Thai Sweet & Spicy Grilled Chicken Thighs

Summer is the time for grilling and today I wanted to share a new recipe I create for Thai Sweet & Spicy Grilled Chicken Thighs. I love this recipe because of all of the aromatics like basil, ginger, cilantro, garlic, shallots, and onion. I used soy sauce for the base and added fish sauce, Sriracha, Thai sweet chili sauce, and sesame oil to make the flavors intense. The sweetness comes from...wait for it...pancake syrup. Yes, maple syrup is in this marinade. If you have never used pancake syrup in a marinade before then you are in for a treat. I learned this from mom as she uses maple syrup in almost all of her Asian marinades. 

Though I prefer to grill my meat when the weather is nice, you can also bake your chicken as well. For this, you will need a glass baking dish. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken in dish and cook for approximately 15 minutes covered with foil. After 15 minutes, remove foil and cook for another 20 minutes or until chicken in cooked through. I prefer to marinade the chicken for at least 24 hours to allow for all the flavors to absorb into the chicken, so make sure you plan ahead. You can serve this chicken with Jasmine rice or riced cauliflower. I also like to serve it on a bed of Asian slaw which is mixture of sour cream, Thai sweet chili sauce, and angel hair sliced cabbage. However you end up cooking it, whether baked or grilled, I know you are going to love it!


4 pounds boneless chicken thighs, skin on

6 tbsp low sodium soy sauce*
1 tbsp fish sauce**
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp shallots, minced
1 tbsp onion powder
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
1-2 tsp Sriracha, adjust to taste
2 tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce or G Hughes Sugar Free Sweet Chili Sauce 
3 tbsp maple syrup or sugar free pancake syrup
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp finely ground pepper

Thai sweet chili sauce or G Hughes Sugar Free Sweet Chili Sauce 

* To make this recipe GF, use gluten free soy sauce

**You can find fish sauce in the Asian section of your grocery store. It has a very strong smell, but do not let that convince you that it will not be good in the marinade. Fish sauce adds a depth of flavor you cannot get from anything me. The leftover can be used in a ton of Asian marinades and recipes.  


1. In a zip top bag, add soy sauce, fish sauce, ginger, garlic, shallots, onion powder, cilantro, basil, Sriracha, sweet chili sauce, pancake syrup, sesame oil, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Taste the marinade and adjust for saltiness/sweetness by adding salt and additional syrup. 

2. Add chicken thighs to the marinade. Let the chicken marinate overnight in a zip top bag in the refrigerator. 

3. Preheat your grill on medium-high (425-450 degrees F). Drain off liquid and place chicken pieces on a large baking sheet. Place chicken on grill when the temperature reaches approximately 400-450 degrees F. I like to place my chicken on skewers as I am able to keep the same size pieces together. 

4. Cook chicken about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until chicken is cooked through. During the last five minute and the final flip of the meat, brush with Thai Sweet chili sauce of your choice. Do not flip again as they will stick to the grill. 

5. Remove from heat and serve with Jasmine rice or riced cauliflower.