Honey Soy Chicken with Pineapple Cucumber Salad

This Honey Soy Chicken takes a few minutes to prepare for a delicious and no-fuss weeknight meal, and is perfect served with a refreshing Pineapple Cucumber Salad.

honey soy chicken drumsticks on white plate

Honey Soy Chicken

If time is short and you need to get dinner on the table in a hurry, this recipe for Honey Soy Chicken is a winner. The caramelised and sticky chicken is full of flavour, and the best part is that you do not need to marinate the chicken beforehand!

Why This Recipe Works

  • The marinade takes just a few minutes to prepare in the food processor.
  • You do not need to marinate the chicken beforehand, which means you can get a delicious dinner on the table in next to no time!
honey soy chicken drumsticks with jar of pickled chillies

Minimum Preparation, Maximum Flavour

I know all too well that planning meals ahead of time, doing the grocery shopping in bulk, and even cooking in advance, are the easiest paths to a stress-free suppertime, but being organised often takes time and time is a scarce commodity when there are children in the equation.

And so I often find myself at the supermarket without a clue as to what to cook for dinner, except that I have about 10 minutes before my next appointment.

This often means quickly filling the shopping basket with familiar foods which I know I can randomly throw together to create a meal, and the most common protein I turn to is chicken.

Chicken Drumstick Recipe

Chicken drumsticks, and also chicken thighs, happen to be something I can prepare quickly before popping them into the oven to bake for a good hour or so with little input from my part during that time.

For something more substantial, I also like to use Chicken Maryland pieces, which are chicken drumsticks with the thigh attached.

Honey Soy Chicken Recipe

What I love about this Honey Soy Chicken recipe is that it doesn’t require any overnight marinating.

Of course, leaving the chicken to marinate overnight will produce a more flavoursome meal, but the pungent ingredients in the marinade means that you can get away with this step for a perfectly tasty result.

honey soy chicken on plate with pineapple cucumber salad in background

What to Serve With Honey Soy Chicken

Due to the sticky, sweet and salty ingredients in this marinade, I recommend serving this Honey Soy Chicken with steamed Jasmine Rice with some steamed green vegetables on the side.

Pineapple Cucumber Salad

For a cool and refreshing salad to go alongside, a Pineapple Cucumber Salad (or Malaysian Salad) would be perfect.

Pickled Chillies

If you are not serving this dish to children (or adults) with sensitive palates, I would recommend adding a few more chillies into the marinade for a good, spicy kick.

I would also be tempted to add chopped red chillies to the Pineapple Cucumber Salad but, as not everyone is a fan of spicy food, this is where a jar of Pickled Chillies come in handy.

honey soy chicken drumsticks on plate on wooden board

Honey Soy Chicken with Pineapple Cucumber Salad

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Thanh | Eat, Little Bird
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Asian

This Honey Soy Chicken takes a few minutes to prepare for a delicious and no-fuss weeknight meal, and is perfect served with a refreshing Pineapple Cucumber Salad.


For the Honey Soy Chicken:

  • 1 kg (2 lb) chicken drumsticks &/or chicken thighs (both with skin on)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 3 cm (1 inch) piece of ginger, peeled & roughly chopped
  • 100 g (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) runny honey
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) light soy sauce
  • 1 red chilli (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

For the Pineapple Cucumber Salad

  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1/2 small pineapple
  • sea salt

To Serve


For the Honey Soy Chicken:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F)(without fan).
  2. Line a large baking tray with foil for easier cleaning up later.
  3. Using a sharp knife, cut a few incisions into the chicken pieces on the diagonal.
  4. Place the chicken pieces into a large ziplock freezer bag.
  5. In a food processor, blend together the garlic, ginger, honey, soy sauce, red chilli, sesame oil, and fish sauce (see Kitchen Notes below if you do not have a food processor).
  6. Pour the marinade over the chicken in the ziplock freezer bag.
  7. Give everything a good mix to make sure all of the chicken pieces are well coated in the marinade.
  8. I recommend leaving the chicken to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (a few hours would be ideal), but if you are in a rush, you can skip the marinating time altogether.
  9. Place the chicken pieces on the roasting tray and pour over the marinade.
  10. Bake the chicken for 45-60 minutes, or until they are bronzed and golden. During this time, turn the chicken over once or twice so that it can brown on all sides. And while you are in the kitchen, you may as well put on a pot of steamed rice to make the meal more substantial.
  11. Once the chicken is ready, remove the tray from the oven and sprinkle the chicken with the toasted sesame seeds.

For the Pineapple Cucumber Salad:

  1. Place the thinly sliced red onion in a salad bowl with the lime juice to steep for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Halve and de-seed the cucumber, before chopping the cucumber into large bite-sized chunks.
  3. Peel and chop the pineapple into similar-sized pieces as the cucumber.
  4. Add the cucumber and pineapple to the steeped onions and toss everything to combine.
  5. Season with sea salt just before serving.

Kitchen Notes

To prepare the chicken ahead of time, simply place the slashed chicken pieces into a large zip-lock freezer bag and add the marinade. Close the bag and make sure the chicken pieces are well-coated. For extra reassurance against leaks and stinky spills in the fridge, I would double-bag the chicken before putting it into the fridge, where it can be kept for 1 to 2 days. Before you cook the chicken, bring it to room temperature first by leaving the unopened bag on the kitchen counter for 20-30 minutes.

If you do not have a food processor, simply grate the garlic and ginger into a bowl, and stir through the rest of the marinade ingredients.

This recipe also works great with chicken wings. Depending on the size of the chicken wings, they may need less baking time.

Recipe adapted from Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook by Rachel Khoo

All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.

To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.


  • Serving Size: Nutritional info per serving of chicken
  • Calories: 912
  • Sugar: 11.2g
  • Sodium: 771mg
  • Fat: 79.6g
  • Carbohydrates: 14.9g
  • Fiber: 0.2g
  • Protein: 33.9g
  • Cholesterol: 253.8mg

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment below and share your photos by tagging @eatlittlebird on Instagram and using #eatlittlebird



This recipe was first published on 22 June 2015. It has been updated with more comprehensive recipe notes.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. mimi 22 June 2015

    Wow! What fabulous looking chicken!!! And I do love fish sauce. Pretty pictures. What exactly is runny honey?

    • Eat, Little Bird 22 June 2015

      Thanks, mimi! There are different types of honey and some are better suited to cooking. Generally, runny honey is better for marinades like this one. You can also buy thick honey – the texture is such that you have to use a spoon to scoop it out. Runny honey, on the other hand, has a pouring consistency. Hope this helps!

  2. I love a great recipe where you don’t need to marinade it over night as most of the time I am never that organised! Thanks for sharing 🙂 I haven’t go my hands on a copy of Rachel Khoo’s new book yet but this looks delicious so might have to give it a go. Maybe with chicken wings in the mix too? My bf LOVES chicken wings so anything to spruce them up is a bonus!
    Also do the pickled chilli’s keep their heat?

    • Eat, Little Bird 23 June 2015

      Ooh yes, chicken wings would be great in this marinade! Basically, any chicken pieces would work, but I find drumsticks and thighs to be quick and easiest to prepare. Plus, my toddler can eat the drumsticks with his hands 🙂

      The pickled chillies lose a bit of their heat over time, maybe after 2 or 3 months, but they are still very good. So if you like your chillies very spicy, I probably wouldn’t pickle too many in advance.

  3. Rushi 26 June 2015

    My mom used to make a variation of this salad, she’d sometimes add some tomatoes.. Your post brought back many memories. I’m more of a chicken breast gal whereas hubby loves the thighs and wings. I like the sound of this recipe because it doesn’t take too much time and I don’t seem to have much time with bubs running about..

    • Eat, Little Bird 2 July 2015

      I like the sound of tomatoes in this salad. I suppose you could add whatever you like. I also prefer the chicken breast most of the time, which works out well because chicken thigh is supposed to be higher in iron, so I tend to feed thigh meat to my son 😉 But I like drumsticks because you can get a good ratio of crispy skin to meat. Plus, my little one can eat with his hands!

  4. Sahm 2 July 2015

    I made this tonight for a girlfriend. We had a midweek dinner. The chicken and salad was so easy to make and tasted fab! Pt hanks for the inspiration. I just love your website.

  5. Julia 10 July 2015

    Thanks for both recipes. They were super easy to prepare and just delicious. Great for a weekday dinner 🙂

  6. Sandrine 22 September 2015

    I made this recipe for a monday night dinner when we had friends over for a midweek dinner. It was flavorful and easy. Our guests asked for the recipe. Thanks for posting this great recipe! I really love the food photos your have posted in your blog.

    • Eat, Little Bird 23 September 2015

      Hi Sandrine, I’m so glad to hear that you and your friends enjoyed this recipe! It’s always a good sign when guests ask you for the recipe 🙂 I hope you will enjoy other recipes on this blog.

  7. Carol Thompson 6 October 2016

    I saw Rachel Khoo cook this on TV the other night and searched for the recipe (which is how I ended up at Eat,little bird). Made it yesterday and ….yummo! Easy and a success. So not only a new recipe, a very interesting blog.Thank you!

    • Eat, Little Bird 6 October 2016

      So glad you enjoyed this recipe (and that you found my blog!) 🙂 It’s one of my go-to recipes for during the week when I’m a bit short on time, and it’s always a hit with the family. I hope you will enjoy some other recipes here too!

  8. Madeleine 24 March 2018

    My family really enjoyed this recipe! Was very easy and quick to prepare. Thank you!

  9. Julia 13 April 2018

    Oh, I love chicken! Your recipe is a great idea for me. Looks very TASTY! YUM!

  10. Hafijur 1 March 2023

    The recipe for honey soy chicken with pineapple cucumber salad is perfect for those who want to prepare a delicious and quick meal on a busy weeknight. I like that the chicken doesn’t require marinating beforehand, and the refreshing salad is the perfect accompaniment with its tangy pineapple and crunchy cucumber. The recipe is easy to follow and can be customized to suit your taste preferences.