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20 Minute Hoisin Chicken Recipe

This hoisin chicken recipe is the tastiest, easiest crowd pleaser. Just one skillet does it all. There’s no marinade time. There are no obscure ingredients.

You toss stuff in, let the heat do the work, and you’re left with tender, juicy chicken thigh smothered in a sweet, tangy, and smoky sauce that leaves you wanting more.

The prep takes less than 5 minutes and the total cooking time is just 15 minutes. So it’s no wonder it’s my go to when I need a quick and easy family dinner that everyone loves – including the little one. He’s not a big fan of chicken. But he licks the plate clean when this one is on the menu.

How to Make this Hoisin Chicken Recipe

This juicy chicken coated in an addictive glaze takes only 20 minutes from start to finish. Here’s what you’ll need and how to make it.


There’s about 10 ingredients you need for this entire recipe and most likely, you already have most or all of them in your kitchen.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Chicken thighs. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are the best for this hoisin chicken recipe because they stay moist and juicy and add delicious fatty juice to an already yummy sauce.
  • Hoisin sauce. The obvious star of the show with its sweet and smoky, savory goodness.
  • Garlic granules, salt and pepper. This is what you’ll be seasoning the chicken with while it cooks. It adds a whole other layer of flavor and takes very little extra work.
  • Ginger. A refreshing add on – a little bit goes a long way.
  • Honey. This tiny bit of honey adds a nice sweet caramelized glaze to this yummy chicken recipe.
  • Lime juice. Many hoisin recipes are delicious without any lime juice but once you’ve tried it with the added zing, you can’t go back to life without it.
  • Garlic. A little bit of spice with a buttery sweetness, this adds a lot more flavor.
  • Sesame oil. Are any Asian dishes complete without adding a drizzle of sesame oil at the end? I think not.
  • Brown rice vinegar. This is not entirely necessary – unless you love a bit more tanginess. I do so for me, it’s always a must.

Quick Cooking Tips

Mind the heat. When heating the pan to cook the chicken, keep the heat at a medium-low so it doesn’t burn. This hoisin chicken recipe is best with the chicken left nice, juicy, and soft. And with plenty of caramelized sauce leftover to drizzle over the chicken (and rice).

Whole thigh is fine. If you want to, you can. But there’s no need to cut the chicken at all for this recipe.

Poke and turn. While everything is cooking on the stovetop, don’t just let it be. Again, we want a moist, juicy chicken and plenty of sauce – make sure it doesn’t burn.


Total cooking time: 15 minutes

1. Mix hoisin sauce, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, honey, and lime together in a bowl.

2. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a skillet. Add chicken and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic granule mixture.

3. Cook about 5-6 minutes per side until the chicken is cooked through.

4. Add the sauce and mix well so all the chicken is coated.

5. Cook for another 3 to 5 minutes to give the sauce a chance to thicken. Turn off the heat and drizzle in the sesame oil.

6. Top with sesame seeds and serve.

What Goes Well With Hoisin Chicken?

Honestly, pretty much everything. Let’s count the possibilities.

Rice. Rice is a no brainer. Scoop the hoisin chicken on top of or beside white rice or brown rice, short grain or long grain rice, jasmine or basmati rice – it’s all good. I always have some leftover rice in the fridge so I use whatever is available.

Noodles. This hoisin chicken recipe is so good on top of noodles as well. Udon noodles, egg noodles, yaki soba noodles and even linguini work beautifully with this dish.

Bread. If you haven’t had the pleasure of a hoisin chicken sandwich yet, it’s never too late to start this addictive habit. Put the chicken between a hamburger bun or even better – in a baguette – with cucumber, carrots, and cabbage or lettuce. Boom. Instant sandwich.

Low carb and low calorie. Cauliflower rice goes pretty well as a side to this hoisin chicken recipe. So does konjac rice. Also mixing brown rice with bulgur and quinoa makes for a healthy, lower-calorie rice alternative.

Vegetables. There are as many veggies that go well with hoisin chicken as there are carb options. Actually more because most veggies make wonderful sides for this recipe. Try:

  • Broccoli
  • Green beans
  • Bok choy
  • Onions
  • Cucumber
  • Carrots

And so on. A simple salad on the side is perfect as well – whether cabbage, lettuce, or an easy tomato and cucumber mix.

Extra flavor. This hoisin chicken is flavorful as is but sometimes you just need a little more. For extra zest – juice a lime wedge or two over the chicken. If you like that extra citrus zest, ginger is great too. Want extra spice? Red pepper flakes, gochugaru, or sriracha sauce are great. And if you love your food tangy, add in a little more brown rice vinegar.

How to Store the Leftovers

This recipe is enough for a family of three (two adults and a small child). But if you’re a single person, you’re in luck because you’ll have leftovers for tomorrow or the day after. And guess what? This hoisin chicken is even better after it’s been marinading in the fridge for a day or two.

Refrigerator: Place the hoisin chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Freezer: Hoisin chicken freezes well and you can freeze it in an airtight container for up to 4 months. The only caveat is that the texture isn’t going to be quite the same as fresh-cooked. But still very good.

What Does Hoisin Sauce Taste Like?

Salty, tangy, sweet, savory and smoky heaven. There’s good reason that hoisin sauce recipes are so popular – this sauce hits a lot of different spots.

If you haven’t had it before, one similar comparison is to an American BBQ sauce. They’re both thick and dark, salty, savory and sweet. And both go wonderfully on a variety of meats.

It’s also similar to unagi sauce. If you’ve had an unagi roll before with that sweet and salty, BBQ-like eel sauce, that’s pretty close to the taste of hoisin sauce.

What’s Hoisin Sauce Made of?

What’s most interesting about hoisin sauce is that hoisin (海鮮) is actually the Cantonese word for seafood. And yet – there is no seafood or seafood flavor in the sauce.

The typical hoisin sauce that you’ll find in stores is made of a combination of soybeans, corn starch, sugar, salt, sesame seed paste, and spices that includes chili and garlic.

What Can You Use Hoisin Sauce for?

Hoisin sauce is seriously versatile. It’s used as a marinade, a dipping sauce, to flavor stir fries and so on. Here’s a quick list of things you can do with hoisin sauce:

  • In Vietnamese rolls
  • With Peking duck pancakes
  • A dipping sauce of pho meat
  • Mix in pho broth for extra flavor
  • To flavor stir fries
  • To flavor fried rice
  • A dipping sauce for chicken nuggets
  • Sauce for chicken wings
  • Add it to ramen noodles for an extra kick
  • To make a bao bun (bao bun + leftover meat + hoisin sauce)
  • Mix into veggies, i.e. an asparagus sauté with hoisin sauce added at the end

And that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. Do you have any creative ways you use hoisin sauce? Share in the comments!

hoisin chicken

20 Minute Hoisin Chicken

Juicy chicken thighs coated in sweet, savory, tangy marinade in less than 20 minutes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 3
Calories 606 kcal


  • 10 chicken thighs
  • ½ cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • 1 tsp ginger minced
  • ½ tbsp honey
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 tsp garlic powder and pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp brown rice vinegar


  • Mix hoisin sauce, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, honey, lime, and brown rice vinegar (if using) in a bowl.
  • Heat 1 tsp of oil in a skillet. Add chicken and season with salt, pepper, and garlic granule mixture.
  • Cook 5-6 minutes on each side until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Add the sauce and mix well so all the chicken is coated.
  • Cook for another 3 to 5 minutes on low-medium heat to give the sauce a chance to thicken. Turn off the heat and drizzle in the sesame oil.
  • Top with sesame seeds and serve.


Quantity. This recipe is for 3 servings (two adults and a child). Adjust as necessary for yourself. Or prepare it as is and have yummy leftovers. 
Mind the heat. When cooking the chicken, keep the heat at medium-low so it doesn’t burn. We want nice, juicy, and soft chicken for this. And to give the sauce a chance to caramelize without burning. 
Whole thigh is fine. There’s no need to cut the chicken at all for this recipe.
Don’t let it sit. We want a moist, juicy chicken and plenty of sauce so turn and stir, make sure the ingredients don’t burn.


Calories: 606kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 74gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 359mgSodium: 1079mgPotassium: 1015mgFiber: 2gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 105IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 61mgIron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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