With just a whisk and a few basic ingredients, you can create a mouthwatering honey soy chicken marinade, adding fantastic flavor to chicken breasts and thighs. For easy freezer meals, package the chicken and marinade in meal-sized freezer bags or containers.
Making this honey soy chicken marinade is a breeze! Simply grab a mixing bowl and whisk together the soy sauce, honey and other ingredients. Add the chicken and let the marinade work its magic. I use it for our family favorite Grilled Soy Sauce Chicken.
This recipe works for chicken breasts or thighs. Boneless or bone-in. Skinless or skin-on. Grilled, baked, broiled, air-fried – pick your favorite.
Plus, it’s a handy option for meal prepping. We like to portion the chicken and marinade into freezer bags and pop them into the freezer for future meals.
Tips for making this recipe
▪️ For the best results, marinate your chicken in the refrigerator for at least hour, but if you have the time, letting it marinate overnight will take your dish to the next level of deliciousness.
▪️ Consider poking some holes in the chicken pieces with a fork before marinating to allow the marinade to infuse the chicken meat with flavor.
▪️ Adjust the spiciness level by increasing or decreasing the amount of sriracha.
Ingredients for honey soy chicken marinade
- SOY SAUCE: Use regular soy sauce for the best flavor. If sodium is a concern, use reduced or low-sodium soy sauce.
- HONEY: Use your favorite honey.
- RICE VINEGAR: Rice vinegar can be found in the international section or with the other vinegars in most grocery stores.
- RICE WINE: I recommend using a Shaoxing rice wine, which can be found in Asian markets. See below for substitutions.
- SRIRACHA: Increase or decrease to suit your tastebuds.
- GARLIC: Use fresh fresh garlic, minced.
- GINGER: Use fresh ginger root, peeled and minced.
See recipe card below for full ingredients list & recipe directions.
▪️ SOY SAUCE: For gluten-free, swap out the soy sauce with tamari or coconut aminos.
▪️ SRIRACHA: If sriracha is difficult to find, use sambal oelek, a 3-to-1 mixture of ketchup to Frank’s Red Hot sauce (seriously!)
▪️ HONEY: If you don’t have honey on hand, use pure maple syrup (please avoid the corn syrup-based maple syrups).
▪️ RICE WINE: Instead of the Shaoxing rice wine, try mirin or dry sherry. Even vermouth can work in a pinch.
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Make-Ahead and Storage
FRIDGE: Whisk together the marinade and store it in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Toss it with the chicken 2 to 8 hours before cooking.
FREEZER: Need to plan ahead for future meals? Great news! You can freeze the chicken in the marinade for later use. Place the chicken and the marinade in a freezer-safe bag or container, seal it tightly, and pop it into the freezer. When you're ready to cook, thaw the chicken in the refrigerator, and it's ready for grilling or baking.
Alternatively, prepare the marinade in advance and store it in an airtight container in the freezer. Double, triple or even quadruple the recipe and divide it into one-cup portions before freezing. Defrost a portion of the marinade and add it to the chicken. Marinate the chicken for 2 to 8 hours before cooking.
Think Beyond Chicken
Beyond its application to chicken, this versatile honey soy marinade can breathe new life into a variety of dishes.
SEAFOOD: For seafood lovers, try marinating fish fillets, shrimp, or scallops in the mixture to infuse them with the salty-sweet flavor.
❗️Note: The marinade includes an acid (rice vinegar) which can cook the fish or shellfish – like the lime juice in ceviche. I recommend marinating the seafood for no more than 30 minutes.
PORK OR BEEF: Use this soy honey marinade to add flavor to pork chops, pork tenderloin or flank steak. Marinate the meat for at least 2 hours. Eight hours is even better!
TOFU: Marinate chunks or thick slices of tofu for 1 to 2 hours before baking or grilling. For a vegetarian or vegan meal, substitute the honey with maple syrup or agave nectar.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Of course! If you prefer a sweeter or less sweet version, feel free to tweak the honey quantity to your liking.
Yes, indeed! For a spicier marinade, add additional sriracha. If you prefer a marinade with no spice, leave out the sriracha altogether.
For best results, it's recommended to marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours. You can marinate it for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator for maximum flavor infusion. However, avoid marinating chicken at room temperature, as it increases the risk of food-borne illnesses.
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Honey Soy Chicken Marinade
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, rice wine, garlic, ginger and sriracha.
- Place the chicken in a dish, bowl or ziplock bag. Pour the marinade over the chicken and toss to coat.
- Cover the dish or bowl with plastic wrap or seal the bag. Transfer to the refrigerator and marinate for a at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
- Grill, bake, broil or air-fry the chicken. Discard the marinade or make it into a sauce as directed in Grilled Honey Soy Chicken.
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