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Sweet sticky and savoury Char Siu (Chinese BBQ) chicken is a delicious dinner packed with classic Asian flavours with incredible flavour. |

Char Siu (Chinese BBQ) Chicken

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4.7 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Sam Hu | Ahead of Thyme
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 servings
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Sweet sticky and savoury Char Siu (Chinese BBQ) chicken is a delicious dinner packed with classic Asian flavours with incredible flavour.


  • 2 lbs. chicken breasts or thighs, boneless and skinless 
  • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons liquid honey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • sesame seeds (for garnish)

For the char siu sauce (additional glaze):

  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon fermented red bean curd (optional, for colouring)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Pat dry chicken breasts (or thighs) completely with a paper towel before adding seasoning.
  2. Transfer the chicken to a ziploc bag and add in hoisin sauce, honey, vegetable oil, dark soy sauce, and garlic. Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Press the marinate around the chicken to coat and place in the fridge to marinate at least 1 hour or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a roasting pan (or quarter sheet baking pan) with aluminum foil and place the wire rack on top. Arrange the chicken on top of the wire rack. (You can add a cup of water to the bottom of the baking pan to keep the pan from smoking due to the pan drippings getting burnt).
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through baking. 
  5. In a small bowl, whisk to combine hoisin sauce, honey, fermented red bean curd and black pepper. The extra char siu sauce adds a beautiful caramelizing glaze on the chicken from the browning of the sugar during baking.
  6. Remove the chicken from the oven and generously apply the char siu sauce over each piece with a silicone brush and place back in the oven for another 3 minutes. Flip the chicken, apply char siu sauce again on the other side and bake for another 3 minutes. The internal temperature for the chicken should reach 165 F.
  7. Apply additional char siu sauce, if desired. Turn the broiler on high and broil the chicken for an additional 2-3 minutes to achieve a caramel brown colour and until the edges of the chicken become slightly charred.
  8. Serve with a bowl of steamed rice and sprinkle sesame seeds for garnish.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes (+1 hour to marinate)
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Chinese