey help to mellow it out. After a few hours in the marinade, the chicken is put on the grill for just a few minutes a side, making this the ideal dish for a busy weeknight but delicious enough for sharing with guests.

Serve simply with grilled vegetables and rice, or slice over a bed of noodles and ​julienned vegetables tossed in a little bit of the marinade.

What You'll Need

  • 4 (4 to 6 ounces each) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • For the Marinade:
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves (peeled and crushed)
  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root (peeled and grated)
  • 4 medium green onions (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • Garnish: 2 tablespoons whole fresh cilantro leaves

How to Make It

  1. To make the marinade, in a large plastic zipper bag, combine the soy sauce, garlic, vinegar, honey, ginger, onions, sesame oil, and sesame seeds. 
  2. Add the chicken breasts, squeeze any excess air out of the bag, and seal tightly. Transfer the bag to the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours, and remove it from the fridge 20 minutes before you're going to start cooking. 
  3. Prepare a grill or grill pan by spraying with a bit of canola cooking spray; heat to high.
  1. Remove chicken from the marinade. Grill 6 minutes per side, until tender and fully cooked. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve.​

Tips and Variations

You can grate the ginger on a box grater using the small holes, or a Microplane works very well. You can even use the tines of a fork if you don’t have the other tools.

It is important that you use seasoned rice vinegar, not the unseasoned kind, for this recipe. You can also substitute gluten-free tamari for the soy sauce if you wish.

If you would like to use the leftover marinating liquid as a sauce for noodles or rice, or to accompany the chicken, you need to heat it to a boil it first for at least 30 seconds. This will kill any harmful bacteria left over from the uncooked chicken juices.

If you are still concerned, a better idea would probably be to make up an extra batch of the marinade that you don't use for the raw chicken and just heat that up in a small saucepan before serving. If you choose to do this, you could even sweat the onions, garlic, and ginger in a little vegetable oil for a few minutes, then add the vinegar, soy sauce, honey, and sesame oil, and simmer for a minute to heat it through before serving.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 276
Total Fat 13 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Unsaturated Fat 5 g
Cholesterol 36 mg
Sodium 1,914 mg
Carbohydrates 24 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Protein 17 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)