This Huli Huli Chicken is delicious and tastes just like your favorite Hawaiian version. Pineapple juice, soy sauce and ginger make a flavorful pulled chicken the family will scarf down. Usually Huli Huli Chicken is cooked on a grill but this recipe uses a stove – no grilling required!
Jon and I both went to OSU in Corvallis, OR and have many great memories of eating at Local Boyz Hawaiian Cafe on campus. It is an icon and the food really is wonderful. Now that we live in Idaho I make my own version of our favorite dishes at home. Huli Huli Chicken is served at Local Boyz under the name Sweet Shoyu Chicken and it is a really easy dinner to make at home. Bonus it is kid friendly!
What is Huli Huli Chicken?
Huli Huli Chicken is a popular Hawaiian chicken recipe you would find on Maui and other HI Islands. It is usually served as part of an Hawaiian Style Plate Lunch.
Huli Huli Chicken and Shoyu chicken are both versions of Hawaiian chicken that have sweet hints of brown sugar and pineapple with Asian undertones of ginger and soy sauce. The chicken is succulent and surprisingly easy to prepare!
How To Make Huli Huli Chicken
Traditionally Huli Huli Chicken is made by grilling marinated chicken thighs outside. I love to grill but sometimes we all need an indoor cooking option that makes life a little simpler. My huli huli chicken recipe is made on the stove.
The process is really simple:
- Brown the chicken
- Add everything else
- Simmer until tender
What to Serve With Huli Huli Chicken
- Hawaiian Macaroni Salad – they creamy, flavorful salad is the perfect pair to the ginger / soy sauce flavor of the chicken! This is an authentic version of the Local Boyz Mac Salad and it gets RAVE reviews.
- “Da Sauce” – Local Boyz fans will love this easy copycat sauce just like the restaurant! It is great on the Mac Salad and the Huli Huli Chicken
- Steamed White Rice – the classic you would expect under a steaming pile of huli huli chicken. Get this rice maker to make rice an easy side dish!
- Seamed Broccoli or other steamed veggies – a nice vegetable side dish rounds out the plate and gives it a pop of color
- Tempura Shrimp – We love making a few tempura shrimp to round out the plate
- Sweet Chili Sauce or Sriracha – if you like a little more spice plan on some zesty condiments!
Hawaiian Shoyu or Huli Huli Chicken (Local Boyz Copycat)
- 1 Tbsp. canola oil
- 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
- 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 cups pineapple juice
- 1 cup low sodium soy sauce (regular sodium will be WAY salty!)
- 1 large onion cut in half and sliced
- 1/3 cup fresh ginger peeled and grated
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. granulated garlic
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper coursely ground
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes optional
- In a large dutch oven or other heavy bottom pot, heat canola and sesame oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the chicken to the oil. Cook 1-2 minutes until there is a nice golden brown crust and then flip to the other side. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes until the 2nd side is golden.
- Add the pineapple juice and low sodium soy sauce and bring the mixture to a simmer while you add everything else.
- Peel onion, slice it in half and thinly slice both halves. Add to the pot.
- Peel the ginger and grate it using a microplane or other grater. (Alternately using refrigerated ginger in a tube works well!) Add the ginger to the pot.
- Add the brown sugar, granulated garlic, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir. Turn the heat down to medium to maintain a simmer. Cook uncovered for 30-45 minutes until the meat can be shredded easily into chunks with a fork.
- Use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove the meat from the juices and shred with two forks. Return to the sauce and serve with tongs or slotted spoon.
- Serve the chicken with any or all of the following: rice, mac salad, broccoli, soy sauce, Yoshida Gourmet Sauce, sweet chili sauce or fresh pineapple slices.
MirlandrasKitchen.com is written to share great recipes. While we do our best to provide nutritional information as a general guideline, we are not registered dietitians and the values provided here should be considered estimates – not exact scientific data.
This recipe was originally posted in December of 2014. I’ve updated it with new photos and content in May of 2020. This was one of the original images for the post!