This Asian-inspired ginger chicken marinade is quick, easy, and delicious. Best of all, you only need to marinade the meat for 30 minutes!
A Family Favorite
This recipe comes to you straight from the annals of a family cookbook. Years ago, when Mr. Alexander lived in his first apartment, my Mother-In-Law gave him a cookbook she had put together of all their favorite family recipes so he could make them himself.
When I met him a few years later and decided to learn to cook, I started poking around the cookbook and trying a few recipes. Some of them I modified slightly as I learned what I liked, others stayed the same.
This one has never, ever changed.
Thank you to my MIL for giving her permission to share this recipe!
The basic ingredients for Ginger Chicken are usually in my house. I almost always have a knob of fresh ginger to make Mr. Alexander’s Stir Fry and we keep a container of chopped garlic in the refrigerator.
Yes, I know. A true chef would be appalled by using pre-chopped garlic, but for those of us who are busy moms and wives, it’s fast and easy. Also, yes, that is the ginormous size I buy. You can get it in 4.5 oz and 8 oz containers, but we use a lot of chopped garlic here.
That’s not to say I don’t use real garlic, it just depends on how much time I have to make dinner!
The marinade ingredients are, in no particular order, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, lemon juice and vegetable oil.
If I had been thinking about it, I would have turned the measuring cups so you could easily read the measurements. But alas, I did not plan ahead and was busy trying to make dinner! I had some Brussel sprouts to chop for a side dish…
A good marinade is usually made up of oil, salty, sweet, and acid, plus some spices or herbs.
Also, typically, the longer meat stays in the marinade, the better it will taste. This particular recipe only has to marinade for about 30 minutes. I still would recommend 60 minutes to overnight, but I’ve marinaded the chicken (is marinaded a word?) in this ginger marinade for as little as 30 minutes and the flavors still pop.
Also, while you could saute or bake the chicken, I highly recommend grilling it. The brown sugar caramelizes from that high heat and turns into sheer deliciousness.
Mix the marinade ingredients either in a glass bowl (NOT a metal bowl, that’s a no-no!) or you can mix the ingredients in a resealable gallon plastic bag. Add the meat, and let it sit in the refrigerator for the desired amount of time.
By the way, I think raw chicken is disgusting, but one of my goals on this blog is to be honest. So, yes, you get a picture of the chicken. Ew.
Also because I am honest, if you turn the chicken in the marinade, do so carefully. If not, and the chicken plops back into the bowl, you end up wearing it.
Yeah. That’s pretty much the story of my cooking life.
Ginger Chicken Marinade
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 to 1-1/2 tbsp fresh ginger chopped
- 1 tbsp garlic chopped
- Mix all ingredients in a glass bowl or gallon resealable plastic bag. Combine well.
- Place chicken (or beef or pork) in the marinade and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to overnight, turning meat occasionally.
- Grill chicken, basting with marinade. Discard any remaining marinade.