Very Easy Marinated Chicken Skewers


The chicken recipes here on Just Bento are always very popular. And why not? Chicken is relatively inexpensive, cooks fast, and is fairly low-fat if you trim it judiciously.

This very simple Asian-fusionesque flavored marinated chicken breast recipe can be made without the skewers, but it’s just that much more fun, and somehow seems to taste better, if you put it on a stick.

Recipe: Very Easy Marinated Chicken Skewers

Makes 4 skewers, enough for 2 bentos. This takes only 5-6 minutes to cook, not including the marinating time, and can be prepped the night before. Each skewer is about 60 calories.

  • 1 raw skinned chicken breast, about 120g / 4 oz

The marinade:

  • 2 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tbs. lime juice
  • 1/2 Tbs. xiaoxing wine (available at Chinese or general Asian grocery stores; substitute sake or sherry if you don’t have it)
  • About 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • Red chili pepper flakes, to taste
  • A pinch of sugar (about 1/4 tsp.)
  • A few drops of fish sauce (optional; available at Thai or general Asian grocery stores)

  • oil for cooking, about 1 Tbs.

Cut the chicken breast into 4 strips lengthwise. Thread them onto skewers. The trick is to sort of fold the pieces accordion-style, and to skewer them through the folds.


Combine the marinade ingredients. Marinade the skewered chicken for at least 5 minutes, ideally about an hour. You can marinate it overnight.


You can grill the skewers, or just cook them in a frying pan. Here I’m cooking them with some sweet pepper strips. I put the peppers in the pan (with a little oil) first, since they take longer. Once they were nicely roasted I pushed them aside and put the chicken in the middle. The chicken only takes a 2 to 3 minutes per side to cook. Take out the pepper slices, and pour in the marinade to glaze the chicken.


You can take the chicken off the skewers, but I think it’s a lot more fun to eat them off the skewers. I did add quite a bit of chili pepper flakes here, but you can vary the amount to suit your heat preference.


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Re: Very Easy Marinated Chicken Skewers

Everything tastes better on a stick! Yay!

Seriously, these look lovely! Our local Flea Market sells some like these, but somehow they always smelled rather burned, and consequently I've never bought them. So it's great to have a recipe to try at home. I think I even have some skewers that are kind of like those. Thanks!

Re: Very Easy Marinated Chicken Skewers

Thanks for another great recipe, Maki. Just to make a small correction - it's shaoxing wine, not xiaoxing. ^^

Re: Very Easy Marinated Chicken Skewers

There's actually more than one way to romanize Chinese you both could be right. ;)

Re: Very Easy Marinated Chicken Skewers

Yeah I have seen it spelled both ways, so I'll just leave it as-is for now. To complicate things further, it's pronounced entirely differently in Japan, where they use the Japanese way of reading 紹興酒 - shoukoushu ^_^;

Re: Very Easy Marinated Chicken Skewers

OMG. best chicken E V E R

i was inspired by the bento, but made it like an evening supper. i will definitely make this again.
did i mention this was the best chicken EVER?

Re: Very Easy Marinated Chicken Skewers

I know right! This is the best chicken I have ever made.

Re: Very Easy Marinated Chicken Skewers

Hello Maki

Is it possiblenot to use the xiaoxing wine? I can't take alcohol. Or is there a substitute?

Re: Very Easy Marinated Chicken Skewers

It is certainly possible to make it without wine, I just did it myself a few minutes ago.

Following is another insight from my experience making them:
Don't bunch up the skewers. You'll end up with a nice mix of bits of under-cooked and over-cooked meat on the same strip.

Re: Very Easy Marinated Chicken Skewers

These have been a regular for me now for picnics, I pop them on skewers with the boiled asparagus :) Thank you for this recipe.

Re: Very Easy Marinated Chicken Skewers

Would I be able to use mirin instead of the wine/sake/sherry?

Re: Very Easy Marinated Chicken Skewers

can lemon juice be used instead of lime?

Re: Very Easy Marinated Chicken Skewers

It doesn't look like you've used any ginger in that marinade..

Re: Very Easy Marinated Chicken Skewers

It's grated.

Re: Very Easy Marinated Chicken Skewers

What kind of cooking oil would be best for frying these?

Re: Very Easy Marinated Chicken Skewers

Just stumbled upon your site, and am definitely making this recipe for the next weekend picnic. Looks soooo good, and sounds easy. Thank you.

Re: Very Easy Marinated Chicken Skewers

Made these last night for dinner to test them out before adding them to a Bento lunch (which I've never made... YET!) - I think next time, I will marinate them off the skewer so more of the chicken can soak up the marinade. I loved the flavor where the chicken tasted like the marinade but there were too many "bland" areas where the chicken was not in the marinade (I have really long skewers so it was difficult to get it all in the sauce!) Oh, and I used a Vermouth Cooking Wine because that's all I had on hand. We'll definitely be making these again though!

Also, I just received the Just Bento cookbook yesterday and am really looking forward to starting a Bento lunch habit around here! :) Thank you!

Re: Very Easy Marinated Chicken Skewers

I don't have any skewers, so I just cut the chicken (I used thighs, since they're what I have) into bite-size pieces and marinated it over night. Spectacular! They're so flavorful and juicy and the marinade is fantastic as a glaze. We had them over rice with some chopped green onions. Thanks for yet another amazing recipe!! :)

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