chicken on a stick Chinese

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Chinese Chicken on a Stick Recipe – Simple & Delicious!

If you are looking for something easy, tasty, and inexpensive to cook, then here is a perfect recipe.

Chinese chicken on a stick is an Asian street food style dish. It’s nothing fancy but the rich flavors are sure to blow off your taste buds!

This dish is also very versatile. You can eat the chicken right off the stick with a few beers, serve it for lunch with some rice and fresh salad, or include it at a dinner table with a host of other foods.

But the best thing about these grilled chicken sticks is that they taste absolutely delicious!

What You Need – Equipment & Ingredients

One great thing about this recipe is that you don’t really need any special equipment and most of the ingredients are quite easy to find.


The main items needed for cooking this dish are a grill and sticks or skewers.

Any kind of grill should be fine — although I prefer using a charcoal grill. Both metal skewers and wooden sticks work great, so it’s a matter of preference which ones to use.

You probably already have the other things needed in your kitchen.

Here is what you need:

  • Grill: Any kind of grill will do — charcoal, gas, or even electric.
  • Sticks or Skewers:  You can use wooden sticks or metal skewers for grilling the chicken.
  • Knife & Cutting Board
  • Large Bowl: For mixing and marinating.
  • Grater: This is optional but very handy for garlic and ginger.

If you are using a charcoal grill, then you will also need either lump charcoal or briquettes. I prefer lump charcoal as it’s a more natural option.


Most of the ingredients needed should be relatively easy to find in your local grocery. If they don’t have gochujang or cooking wine, try an Asian food store.

List of ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of Chicken thighs (or breast)
  • 1 tbsp of Grated garlic
  • 1 tbsp of Grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp Brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp Sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp Gochujang (or other chili paste/sauce)
  • 1 tbsp of Chinese cooking wine (or mirin/sherry)


You can use either chicken thighs or breasts.

I prefer thighs because they are tastier. They consist of dark meat that has a higher fat content so they don’t dry easily even if you grill them for a bit longer.

For low-fat option, choose chicken breasts. In this case, you should marinate them overnight, or even longer, for the best result.

Cooking Wine

You can substitute the Chinese cooking wine with mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine) or sherry. If you use mirin or sweet sherry, you can reduce the amount of brown sugar.

I actually used mirin this time, since I had some in the cupboard.

Looking for a simple recipe with fewer ingredients?

Check out my guide for perfect grilled chicken leg quarters.

Grilled Chinese Chicken on a Stick – Step-by-Step Instructions

Cooking delicious chicken skewers doesn’t require any special skills or magic tricks — anyone can do it!

Just follow these simple instructions and you can’t go wrong:

1. Cut the Chicken Thighs

chicken thighs on a cutting board

Cut the chicken thighs (or breasts) into strips. Try to avoid having any pieces that are very thick since they might take longer to cook inside.

You can either leave the skin on or remove it. I like to leave the skin on — it tastes great when it’s grilled and crispy!

2. Make the Marinade

ingredients for Chinese grilled chicken sticks marinade

Grate the ginger and garlic. If you don’t have a grater, just cut them into very small pieces.

Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix well.

3. Marinate the Chicken

chinese chicken on a stick marinating

Add the chicken into the marinade and mix. Let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes.

The longer you marinate, the better. If you use chicken breasts it’s important to marinate them for at least 8 hours for a tastier result.

My 4-year old son doesn’t like spicy food, so I made two different marinades — the other one doesn’t have any gochujang chili sauce.

You can also use plastic bags for marinating. They are very handy if you want to marinate the chicken overnight in the refrigerator.

4. Prepare the Sticks (or Skewers)

chicken thighs on skewers

Put the chicken into wooden sticks or metal skewers.

I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t this supposed to be chicken on sticks, not skewers?

Well, it actually doesn’t make any difference to the taste. I have cooked this recipe many times before with wooden sticks but this time I wanted to try my new metal skewers.

Here are the main differences between using wooden sticks vs. metal skewers:

  • Metal skewers are reusable, so you don’t have to buy new ones every time.
  • Metal skewers don’t have to be soaked in water. If you use wooden sticks you should soak them for at least 30 minutes.
  • The inner parts of the chicken cook a bit faster on metal skewers because they conduct heat.
  • Wooden sticks are cheap and great for eating the chicken right off the stick!

5. It’s Time to Grill!

chicken skewers on the grill

You can use any type of grill for this recipe. The idea is not to make the grill too hot so the chicken will not burn.

I used my Weber Go-Anywhere charcoal grill and cooked the skewers directly over hot charcoal. But I made sure the grill was not too hot before placing the skewers on it.

Now, this is the only part where you can actually ruin the dish — so you need to focus!

Be careful not to burn the chicken. Also, make sure the chicken is not raw inside.

Grill the chicken for about 20 minutes on medium-high heat, or until the surface looks nice and brown. Turn the skewers around every 5 minutes or so. This way they cook more evenly and you can observe both sides and not burn them.

You can also baste the skewers with marinade during the first 10 minutes of grilling. But don’t baste them after that since the marinade has raw chicken juices in it.

Not sure if the chicken is cooked inside?

Take one thick piece out of the skewer and cut it in half to see if it’s still pink inside.

You can also use a meat thermometer if you have one. The inside temperature of the thickest piece should be at least 165 ºF (or 74 ºC).

6. Serving Suggestion

Chinese grilled chicken on plate

This time I served the chicken on plates with jasmine rice and a simple fresh salad.

Of course, you can also just eat the chicken right off the skewers without any side dishes!

chicken on a stick Chinese

Grilled Chinese Chicken on a Stick Recipe

Try this simple and delicious recipe with flavors that will know your socks off!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 6


  • Grill (charcoal, gas, or electric)
  • Sticks or Skewers (wooden sticks or metal skewers)
  • Knife & Cutting Board
  • Large Bowl (for mixing and marinating)
  • Grater (optional – but very handy for garlic and ginger)


  • 2 lbs Chicken thighs you can also use chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp Grated garlic
  • 1 tbsp Grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp Brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp Sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp Gochujang or other chili paste/sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine or mirin/sherry


  • Cut the chicken thighs (or breasts) into strips. You can either leave the skin on or remove it according to your preference.
  • Grate the ginger and garlic (or cut into small pieces). Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
  • Add the chicken pieces into the marinade and mix. marinate for at least 30 minutes or as long as 24 hours.
  • Put the chicken into wooden sticks or metal skewers.
  • Make sure that your grill is not too hot and start grilling the chicken. Turn the skewers every 5 minutes or so. Grill for about 20 minutes or until the surface looks nice and brown.
  • Eat straight off the sticks or serve on a plate with sides. Enjoy!

About the Author

Hi, I’m Joonas, a barbecue expert with over 20 years of experience in grilling and smoking all kinds of foods.

My goal is to cook tasty barbecue food, enjoy it with family & friends, and help others do the same!

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