Get ready to indulge in a mouthwatering delight with our 4-Ingredient Sticky Asian Chicken Thighs! This quick and easy recipe will satisfy your cravings with its sweet and sticky glaze that coats tender and juicy chicken thighs, and is perfect for an easy weeknight dinner or quick meal.
This most deliciously sticky chicken is ready in just five easy steps and served up with zingy mango, coriander, cucumber and lime salad, on a bed of rice.
Whether you're a seasoned home cook or a busy individual looking for a delicious weeknight dinner, this recipe is a surefire winner. Let's dive into the flavorful world of Asian-inspired sticky chicken thighs!
4 Ingredient Sticky Sauce
The sticky and sweet sauce in my version of sticky chicken uses just four ingredients - finely grated garlic, ginger and lime juice and zest, mixed with kecap manis. The aromatics give the kecap manis extra boost of flavour, and evens out the sweetness so it is not overpowering.
Ingredients you need to make this Sticky Chicken Thigh dinner
- Chicken - 500 g Chicken thigh fillets - use boneless chicken thighs, skin off.
- The sauce - 2 tablespoon fresh ginger (piece), 1 lime, 3 cloves garlic and 60 ml Kecap manis
- The salad - 1 mango, 100 g baby spinach leaves, 1 lime, 30 ml sesame oil, coriander, salt and black pepper
- Rice - Serve with rice - Instant microwave rice in this case is fine. I like brown rice or Jasmine.
- 15 ml vegetable oil for frying.
- Alternative proteins - If you prefer white meat over dark meat, you can use another cut of chicken, like boneless skinless chicken breasts, or you can swap chicken for beef strips, but cook for just a minute or two.
- Vegetarian - Swap chicken for firm tofu or vegan chicken.
- Dairy Free - This recipe is dairy free.
- Gluten-Free - Use gluten-free kecap manis like this one. If you can't find gluten-free kecap manis, mix tamari and honey or maple syrup to make a sticky honey sauce.
- Swap Mango for an in-season fruit.
Instructions to make Sticky Chicken Thighs
- Prepare the Sticky Sauce: In a small bowl, combine the finely grated garlic, ginger, lime zest, lime juice and kecap manis. Mix well until all the ingredients are well combined.
- Marinate the Chicken: Place the boneless, skinless chicken thighs in a bowl or airtight container. Pour the prepared sticky sauce over the chicken pieces, making sure they are well coated.
- Cook the Chicken: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, place the marinated chicken thighs in the skillet. Cook the chicken for 4 minutes, covered, then turn and cook for 5 minutes, lid off.
- Glaze the Chicken: In the last minute of cooking, add the remaining sticky sauce to the skillet and coat the chicken thighs thoroughly with the glaze. If the marinade looks like it is burning, reduce the heat to medium heat.
- Serve and Enjoy: Plate the Finger-Lickin' Sticky Asian Chicken Thighs and serve with the mango salad and rice. This delightful dish pairs perfectly with jasmine rice or brown rice.
How do you get the sauce to stick to the chicken?
If you’ve ever made sticky chicken sauce (or sticky anything) and the sauce slides right off the chicken or doesn’t have that satisfyingly gooey texture, it’s probably because there is not enough sugar or other binding agent in your sauce. When you heat sugar it caramelises, and this is exactly what happens to the kecap manis in this recipe.
Similarly, if you’ve ever made apricot chicken, or a stir fry with chilli jam, this same caramelisation process is what is making the sauce coat that chicken.
You can use binding agents like cornflour to help a sauce thicken up and coat your food, but for stickiness, sugar is what makes it stick.
Another way to ensure sauce sticks to chicken is by coating it in corn starch (cornflour), but we don't need to do this in this recipe, as the sugar will caramelise instead.
Top tip when making Sticky Chicken Thighs
Place your chicken in a frying pan with just a bit of marinade to start. In the last minute of cooking the chicken, then add the remaining marinade. This will make sure the marinade doesn’t burn when we are cooking the chicken.
Add-ins and Variations
- For a Spicier Kick: If you're a fan of heat, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to the sticky sauce for an extra kick of spiciness. You can also add sweet chili sauce if you prefer.
- Variations on the sauce - if you can't find kecap manis at your grocery store, you can also use hoisin sauce with brown sugar for an asian-style sauce.
- Oven-Baked Option: If you prefer an oven-baked version, preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C) and place the marinated chicken thighs on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) using a meat thermometer.
- Optional garnishes - sesame seeds and sliced green onions for an extra burst of flavour.
- Optional vegetables - serve with steamed broccoli or snow peas on the side.
- Serve kids plain rice, mango slices and cucumber slices.
- Skip coriander and dressing.
You will need a deep, lidded frying pan, a stovetop, a microwave.
More Finger Lickin Sticky Recipes!
If you like your meat well coated in some delicious sticky sauce, then look no further than these finger-licking sticky dinners.
- Sticky Mongolian Lamb this features tender lamb thinly sliced and coated in a sweet and sticky sauce.
- Kung Pao Prawns are a perfect way to serve juicy prawns.
- Honey Garlic Beef with Noodles this classic honey garlic beef dinner uses sweet potatoes to amplify that sweet taste.
- Easy Char Siu Pork Rice Bowl skips the food colouring for a just as sweet but healthier option.
- Mee Goreng Noodles sweet and satisfying noodles.
4 Ingredient Sticky Chicken Thighs with Mango Salad and Rice
- Deep lidded frying pan
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 cm ginger
- 1 lime
- ¼ cup kecap manis
- 500 g chicken thigh fillets
- 100 g baby spinach
- 1 mango
- 1 Lebanese cucumber
- ⅓ bunch coriander
- 1 lime
- 2 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 450 g microwave rice
- Salt and pepper
- Peel and finely grate ginger and garlic into a bowl. Zest and juice lime into the bowl. Add kecap manis and stir to combine. Add chicken, coat and set aside.3 cloves garlic, 3 cm ginger, 1 lime, ¼ cup kecap manis, 500 g chicken thigh fillets
- Roughly chop baby spinach. Slice mango. Slice cucumber into half moons. Finely chop coriander. Add your child’s portion of mango and cucumber to their plate, then the rest into a salad bowl.100 g baby spinach, 1 mango, 1 Lebanese cucumber, ⅓ bunch coriander
- Make a salad dressing by juicing lime and combining with sesame oil, salt and pepper.1 lime, 2 tablespoon sesame oil, Salt and pepper
- Place a deep, lidded frying pan on high heat. Add vegetable oil and chicken (without excess marinade), flat side up, and cook for 4 minutes, lid on. Remove lid and cook for 5 minutes, turning. Add marinade in the last minute. Meanwhile, heat microwave rice.1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 450 g microwave rice
- To serve kids, slice chicken and serve with plain rice and mango and cucumber. For adults, slice chicken into strips and serve on a bed of rice, accompanied by the dressed mango salad.