Grilled Caramel Sesame Chicken

This recipe started off with every thought of me following it word for word. But we don’t like fish sauce, no matter how hard we try. So, I swapped it with some Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce. And then I was going to use skewers but chickened out (pun intended) at the last moment. That’s why my chicken is chopped when it didn’t need to be with the way I cooked the chicken. But, it still ended up delicious the way I made it. We loved it over rice.

Something to comment on….the sauce. It was actually really bad smelling as it cooked. So bad that I figured I wouldn’t end up using it.

Amazingly, as the sauce thickened, it ended up smelling okay. I think the sugar needed to mix with the other flavors for it to smell less pungent. So, wait it out. Please.

Directions for Grilled Caramel Sesame Chicken

Adapted from Serious Eats

Marinated Chicken

  • 1.5-2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (cut into 1-inch chunks if desired, but you could grill them whole)
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice

In a large zipper-locked bag, mix all of the ingredients together. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

Caramel Glaze

  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1.5 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 1 inch piece peeled ginger, minced

In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, Worcestershire, soy sauce, orange juice, rice vinegar, and honey over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the garlic, shallots, and ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the glaze becomes thick and easily coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and set aside.


  • 1/4 cup white sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup black sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 green onions, sliced on a bias

Preheat the grill. Meanwhile, lightly toast the seeds and almonds in a skillet. Then take the chicken out of the marinade and put in an aluminum tray. Stir half of the glaze with the chicken. When the grill is ready, put the tray on the grill and grill on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add half of the sesame seeds/almond mixture, and half of the green onions. Add more glaze if the chicken is drying out. Stir to coat evenly, then grill until the chicken is cooked through. Serve with the remaining seeds/almonds/green onion top, as well as with more glaze on the side.


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