Here are my very best Asian-inspired sauces for grilled chicken that my family and I have been using for summer BBQs! There’s a great list of sauces for chicken you can pick and choose – from Chinese to Thai, Korean to Japanese, and more! These homemade sauces are healthy and easy, and they are not only great for barbeque but also as a dipping sauce

Let’s spice up your grill with my Asian-inspired sauces to make your grilled chicken recipe sizzle!

A cover image shows different types of Asian sauces can be used for grilled poultry chicken
You’ll love these terrific Asian-inspired sauces to bring your bbq to the next level!

Chinese sauces

If you are looking for a list of delicious chicken sauce ideas beyond Peruvian chicken sauce, these homemade sauces will wow your taste buds! They are simple sauces to make for chicken with a blend of soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and a touch of chili pepper. You can use these sauces for grilled chicken breasts and thighs or brush them on when grilling.

Garlic chili sauce
5 from 34 votes
This homemade chili garlic sauce is loaded with flavor and made with avocado oil so you know it's healtheir for you! Inspired by huy fong garlic chili sauce but more fresh, garlicky, and a touch of sweet and savory! This is the best sauce to put on chicken!
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Garlic chili sauce recipe served in a light colored bowl with a spoon in the bowl
Taiwanese Shacha Sauce
5 from 9 votes
Also known as Taiwanese barbeque sauce, this umami-rich bbq sauce is used for hot pot and grilling! Great for both chicken breasts or chicken thighs. I recommend lightly season the chicken and serve this sauce on the side as a dipping sauce.
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Sha cha sauce recipe shows the sauce after cooked and stored in a bowl with spoon inside
Homemade gluten free hoisin sauce
5 from 11 votes
A must-have sauce for chicken. This homemade hoisin sauce tastes savory, sweet and tangy. Made with dates, tahini, garlic, and five spice powder. Simply blend the ingredients. Use it as a marinade or dipping sauce, or brush it on when grilling.
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Photo shows a bowl of creamy gluten free hoisin sauce blended to perfect consistency in a beautiful bowl.
Hot pot sauce
5 from 5 votes
5 different hot pot sauces to choose! They are meant for hot pot dipping sauces but you can absolutely use them for grilled chicken, too! From savory to little spicy, and from creamy to light and refreshing!
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A close shot shows 5 hotpot sauce recipe in 5 individual bowls
Vegetarian oyster sauce
4.91 from 22 votes
This homemade oyster sauce is vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. Made with Chinese dried shiitake mushrooms and with 5-ingredients only. Use it as a marinade, dipping sauce, and for grilling.
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Vegetarian oyster sauce recipe made with shiitake mushrooms is the best Paleo stir-fry sauce for vegan and gluten-free people.
Asian peanut sauce
5 from 13 votes
This Asian peanut sauces tastes perfectly balanced between sweet and savory. It's creamy smooth and nutty delicious. For those of you who are allergic to peanuts, use creamy almond butter to make the sauce.
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Holding a spoonful of almond butter made peanut flavored sauce
Bang bang sauce
5 from 3 votes
You might be associate bang bang sauce with seafood and fried food dishes but let me tell you good sauce is great for everything! My homemade sauce is creamy, tangy, a little spicy, and ready in under 5 minutes! Use it as a dipping sauce for grilled chicken!
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A spoonful of bam bam sauce dripping out of the glass jar

Japanese sauces

Growing up in Taiwan, Japanese cuisine is always close to my heart. 🙂 Here are some of my favorite Japanese-inspired easy sauces for chicken. Use them for dipping sauce on the side of your grilled chicken or brush it on when you grill.

Roasted sesame dressing (kewpie-inspired!)
5 from 10 votes
This is my go-to Japanese dressing for everything! It's great for noodles, salads, tofu, and of course – grilled chicken! You can use it for chicken breasts, thighs, and drumsticks, too!
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Paleo and Whole30 Japanese Sesame Dressing Recipe
Keto teriyaki sauce
5 from 12 votes
Probably one of the most popular recipes on the blog, this teriyaki sauce is not only homemade but also loaded with flavor! Use it as a marinade or brush the sauce on when you grill!
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A close shot to show a different angle of the sugar free sauce teriyaki recipe
Paleo teriyaki sauce
5 from 6 votes
Same great flavor, easy to make, and this one is paleo friendly. My teriyaki sauce tastes sweet and savory, and with a touch of garlicky flavor!
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Paleo Teriyaki Sauce Whole30 Gluten-Free from I Heart Umami
Creamy ginger dressing
5 from 12 votes
If you love the dressing used at Japanese sushi restaurants, you'll love my homemade version! This dressing is light and gingery! Best sauce to go with chicken breasts.
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Creamy and tart Paleo Creamy Ginger Salad Dressing recipe is Paleo, Whole30, Keto, and Vegan from I Heart Umami.

Thai sauces

These Thai-inspired sauces are a real gem when it comes to sauce recipes for chicken. You can whip up a simple sauce for chicken using fish sauce, lime juice, coconut sugar, and a touch of red chili pepper. Add some crushed and toasted peanuts and tamarind paste (if you have a jar at home), these grilled chicken sauces will tenderize the meat and give them a tangy kick.

Thai chili sauce – Nam Jim Jaew
5 from 3 votes
This is one of my favorite Thai dipping sauces. It's a little funky, salty, acidic, and a little sweet and spicy. Use it as a marinade and dipping sauce. Great for chicken breasts or thighs.
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Nam Jim Jaew Thai Dried Chili Dipping Sauce I Heart Umami
Thai peanut sauce
5 from 17 votes
Unlike the sweeter version of Chinese peanut sauce, this is an authentic Thai version. It tastes fruity, tangy, and tart. This is a creamy sauce that's great for dipping and put it on the chicken when you grill.
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Paleo Easy Thai Peanut Sauce is Whole30 and peanut-free with nut-free option.
Thai chicken satay
5 from 32 votes
Probably the best sauce chicken marinade Thai style! My readers love this chicken dish and there's a reason why. Easy to assemble and tastes amazing! I recommend using chicken thighs either bone-in or boneless and marinate the chicken overnight before you grill!
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A close shot of the food on a big white plate

Vietnamese sauces

If you love fresh and zesty flavors, these Vietnamese-inspired sauces for grilled chicken are written for you! Nuoc Cham is a classic dipping sauce for chicken and my Vietnamese sweet chili sauce isn’t just a good sauce for chicken, it’s great with pretty much everything!

Vietnamese dipping sauce – nuoc cham
5 from 17 votes
Love Vietnamese spring rolls and that delicious condiment sauce served on the side? This homemade version will satisfy your craving! It's perfect for grilled chicken skewers with perfectly charred chicken!
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Vietnamese Dipping Sauce - Nuoc Cham- is Paleo, Whole30, and Keto friendly from I Heart Umami.
Grilled chicken drumsticks with sweet chili sauce
5 from 1 vote
Grilled chicken drumsticks with sweet chili bbq sauce are jam-packed with flavor! The chicken is perfectly tender and pair it with the sweet chili sauce on the side!
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Photo shows 6 grilled chicken legs drizzled with sauce on a big white oval plate
Vietnamese lemongrass chicken
5 from 20 votes
Meant to pair the Nuoc Cham sauce on the side, this marinated Vietnamese lemongrass chicken sauce is perfect for charcoal grill! I recommend marinating the chicken overnight for the best flavor!
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Paleo Keto Vietnamese Noodle Salad with Lemongrass Chicken (Bun Ga Nuong) with Vietnamese dipping sauce Nuoc Cham from I Heart Umami.

Korean sauces

If you love a good sauce for chicken, these Korean-inspired sauces are moughwatering blend of spicy, sweet, and umami flavors. Gochujang paste is a must-have for Korean style barbeque chicken. My faux-gochujang is made without soy and fast to blend. It will have your taste buds dancing!

Gluten free gochujang paste
5 from 20 votes
My homemade gochujang paste is soy-free and gluten-free. You can use it for everything! From pasta sauce to salad dressing, and from kimchi marinade to Korean bbq sauce chicken grill!
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Paleo Gochujang Korean red chili paste gochujang substitute recipe
Kalbi marinade
5 from 11 votes
If you think kalbi marinade is only for short ribs, think again! This delicious Korean-inspired sauce is great for chicken, too! With a blend of kiwi and pear, you know it's going to be DELICIOUS! I recommend marinate the chicken for at least 24 hours and up to 2 days.
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Photo shows LA galbi (korean short ribs) barbequed and served on a big white plate with side dishes on the side.


Which sauce is best for chicken?

Grilled chicken has a natural smokey flavor. If the chicken is not marinated and only lightly seasoned, a creamy sauce or a sauce balanced with sweet, saovry, and acidity will work best.

Do you put sauce on chicken before grilling?

It depends on the type of sauce. If the chicken is marinated in a thick sauce such as sweet barbecue sauce, lightly drench the chicken before grilling. Most often, marinated chicken will taste more flavorful before grilling.

How do you make the sauce stick to grilled chicken?

You want to marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before grilling. During cooking, dip or brush the bbq chicken with more sauce on all sides until the chicken is cooked through.

Pairing your sauce

Now you have different sauces for chicken, what’s next? I always like to think about what type of chicken I will pair them with. For example, a thicker and more robust gochujang paste would work well with grilled chicken thighs, while a light Vietnamese nuoc cham would be perfect for grilled chicken breast.

You can use these chicken sauces for marinating or dipping. I recommend marinating thick-cut chicken breasts in one of these sauces before grilling so that the chicken will be more flavorful. For thin-cut or chicken skewers like my yakitori skewers, you can lightly season them with some salt and black pepper and brush the sauce on as you grill.

For food safety from USDA, the internal temperature of cooked chicken should be cooked to 165F. And always separate the dipping sauce that you served on the side from the sauce you used for marinating. Discard the marinade after using it.

Photo shows 6 grilled chicken legs drizzled with sauce on a big white oval plate
5 from 1 vote

23+ Best sauces for grilled chicken (Asian-inspired)

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Marinade time:: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 6 drumsticks
Author: ChihYu Smith
Fire up the grill with the best sauce for grilled chicken. With my homemade easy and healthy Asian sauce recipes for chicken like this Vietnamese grilled chicken drumsticks!
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  • 1.5 lb chicken drumsticks, about 6 drumsticks
  • 1-1.5 tsp coarse sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Vietnamese sweet chili sauce:

  • 1 whole serrano or fresno red chili pepper, or 1-2 Thai chilies
  • 0.1 oz clove garlic, finely minced, about 2 small cloves
  • 2 tbsp lime, or key lime juice
  • 2-2.5 tbsp peach jam, or orange jam, keto honey, regular honey, or maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp chopped cilantro, or scallions, plus more for garnish


  • Preheat the grill to 425°F-450°F (218°C-232°C) degrees on your grill lid thermometer. That is medium-high heat on a standard gas grill. Clean and oil the grates.
  • Use your fingers and carefully create a little space (little pocket) between the meat and the skin. Season the chicken with coarse sea salt, black pepper, and garlic powder on all sides and the inner pockets.
  • Combine the sweet chili sauce in a bowl and marinate the drumsticks with 6 tbsp sweet chili sauce for 30-40 minutes. I use about 1 tbsp sauce per leg. Save the remainder of the sauce for dipping use.
  • Check grill temp if possible and place chicken on the grill. Flip about every 5 minutes with lid closed until internal temp of 180°F-185°F (82°C-85°C) degrees. About 30-35 minutes.
  • If there are flare-ups, move the chicken away from the direct flames for a few seconds.
  • Once the chicken internal temperature reaches 180°F-185°F (82°C-85°C) degrees. Brush with more sweet bbq chili sauce and continue grilling a few minutes more.
  • Let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve with the chili dipping sauce on the side.


  • Use a clean and well-oiled grill.
  • Don’t turn or flip the chicken too early so that each piece gets beautiful grill marks.
  • Keep the lid closed on your grill to keep the temperature so that the chicken cooks evenly.
  • You must use a thermometer to ensure the internal temp reaches 180°F-185°F (82°C-85°C) degrees.
  • Remember size and thickness of the drumsticks matter so when in doubt, go by the internal temperature not the cook time.
  • To Air Fry: Preheat the fryer at 400°F (204°C) for 5 minutes. Air fry the chicken legs at 380°F(193°C) for 20-25 minutes. Flip once half-way through.
  • To Bake: Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C). Place the chicken on a sheet pan lined with parchment. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 175ºF, flipping the drumsticks once half-way through.


Serving: 1drumstick, Calories: 139kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 70mg, Sodium: 938mg, Potassium: 203mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 41IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 14mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: Asian sauce for chicken, Asian sauce for grilled chicken, sauce for chicken, sauce for grilled chicken
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