This is one of those really deceiving recipes.
Kind of like the item of clothing you see in the store and swear it will look awful on you: but try it on, and voila! A perfect fit. A match made in heaven.
How can so few ingredients yield anything SO special?
Trust me on this one, this IS a special dish. It is easy to throw together, and creates a pretty fabulous dinner!
Why use fish sauce? Doesn’t it taste fishy?!
If you are not accustomed to fish sauce, or think you will hate, try again!
Fish sauce is the simply the added salt in many Asian cuisines. It also lends incredible umami to any dish (pungent irresistible flavor)!
I am a very finicky fish eater…any sort of fish taste and I head for the hills, really. Even as far as my taste buds have come from my picky beginnings. Fish sauce even smells funkilicious, but once in your food and cooked, it makes dishes truly sing..so hang in there if you are wary!
If you have ever eaten Thai or Vietnamese food, you can bet you have had fish sauce.
Time saving meal prep for Vietnamese grilled chicken and more chicken marinades:
This is one of my favorite marinades to throw together when I do batch marinating.
This is how it works: I come home from the store with a whole bunch of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or sometimes breasts).
Firstly, I whip together several quick and easy marinades.
Then, I place each marinade in a Ziploc bag along (or other container) with a dinners worth of chicken meat.
Finally, I let those individual bags marinate overnight then place them in the freezer for ready made meals!! Here are some of my favorite chicken marinades:
- Lemon Garlic Chicken
- Asian Garlic Chicken
- Thai Garlic Chicken
- Chicken Fajitas
- Chicken Tikka Masala
- Keto Fried Chicken looks tasty!
While my kids prefer this served over sticky rice…you can also consider some of these options!
- Toss a prepared cabbage slaw with some chopped peppers (sweet or spicy or both), cucumber, cilantro, and top with my favorite Vietnamese sauce, nuoc cham. I sometimes add a splash of toasted sesame oil for the dressing. Serve with the hot grilled chicken thighs.
- over a bed of your favorite prepared rice.
- Add it to some fresh summer rolls for protein.
- Toss with your favorite Thai rice noodles, along with the dipping sauce or the nuoc chon linked above.
- Served with this delicious Vietnamese salad.
Vietnamese Grilled Chicken Recipe:
If you try this Vietnamese chicken marinade recipe, please come back and leave a comment and let me and other readers know what you thought!
Vietnamese Grilled Chicken
Succulent boneless skinless chicken thighs are marinated in an easy Vietnamese marinade and grilled to perfection!
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs or if you prefer, with skin and bones (lean cuts of meat will not work overly well with this dish)
- 4 tablespoons avocado oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon honey may omit
Dipping Sauce (adjust amounts to personal preferences, this is enough for 1-2 people):
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt (not fine ground, it will be too salty)
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 4 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 serrano chile sliced (w/ the seeds will be more spicy, without less so)
Mix all marinade ingredients together.
Add in chicken and marinate for at least 3 hours, I usually put it together the day before for loads of flavor, *or see meal prep tip above*
Preheat grill to hot.
Add chicken to quickly sear for a few of minutes, then flip to do the same to the other side.
Once grill lines appear on second side, turn down temp to med-low, close your lid, and let cook gently until done (Meat will register 165 degrees).
Remove from grill, tent with some foil, and let the meat rest a couple of minutes.
Slice and serve with sticky rice and dipping sauce!
PLAN FOR MARINATE TIME!!
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Kirsten M. says
This is recipe is deceptively delicious! The combination of these ingredients gives amazing flavor and we love to drizzle the sauce over white rice for serving. SO GOOD!
Susan Williams says
OH, my!!!!!This chicken recipe has become a family favorite including our extended family. It’s regularly one we use at the family cabin when all together. The dipping sauce has a kick, and is used my those with a love for spice pallet. Younger children tend to stay away from the sauce and enjoy the chicken alone. It can be prepared ahead of time and best cooked on the barbecue. It’s our keeper!
I always like it when a recipe says it’s easy! I never heard of fish sauce. I’ll have to look into that. I like your time-saving meal prep suggestion too. That’s something I want to get better at doing. Would make life much easier.
Tessa Simpson says
It totally does Teresa!! A life save on those busy days of a million after school things!
Well this sounds like my kind of meal! I used to be a hard core chicken breast lover years ago but no more. Chicken thighs are a million times better in my opinion!
Raia Todd says
Looks delicious! Guess I need to get a grill this summer…. 😉
Tessa Simpson says
You MUST Raia! I adore my grill and love how it gets the heat out the kitchen in the summer!
I’ve made this a lot – delicious!
Tessa Simpson says
Glad you like it Betsy, one of my go-to quick and easy dinners
GiGi Eats says
Simple = MY FAVORITE so this is right up my alley!
Love this post-I’m the same fish stocks/fish ingredients can be strong but your marinade looks and sounds perfect. Love the dress analogy too! I can’t wait to try this! Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays x
Delicious! My husband and I have made it several times and love it. Our grill is broken this week, so going to try in our grill tray in the oven tonight.
Tessa Domestic Diva says
Glad you like it as much as we do Betsey, hope the no grill version works well too!
I put it under the broiler for a few minutes on each side and works well.
Tessa Simpson says
good to know Betsey, thanks!!
Eva@Whole Food Mom on a Budget says
What an interesting and delicious looking recipe! I’ve pinned for later so that I can try it. I’ve never used fish sauce. Where do you find it? Thanks for sharing at Savoring Saturdays!
Linda Warren says
First time seeing your blog and love the way you focus on healthy eating and dietary restrictions.
Love all types of Asian cuisine and, as my daughter-in-law is part Vietnamese, next time she visits I will surprise her with this meal. It really looks delicious! Thanks for sharing on Waste Not Want Not Wednesday.
How can I make this recipe on the stove or in the oven? I don’t have a grill. Thanks!
This looks MARVELOUS! Think I’ll do it with drumsticks and and thighs. Thanks so much.
France @ Beyond The Peel says
I love the simplicity of this Tessa. Beautiful flavors are allowed to shine through. You’re right that fish sauce smells really funky but it imparts such great flavor.
Joy at The Liberated Kitchen says
This flavor combo looks really good. Thanks for sharing with GAPS Friendly Fridays! A reminder for GAPSters: Choose the honey, not the sugar!
Diane Balch says
I cook a lot with fish sauce and anchovy paste it really heightens flavor. Thanks for sharing this on foodie friday and I will pin it too.
Mmmm…I love this recipe! My husband is Vietnamese so we eat a lot of the traditional foods here. I like how you educate everyone about fish sauce…it really does make the food “sing.” Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Tessa Domestic Diva says
Fish sauce is so misunderstood in our culture! I love traditional Vietnamese food too Michelle, a total weakness of mine!
Mary Hudak-Colllins says
Tessa, I have purposefully stayed away from chicken for awhile, just because it seemed like that was all we were eating. This recipe has encouraged me to stop and pick up a pack of thighs and prepare this for dinner one night. Our daughter is not fond of ‘hot’ or ‘spicy’ foods, so I will probably have to cut back in that area. Thanks for sharing this week!
Athena@Life's Abundant Adventures says
I CANNOT WAIT to try this!!! Pinning!! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Nancy @Real Food, Allergy Free says
Yum! I pinned this one for this summer.
One of our family’s current favorites! I made this dish one time with chicken breasts b/c it's what I had in the freezer AND wouldn't recommend it. I think the thighs are WAY better! Tessa was right!
not surprised…..I'd thought about it, but chicken breasts do not lend themselves to charring, they dry out too quickly! Thanks for letting everyone know for sure! As with any recipe that has very few simple ingredients, each ingredient pays an even larger roll in the finished product.
yes you will…but as with all peppers, some can be fiery, others more mellow, even if they are the same variety. I've never had a problem with the seeds myself, but I do like spicy things! And you don;t have to eat the peppers/seeds if it is too much for you.
will i still taste the serrano if I seed it? how hot are they?