Sambal Oelek is the king of condiments in our house! We add it to marinades, to hummus, and just about any place we want to add some heat. Most would compare it to sriracha, but I disagree and I personally like it better than sriracha because it not only adds heat but adds more complex flavor. It’s also different from sriracha because it comes in a jar and is essentially chili paste (crushed chilis in vinegar and salt). The addition of vinegar too, adds a slight tang to the heat, which provides another layer to whatever you are adding it to, like this Grilled Sambal Chicken.
This chicken has a slight heat to it, but also has sweetness because of brown sugar and honey in the marinade. Ginger, garlic, and soy bring savoriness to the party! All those ingredients work together to provide a harmonious taste of sweet, spicy, salty and tangy. That combination always evokes the most pleasure for me and luckily this recipe provides that with minimal effort. I highly recommend marinating the chicken overnight. It only takes at most 20 minutes to throw everything to go together, so a little pre-planning is well worth the effort. If you a really running short on time, leave out the ginger and garlic to make your life easier.
- ¼ cup sambal oelek
- 3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1½ tbsp minced garlic
- 1½ tbsp minced ginger
- 1½ tsp kosher salt
- 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- In a small bowl, whisk together sambal oelek, soy sauce, honey, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and salt.
- Place the chicken thighs in a gallon freezer bag (or container with a lid) and pour in the marinade. Place in the refrigerator. Allow to marinate, preferably overnight.
- minutes prior to cooking remove the chicken from the refrigerator. This helps to take the chill off the chicken and allows it to cook more evenly.
- Preheat a grill or grill pan on medium high. Brush the grates with oil.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard marinade. Grill the chicken about 6-7 minutes per side, until cooked through and slightly charred.