Vietnamese Grilled Chicken Breasts

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?

  1. The result is a quicker marinade as the chicken takes on the flavor faster
  2. The grilling time is faster and we find it easier to time, to ensure juicy results
  3. They are easier to cut and that helps if you have kids that are mastering their knife skills
  4. 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.

Chicken and marinade ingredients
Chicken and marinade ingredients

 

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. 

Pour marinade over chicken breasts
Pour marinade over chicken breasts

 

Basting sauce ingredients
Basting sauce ingredients

 

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. 

Vietnamese Grilled Chicken Breasts in marinade & basting sauce ready
Vietnamese Grilled Chicken Breasts in marinade & basting sauce ready

 

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 breasts ready for the basting sauce
chicken breasts ready for the basting sauce

 

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!

Vietnamese Grilled Chicken Breast & Pickled Vegetables
Vietnamese Grilled Chicken Breast & Pickled Vegetables

 

What to Serve with Grilled Chicken Breasts –

 

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Vietnamese Grilled Chicken Breast

 

Product Recommendations for this Recipe:

 

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Vietnamese Grilled Chicken Breasts

Vietnamese Grilled Chicken Breasts

Angela
Thin chicken breasts are marinated for at least one hour in a salty, tangy, and sour marinade. When grilled the Asian basting sauce adds the final punch of flavor.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vietnamese
Servings 3

Equipment

  • Outdoor grill

Ingredients
  

  • 3 thin boneless skinless chicken breasts

Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1/4 C Tamari gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1/4 C light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 TB fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp hot chili-garlic paste
  • 1 1/2 TB fresh lime juice
  • 3 tsp garlic minced

Basting Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1/3 C ketchup
  • 3 TB light or dark brown sugar
  • 3 TB rice vinegar
  • 1 TB sesame oil
  • 1 TB water
  • 1 tsp hot chili-garlic paste
  • fresh minced cilantro optional for topping

Instructions
 

  • 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.
Keyword barbecue, dairy-free, easy, gluten-free, grain-free, grill, sour, spicy

 

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I would love to see your latest creations and kitchen adventures.

 

THIS RECIPE WAS FEATURED IN A GRILLING ROUND UP WITH MEALS & MILE MARKERS


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