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Chicken in Ginger and Soy Sauce

How to turn chicken, ginger, scallions, garlic, soy sauce, and kecap manis into Grandma's delicious Chinese chicken in ginger and soy sauce.

This is my Grandmother’s version of chicken in ginger and soy sauce. This is the dish she made for us when we were still snotty little kids and stubbornly picky with our food. But she knew how to win our hearts, or at least which dish she needed to prepare to get me and my brothers to sit on the dining table and eat properly and not giving her more headache. And this is one such dish.

Ingredients for Chicken in Ginger and Soy Sauce
Ingredients for Chicken in Ginger and Soy Sauce

What you need to prepare chicken in ginger and soy sauce

There are not many ingredients needed to prepare this dish, and from the title, one can surmise that chicken, ginger, and soy sauce are involved. To be exact, you will need the following:

  • 1 chicken, chopped into 8 pieces, or just use 8 drumsticks
  • 4 inch fresh ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch cilantro, about 1 cup full
  • 3 scallions
  • 2 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
  • salt and sugar, to taste
Chicken in Ginger and Soy Sauce
Chicken in Ginger and Soy Sauce

How to prepare chicken in ginger and soy sauce

This is one of the very first recipes I learn, and it didn’t turn out bad all those years ago, or perhaps I was simply very very hungry. But in any case, this recipe is quite simple.

  • First, fry the ginger, garlic, scallions, and cilantro.
  • Next, add the chicken and cook until no longer pink.
  • Follow this with the two soy sauce, sugar, water, and let it boils.
  • Simmer until the sauce is quite reduced and the chicken is fully cooked and tender. Done!
Chicken in Ginger and Soy Sauce
Chicken in Ginger and Soy Sauce

Chicken in Ginger and Soy Sauce

5.0 from 6 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins

Total Time: 45 mins

Serves: 4

Print Recipe


  • 1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces, or use 8 drumsticks
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 4 inches ginger, peeled and cut into match sticks
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 scallion, chopped (reserve some for garnish)
  • 1 bunch (~ 1 cup) cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste


  1. Heat oil in a skillet and stir fry ginger, garlic, scallion, and cilantro until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add chicken pieces and stir fry until no longer pink.
  3. Add kecap manis, light soy sauce, sugar, and water and mix well.
  4. Bring to a boil, then cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the lid and cook until liquid is reduced by half.
  6. Add salt if needed, transfer to a serving plate, garnish with some chopped scallion, and serve with steamed white rice.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • Sean Sean says:

    Hi Anita,is the sweet soy sauce the Indonesian sweet soy sauce "kecap manis"? Cheers.

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Sean, yup it is the Indonesian kecap manis :)

  • Henry Sim Henry Sim says:

    Hi Anita, is there a different between Indonesian kecap manis and the Chinese Sweet Soy Sauce. Can the Chinese one be used? Thanks.

    • Anita Anita says:

      As far as I know, the sweetness of Chinese sweet soy sauce is from molasses/sugar, while Indonesian kecap manis is from palm sugar, so there will definitely be different in taste, but they are both sweet and made from soy. I guess if you really cannot find Indonesian kecap manis, Chinese sweet soy sauce may be a good substitute.

  • Sandra Sandra says:

    Thanks for this recipe. Am about to try it. When you say Cilantro, do you mean the leaves or the root or both?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Sandra, I usually use both leaves and stalks (roots?).

  • Emily Emily says:

    Give me all the ginger! This chicken recipe looks amazing, a perfect weeknight meal!

  • Pam Greer Pam Greer says:

    Oh, I love how easy this is and all the flavors! I can see why you loved it when you were little and still love it today!

  • Kelly Anthony Kelly Anthony says:

    Your pictures really highlight your food. I love a good ginger and soy sauce chicken so thank you for sharing.

  • Cookilicious Cookilicious says:

    That sounds like a super delicious dinner idea for weeknights!

  • Heidy McCallum Heidy McCallum says:

    Good morning, I loved this recipe so much I came back to rate it. Our family loved it! Definitely making this again! Have a wonderful day.

  • Sita Sita says:

    Hi Anita, I just made this and it is so yummy. I subbed Hoisin sauce for ketchap manis and made extra sauce as I like it saucy. This is definitely a keeper for native singaporeans like me who live in the U.S. and can no longer tolerate spicy Asian food. Thank you for sharing this recipe! Looking forward to try some of your other recipes.

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