Chinese Char Siu Grilled Chicken

Chicken on the barbecue is a favorite amongst us. Char siu is one of our favorite ways to enjoy pork. And thus, I pose the question. They go well together, so why not grill some chicken char siu style?

My dad’s recipe for grilled Char Siu popped up when I was going through old postings for grilling ideas for this weekend. In retrospect, that was a wonderful recipe.

The Cantonese dish Char Siu is grilled pork marinated in a sweet and flavorful sauce. You’ve undoubtedly seen it in metal pans under fluorescent lighting and the roast ducks hanging in the window of a Cantonese restaurant in whichever Chinatown is closest to you.

Changing Our Recipe For Char Siu Pork To Include Chicken

To be honest, char siu is one of my top food choices. This is what I grew up with. Therefore it tastes normal to me. I used to pack it for lunch. I’d pack it with some rice and stir-fried vegetables in a small plastic container and put it in my purple Pocahontas lunchbox. The other kids my age, who were sitting next to me eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, would give me the side eye if I brought it up.

Although the thought of grilled Char Siu pork for the Memorial Day barbecue was appealing, I didn’t have any pork in the freezer. Today for lunch, I snacked on chicken. Large quantities of it. Exact locations include the thighs and drumsticks. Family deals.

Because I didn’t feel like going out and because my parents had recently gone on a dumpling-making binge, I decided to raid their garage’s overflow freezer and see if there was anything I could make with the family packs.

I took some chicken drumsticks and thighs out of the freezer and decided to try something new.

A few hours later, while basting chicken on the barbecue with a modified version of my father’s char siu sauce, we had dinner. The world was introduced to Char Siu Grilled Chicken.

One-of-a-kind Barbecued Chicken

This fresh take on barbecue chicken is simple to prepare but yields great results. No need to precook the sauce. Simply combine the various ingredients and toss the chicken onto the grill.

The brown sugar and hoisin sauce in the BBQ sauce adds a lot of sugar, so the chicken needs to be grilled for a while before you start basting it with the sauce; otherwise, the sauce may burn. Chicken with a light char is delicious, but too much char is not.

All of that information can be found in the manual. Alright, let’s get going.


  • 900g of chicken thighs and drumsticks
  • 5 drops of red food coloring
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Shaoxing wine
  • ½ teaspoon of five spice powder
  • ½ teaspoon of sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon of white pepper
  • Salt


  1. BBQ sauce is made by mixing together brown sugar, Shaoxing wine, hoisin sauce, pepper, five spice powder, sesame oil, garlic, and red food coloring (if using). Reserve half of the barbecue sauce in a serving bowl. The remaining portion will be used to baste the grilled chicken.
  2. Make sure your grill or broiler is preheated to medium heat. A broiler pan should have aluminum foil on the bottom.
  3. After seasoning with salt, place the chicken on the grill or, if broiling, on the baking sheet you have previously prepared. Maintain a close eye on the chicken while grilling or broiling it for 10 minutes per side.
  4. Continue grilling or broiling while frequently basting with the remaining sauce mixture until the chicken is fully done (time will vary depending on the size of your chicken thighs and drumsticks). Brush the chicken with the sauce you saved and serve.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest

Related Posts

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive updates, promotions, and sneak peaks of upcoming products. Plus 20% off your next order.

Promotion nulla vitae elit libero a pharetra augue