If you are a Grilled chicken lover and you haven't tried one of the best cilantro-lime chicken marinades, be prepared to get hooked on it. This cilantro lime grilled chicken is super easy, tasty and packed with Thai flavor that you can't resist.
This Thai-inspired cilantro-lime grilled chicken smells amazing and will definitely tease your neighbour to turn their noses points to you.
The cilantro lime chicken marinade is close to my heart. I love fish sauce, it reminds me of home, cilantro- to some, it smells like a dish detergent (but we can't blame them because it has something to do with genetics), but for me, I love how the flavor could transform a dish to something addictive because of its distinct fragrance.
This Thai grilled chicken goes well with this amazing herby rice and lime on this site, and serve with the best and simple green mango salad for an explicitly, unforgettable healthy meal. I'll put my money on it!
You love the funky, fishy and salty fish sauce, you love the strong and zingy lime and you love the distinct fragrance of cilantro, then, WELCOME ABOARD!
- Chicken breast
- Jalapeno or any chillies you prefer(depending on its heat strength)
- Fish sauce
- Cooking oil
See recipe card for quantities.
★Tips for making cilantro-lime grilled chicken
- Blend the marinade ingredients well: For the ultimate flavour, blend the herbs and seasoning before using the food processor, blender or pestle and mortar.
- Flatten your chicken breast(if that's what you're using): Gently pound the chicken breast to even thickness to keep you away from the part underdone or part dry and overcooked.
2. Marinade: The flavor of the marinade will shine in the chicken if you give it enough time to marinade but not too long otherwise the texture of the chicken will end up a touch mushy.
3. Grill/ barbeque: Charcoal barbeque is always the winner but a gas barbeque still produces the most delicious and succulent grilled chicken. If you have none of these, a grill pan also does its wonder, it works too.
Here are some substitutions in case chicken is not on your list today.
- Meat - Instead of chicken breast, you can use chicken thigh and legs (skin on, bone-in or boneless), pork cutlets, beef or even lamb.
- Chilli- Jalapeno is my preference because of its mild level of heat and bright vegetable flavor - but for one who enjoys the burning feeling that comes from the body's pain response system after eating real hot chilli, then use your favourite type of chillies to spice things up.
- Vegetarian - Tufo is a wonderful substitute for meat that blends well with the cilantro-lime marinade. Fish sauce provides that salty umami flavor but this can be replaced with 3 tablespoons of soy sauce or 3 teaspoons of sea salt.
For the marinade, if you thought you made plenty, place it in a sturdy freezer bag or container and freeze for up to three months. This marinade is delicious with any type of meat.
I like leaving the skin on for grilling. It helps to protect and trap the moisture, and as the fat starts to sizzle, it will create fire and a smorgasbord of smoke for the meat to sponge up and bring its own deliciousness to the table.
Cilantro and lime grilled chicken breast
- Grilling pan or Barbeque grill
- Food processor or pestle and mortar
- 1 pound Chicken breast
- 3 tablespoons Cooking oil
- 1 cup Cilantro, packed (leaves and stems)
- 1 tablespoon Lime zest
- 4 tablespoons Lime juice
- 1 large Shallots
- 1 inch Ginger
- 1 tablespoon Chilli flakes
- 3 tablespoons Fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons Brown sugar
- Gently pound the chicken breast in between plastic wrap/ parchment paper/ wax paper to get an even thickness of at least ¾ inch thickness.
Make the marinade (2 ways)
- Use blender or food processor: Add all the ingredients to a food processor or a blender and process until smooth.
- Use a large pestle and mortar: place all the herbs and sugar in the mortar, and use the pestle to rock and smash your ingredients. Go around the mortar to gather all the ingredients and then push down as you grind. Repeat until you get the smoother consistency. Add the liquid ingredients and stir to combine.
- Option 1: Place the chicken in a deep dish container and add all the marinade, turn and toss to coat the chicken. Cover with plastic wrap. Two- place the chicken in a large ziplock bag add the marinade, seal and toss to coat the chicken evenly and let it sit in the fridge to marinate for one hour but not more than four hours.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and leave it to room temperature 30 minutes prior to grilling.
- Preheat the barbeque grill on high for 10 to 15 minutes. Use your grill brush to remove any remnants of your grate from the previous grilling.
- Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (425℉ to 450℉). Coat the chicken breast with oil and grill for about 8-10 minutes flipping halfway. The juices should run clear when you cut into it.
- Transfer the chicken to a serving plate, cover with aluminum foil and let it rest for 5 minutes. Slice the chicken and serve.
- Instead of chicken breast, use chicken thigh instead, bone-in and skin-on or boneless and skinless but you have to adjust the cooking time between 5-6 minutes for bone-in.
- Grill pan can also be used in place of a barbeque grill.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with a high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove