Raisin-Ginger Soy Sauce Chicken

Soy Sauce Chicken

Soy Sauce Chicken with Raisin-Ginger Sauce

Soy sauce chicken is a Cantonese style sweet-sticky glazed chicken. The gingery-soy glaze is traditionally sweetened with Chinese rock sugar, plus plenty of soy sauce, ginger and garlic.  Instead of added sugar,  I thought I’d give naturally sweet raisins a whirl. Literally!  I blended raisins with water, soy sauce, and fresh ginger to make a thick sauce.  Then browned chicken thighs with garlic, added the sauce and simmered for 15 minutes. Done! Start to finish in less than 30 minutes.

Raisins add a sweet-tangy dimension for a flavorful four ingredient sauce. The recipe is flexible for either bone-in or boneless thighs (skinless to reduce fat), and you can adjust the salty soy, ginger, and garlic to your preference. For a more alluring flavor, try adding star anise. In Chinatown, you’ll see whole glazed birds hanging from racks. Chicken thighs short-cuts the recipe, which was how my mother in-law made this dish.

Soy Sauce Chicken is a crave-able Chinese comfort food perfect for Chinese New Year.
For the Year of the Rat, Gung Hay Fat Choy!

For another sweet-savory sauce with raisins, try my Beef Sliders. Just 3 ingredients in the slow-cooker.  Promise you’ll love it!

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5 from 3 votes

Raisin-Ginger Soy Sauce Chicken

Rita tested this recipe and said she'd like more sauce; so go ahead and double the sauce if you like. It's a flexible recipe --if you know you like more garlic or ginger, measure generously.
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 to 6 servings


  • 3/4 cup natural raisins
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce regular or reduced sodium, per preference
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1.75 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, or 2.5 lb, bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or sliced
  • 1 whole star anise, or 1/4 tsp Chinese Five Spice, optional
  • 4 green onions, sliced for garnish


  • COMBINE raisins, water, soy sauce, ginger, and white pepper in a blender or food processor. Whirl
    until well blended and nearly smooth.
  • HEAT oil in a deep 10-12-inch skillet or 4-5-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add
    chicken and garlic. Lightly brown chicken, about 2 minutes per side.
  • POUR raisin sauce over chicken and turn pieces to coat in sauce. Add star anise if using.  Reduce heat to medium.
    Cover and simmer 15 minutes, stirring once to prevent sticking, until internal
    temperature of chicken is 180°F for bone-in, or 165°F for boneless pieces.
  • REMOVE star anise if added.
    SERVE chicken and sauce over rice; garnish with green onion.
  • For quick look at prep method see video below. (Ingredient amounts are slightly different).


NOTE: Ingredient amounts in video are edited in recipe above.

230 calories, 6 g fat (1 g sat),  85 mg cholesterol, 21 g protein,  23 g carbohydrate,
1010 mg sodium,  1 g fiber,  17 g sugars


8 thoughts on “Raisin-Ginger Soy Sauce Chicken”

    • This was one of those recipe development ideas that was an immediate winner! I loved it from the first trial. Drumsticks could work too. I’ve never tried with chicken breasts because Bernie is not a white meat man — hehe!

  • 5 stars
    Growing up in San Francisco, Mom or Dad’s soy sauce chicken was a favorite, served weekly with white rice and steamed vegetables. This recipe rivals my parent’s recipe if one really existed as they cooked by taste. Chicken so saucy and succulent, makes this a new favorite especially over steamed brown rice. I guess I’ll need to add veggies too!

  • 5 stars
    Very good, and so easy. It is very similar to my dad’s ginger chicken. He grew up in Hawaii, so maybe he also had childhood experiences of this dish.

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