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Grilled Char-Siu Chicken

Grilled Char-Siu Chicken Recipe

If you’ve never heard of Char-Siu courses before, then the title of this dish might be a little odd – while typically this cuisine refers to pork dishes, what makes Char-Siu stand out is the sauce used. While we love a great pork recipe, we believe in trying new things, so why not make an adaptation using chicken instead? The ingredients list here might be a bit non-traditional, but this Paleo adaptation of Char-Siu results in a tasty, barbecue-style meal that works perfectly for busy nights. Although the prep here does require marination time, if you can get this taken care of before you walk out the door for the day, you’ll be in for less than 20 minutes of cooking when you get home.

If you’re considering making this dish, remember that Paleo-substitutions for Asian cuisine are extremely common and usually require ingredients you wouldn’t typically find in a non-Paleo kitchen. While things like homemade ketchup, coconut aminos, and beet juice aren’t hard to find or make yourself, it’s worth remembering that a dish like this does require a bit more thought, especially if you are new to Paleo. Note that if you don’t have any beet juice, you can just mix all of the ingredients for the marinade into a blender and add a whole beet with the mixture, pulsing until you get a smooth juice. You can add 1/4 cup of water at a time if this is too thick.

As you cook this dish, keep in mind that traditional Char-Siu is literally “charred” – that means it’s perfectly fine if a few pieces of your chicken darken, as long as you are okay with this kind of flavor. To accompany this dish, try serving your chicken with a bowl of Paleo zoodles for a meal that imitates the typical serving-style you’ll find in Asian restaurants.

Grilled Char-Siu Chicken Recipe

Serves: 4Prep: 10 min + 4 hCook: 16 min

Protein: 27g / %

Carbs: 28g / %

Fat: 5g / %

Values are per portion. These are for information only & are not meant to be exact calculations.


  • 2 to 3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs;
  • 1/4 cup raw honey;
  • 1/4 cup homemade ketchup;
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos;
  • 1/4 cup beet juice;
  • 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar;
  • 1 tsp. five-spice powder;
  • Green onions, sliced (to garnish);
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper;

Chicken Preparation


  1. In a bowl, combine the honey, ketchup, coconut aminos, beet juice, vinegar, and five spice powder; season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Place the chicken in a marinating container and pour in the marinade.
  3. Cover and refrigerate 4 to 12 hours.
  4. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  5. Grill the chicken 6 to 8 minutes per side or until chicken is cooked through.
  6. Let the chicken rest; serve topped with sliced green onions.