Grilled chicken breasts are crazy good and crazy easy thanks to a salty, sweet, sour, and slightly spicy marinade and later basted in an Asian-inspired sauce. The ingredients epitomize the flavors of Vietnamese cuisine. If you like boneless skinless chicken breasts but want something new to make on the barbecue, this is the best recipe.
This recipe packs a punch thanks to a rich marinade that adds acid, salt, and heat. With the combination of spicy chili garlic paste, tamari, sesame, fish sauce, lime, and ginger this chicken is anything but boring. The final step of a sweet and tangy basting sauce that levels it all out for a combination that satisfies all the taste buds. It will make you think this is a difficult recipe to make but it is simple and complex at the same time.
How Easy is this Chicken Breast Recipe?
Easy as 1 - 2 -3 - 4...
- Prepare the marinade and pour over thin chicken breasts
- Warm the grill & mix together the basting sauce
- Grill the chicken & baste in the final minutes
- Plate and top with cilantro
Why use Thin Chicken Breasts?
- The result is a quicker marinade as the chicken takes on the flavor faster
- The grilling time is faster and we find it easier to time, to ensure juicy results
- They are easier to cut and that helps if you have kids that are mastering their knife skills
- Thin chicken is great to add to salads and this is fantastic in salads
How to Make Vietnamese Grilled Chicken Breasts
In a single layer, place chicken breasts in a deep baking dish. Ensure it is deep enough to hold the marinade once poured in.
Combine marinade ingredients in a pourable glass measuring cup or bowl. Whisk to combine and then pour over the chicken breasts. Let marinade 30 minutes, flip chicken, and then let marinade for a final 30 minutes. This can be marinated for longer but the beauty of this recipe is it can be ready quickly. The deep flavors in the marinade are able to infuse into the thin chicken breast cutlets fast and be ready to cook in just one hour.
Combine basting ingredients in a bowl and whisk. Set aside for later when grilling.
If you do not have sesame oil, here are SUBSTITUTES FOR SESAME OIL that you can use instead and this will still be super flavorful and amazing.
Warm up your gas grill or start the charcoal for your grill. Once it is at medium heat, the chicken is ready to go on the grill.
Grill 5 minutes on each side on medium heat. Keep the lid open since these will cook fast. The chicken should separate from the grill and no longer stick when it is ready to be flipped to the other side. Grill another 5 minutes on the other side.
To learn more about why and when you girl with the lid open or closed, read my post -
Grilling with the Lid On or Off - All You Need to Know
Baste with sauce and grill one minute longer so the sauce caramelizes but does not burn. Do not leave unattended as the sugar from the sauce will brown quickly. Flip to the second side, baste, and cook for 1 final minute.
Chicken should read 165° when cooked. Remove to a serving platter and top with fresh cilantro.
These are great served with pickled vegetables. These pictured below were made recently with my daughter Miley and are super easy and fun to make. They are quick refrigerator pickles and the recipe link is below. It was part of a recent Kids in the Kitchen post. I highly suggest making this not just for this meal but they also are great along with seafood, in salads, and as a sandwich topper - think Bahn Mi!
What to Serve with Grilled Chicken Breasts -
- QUICK PICKLED VEGETABLES
- INSTANT POT STEAMED BROCCOLI
- AMAZING ROASTED GREEN BEANS WITH EVERYTHING BUT THE BAGEL SESAME SEASONING
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Product Recommendations for this Recipe:
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Vietnamese Grilled Chicken Breasts
- Outdoor grill
- 3 thin boneless skinless chicken breasts
- ¼ C Tamari gluten-free soy sauce
- ¼ C light or dark brown sugar
- 2 TB fish sauce
- ½ teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon hot chili-garlic paste
- 1 ½ TB fresh lime juice
- 3 teaspoon garlic minced
Basting Sauce Ingredients:
- ⅓ C ketchup
- 3 TB light or dark brown sugar
- 3 TB rice vinegar
- 1 TB sesame oil
- 1 TB water
- 1 teaspoon hot chili-garlic paste
- fresh minced cilantro optional for topping
- In a single layer, place chicken breasts in a deep baking dish. Ensure it is deep enough to hold the marinade once poured in.
- Combine marinade ingredients in a pourable glass measuring cup. Next, whisk to combine and then pour over the chicken breasts. Let marinade 30 minutes, flip chicken, and then let marinade for a final 30 minutes
- Combine basting ingredients in a bowl and whisk. Set aside for later when grilling. Turn on a gas grill to warm it up or start a charcoal grill. Once it is at medium heat, the chicken is ready to go on the grill.
- Grill 5 minutes on each side on medium heat, with the lid open. The chicken should separate from the grill and no longer stick when it is ready to be flipped to the other side. Grill another 5 minutes on the other side.
- Baste with sauce and grill one minute longer so the sauce caramelizes but does not burn. Do not leave unattended as the sugar from the sauce will brown quickly. Flip to the second side, baste, and cook 1 final minute.
- Chicken should read 165° when cooked. Remove to a serving platter and top with fresh cilantro.
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THIS RECIPE WAS FEATURED IN A GRILLING ROUND UP WITH MEALS & MILE MARKERS
This looks tasty - and love the simple ingredients - need to add this to our menu ASAP!
Haley Kelley says
These look sooooo good... I am adding them to my pinterest board so I can make them soon!
The sweet, sour and spicy combo sounds awesome!
It is pretty awesome in every sort of way.
This sure looks Yummy! and not too hard! I'm always on the look out for super easy recipes. I'll will have to give this a try!
It is super easy and super DELICIOUS!
Suzan | It's My Sustainable Life says
Love, love, love this. It's dinner time as I'm writing this, so now I'm thinking maybe I still have time to make this tonite! Thanks for sharing & looking forward to enjoying 🙂
Thanks a ton! It is so quick to make, you probably could make it tonight! Let me know what you think!
Lisa Manderino says
This looks delicious, I love grilling in the summer!
Beth Balberchak says
Looks delicious! I'm definitely pinning this for later.
Wow, this looks so delicious. I'll have to give it a try!
Melissa Jones says
That looks great!
Wow this looks amazing I will have to give it a try. Spice is always good
Leigh Ann says
These look so good! I'm going to have to give them a try.
Robin Frields says
Your recipes always look so delicious! We eat a lot of chicken here and I can't wait to try this one!
You are so kind, thanks!
This looks absolutely delicious! And easy! I like that. Thank you for sharing this recipe.
T.M. Brown says
This looks delicious! I read this when hungry, so now I'm rethinking what we might have for dinner tonight. This would be a hit in our house!
I love grilling chicken, and this sauce sounds so good! I need to persuade my husband to fire up the grill. Yum!
I love Vietnamese food so I'm excited to try this recipe out. My best friend own a Vietnamese restaurant so I usually just go to his place but maybe I'll make this and invite him over 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
Oh wow, great. Now that will put it to the test!
Tricia Snow says
Looks like a nice switch from regular BBQ! Thanks!
Looks so good!
Karla Petersen says
These look amazing. I have such a hard time grilling chicken. I ALWAYS burn it. I think I get impatient and don't let the charcoal get to a "medium" heat. But I keep trying. This will be next, I hope.
This looks so good! I'm not a huge fan of cilantro, so I would leave that out, but the rest sounds great!
Ruth Iaela-Pukahi says
Oh, that looks sooooo delicious!!!
Ruth, Thank you!
I'm going to make this marinade this week so the hubby and I can start grilling!
SOTERIA Loadedpenvibes says
wow.... i sure love this website
Thank you so much for saying that! Glad you love it and hope you continue to visit and find new things often.
This looks so good! I pinned it so I can make it later on!