Juicy Asian-Style Chicken Thighs

Juicy Asian-Style Chicken Thighs | Garlic + Zest

Want to add zing to a plain baked chicken dinner? This Juicy Asian Style Chicken Thighs recipe will take your baked chicken to new heights. The tangy, sweet, slightly spicy marinade soaks into the chicken thighs and makes them tender and flavorful. Marinate all day or overnight for best results.

Dinner can be an easy triumph of flavors or a burden that clings to your to do list all day long.  Thing is — it has to be addressed.  You may be able to subsist on a cup of coffee and a dry piece of toast in the morning or a cafeteria-style sandwich at noon, but at home, with the kids whining “what’s for dinner?”  not so much.  It’s time to get your game face on with these  Juicy Asian-Style Chicken Thighs.

Juicy Asian-Style Chicken Thighs | Garlic + Zest

My girlfriend, Nola turned me on to this recipe and now it’s in our weekly rotation.  I’ve adapted from Naomi Pomeroy’s Wedding Chicken.   Beware, it’s addictive!!!

I’ll be honest, if I’m alone for dinner, I don’t even think about cooking a full meal.  A glass of wine with a handful of Wheat Thins — and I’m happy.  But when my husband and daughter are home, a shoulder shrug of indifference just ain’t going to cut it,  which is why I like to have a game plan.  Something quick and easy that I can assemble either the night before or the morning of.  Like these Juicy Asian-Style Chicken Thighs.  Simple and absolutely delicious!

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minced garlic, ginger and lime zest.

I love Asian-style marinades because they call for aggressive flavorings.  Garlic, of course.  Ginger usually.  Soy – for that salty umami, maybe some fish sauce for a little funk, some sort of acid like vinegar or citrus juice and sugar and spice for the hot-sweet aspect we all crave.

marinade in a pyrex measuring cup

If  you’re an expedient sous chef, meaning you can chop and mince with the best of them, this marinade might take you ten minutes to prepare.  If you’re a little slower,  fifteen minutes.  

chicken and marinade in a plastic bag

Assemble everything in a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk it together and pour over the chicken thighs in a zip-top bag.  Stick it in the fridge to marinate.  Done!

raw chicken on a bed of onions.

When you’re ready to cook, slice an onion to make a “bed” for the chicken and roast in a very hot oven to get a crispy golden skin.  

The end result is moist, tender and full of flavor — in other words a dinner triumph!  

Juicy Asian-Style Chicken Thighs on a baking sheet.

Serve with a squeeze of lime, fresh cilantro leaves and a sprinkle of extra sliced chilies if your into heat.   

I made four thighs because our family is small, but if you have more folks to feed, or if you’ve got a serious appetite, this recipe can be doubled.

Juicy Asian-Style Chicken Thighs with a fork.

What to serve with Asian style chicken thighs:

Juicy Asian-Style Chicken Thighs with a squeeze of lime

More baked chicken recipes:

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4.67 from 6 votes

Juicy Asian-Style Chicken Thighs

The simple marinade transforms ordinary chicken thighs to something sublime!
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian Inspired
Keyword asian, chicken thighs
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 tablespoon ginger freshly grated
  • 2 tablespoons garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice from about half the lime
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons nam pla fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 serrano peppers thinly sliced or 1 large jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced
  • 4 meaty chicken thighs trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 large Vidalia onion or large spanish onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For serving

  • lime wedges
  • fresh cilantro
  • additional serrano peppers sliced


  • In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the ginger, garlic, lime zest, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, nam pla brown sugar, and serrano peppers, stirring until brown sugar dissolves.
  • Place the chicken thighs in a zip-top plastic bag and pour the marinade over them. Squeeze the air out of the bag and seal it tightly. With your hands work the chicken thighs into the marinade until well coated. Place the bag on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate for 8-10 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°.
  • Slice the onion crosswise in about 1/4″-1/2″ rings, toss them with the olive oil and arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet. Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade and pat them dry with a paper towel. Arrange the chicken on top of the onions. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until skin is crispy and meat is cooked through.
  • To serve, arrange the onions on a plate and top with the chicken breasts. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro, lime wedges and additional slices of serrano peppers, if desired.


Calories: 322kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 1151mg | Potassium: 304mg | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 115IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1.2mg

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  1. Pat Stoddard says:

    5 stars
    My boyfriend’s daughter, her 25 yr old son and 7 yr old daughter all loved the chicken. Actually they enjoyed everything I served which was your French potato salad, the crunchy Brussel sprout slaw and the spicy roasted carrots. The carrots were from my garden and not only were they delicious, the presentation is pretty elegant looking. I had some huge radishes that I quartered and added with the carrots. It’s so satisfying to experiment with new dishes and have them all turn out delicious. You never disappoint . Thanks Lisa.

    1. Wow, Pat! You’ve been a busy cook this weekend! So glad your family enjoyed EVERYTHING.

  2. Oh My, these look so juicy and I seriously wanna grab them right out of the screen. Love the citrus flavors you’ve going on here Lisa. Pinning to try them soon.

  3. Emily @ Recipes to Nourish says:

    Wow those are gorgeous! Love that beautiful brown crispy skin! These would be a huge hit in my home.

  4. This would be fantastic for dinner! We love Asian inspired dishes.

  5. Perfect weeknight meal! Love recipes with prep you can do ahead of time! My kids are going to love this one!

  6. Wow look at that color on the chicken! Gorgeous! I am with you about dinner – if it’s just me, I am eating a bowl of cereal and maybe some chocolate. But my husband is a different story. He is all about a hot dinner. But I can never get him to eat dark meat chicken. Would I have to change anything in the cooking time/temp to make this with bone-in breasts instead?

    1. I don’t think so — bone in, skin on breasts should do fine — unless they are particularly large. When in doubt, use a meat thermometer!