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Easy Ginger-Sesame Grilled Chicken Breasts

5-Ingredient Ginger-Sesame Grilled Chicken Breasts
Grace Parisi / TODAY
Prep Time:
30 mins

Chef notes

This simple grilled chicken marinade packs a lot of flavor for so few ingredients. It's perfectly suited for boneless, skinless breasts, but can also be used with legs and thighs. Just make a few gashes in the meat and rub with the marinade.


TOTAL TIME: 2½ hours or overnight


  • 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 8 ounces each
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • teaspoons Asian sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Sambal oelek or chili garlic sauce
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
For serving (optional)
  • 1 head green leaf lettuce, separated into leaves
  • Hoisin sauce
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and cut into 2-inch matchsticks
  • 3 scallions, white and green cut into 2-inch julienne
  • Lime wedges



Using a meat pounder, gently pound the chicken breasts so they are about 1/2-inch thick all around. In a medium bowl, combine the ginger, garlic, sesame oil, sambal and canola oil. Season with 1/2 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper and add the chicken, turning to coat. Refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 8 hours.


Light a grill and oil the grates. Grill the chicken over high heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred and firm to the touch, about 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.


Serving suggestion: Cut the chicken into 1/2-inch strips. Arrange the chicken and lettuce a platter and encourage each guest to brush a small amount of hoisin sauce on a lettuce leaf, followed by a few pieces of cucumber, scallions, chicken and a squeeze of lime.

Grace Parisi is a New York City-based food writer, cookbook author and food stylist. Her book, Get Saucy, was nominated for a James Beard award. Her latest book, Quick Pickles comes out in Fall 2016. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.