Huli Huli Chicken Recipe: Delicious Hawaiian Grilled Chicken| dinnervia
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Huli Huli Chicken Recipe Introduction

Huli huli chicken is a popular Hawaiian dish made with grilled chicken that has been marinated in a sweet and savory sauce. The term “huli huli” means “turn turn” in Hawaiian, which refers to the process of flipping the chicken on the grill to ensure that it cooks evenly on both sides.

The marinade for huli huli chicken typically consists of a combination of soy sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, ginger, garlic, and pineapple juice, which gives the dish its signature sweet and tangy flavor. The chicken is marinated for several hours to allow the flavors to permeate the meat before it is grilled to perfection.

Huli huli chicken is often served as a main dish with rice, macaroni salad, and grilled vegetables. It is a perfect dish for a backyard barbecue or a casual weeknight dinner, and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser for any occasion.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together soy sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, pineapple juice, vegetable oil,

Huli Huli Chicken Recipe Overview:

Huli Huli Chicken is a mouthwatering Hawaiian dish that captures the essence of the islands in every juicy, flavorful bite. This recipe takes you on a culinary journey to the shores of Hawaii, where the aroma of grilling chicken and the sweet, savory marinade blend together to create a tropical paradise on your plate.

The heart of this dish lies in its marination and grilling technique. The chicken is marinated in a luscious blend of pineapple juice, soy sauce, ginger, and other delightful ingredients, infusing it with a tantalizing combination of sweet and savory flavors. When grilled to perfection, the result is tender, smoky, and utterly irresistible chicken that’s sure to transport your taste buds to the Pacific.

In this recipe article, we will guide you through the process of creating your own Huli Huli Chicken masterpiece. From marinating the chicken to firing up the grill and achieving that perfect char, you’ll learn the secrets to bringing this Hawaiian classic to life in your own kitchen.

Get ready to embrace the spirit of aloha as you embark on this culinary adventure, where every bite of Huli Huli Chicken is like a mini-vacation to the Hawaiian islands. Stay tuned for the complete recipe, including a detailed list of ingredients, step-by-step instructions, serving suggestions, and even some pro tips to ensure your Huli Huli Chicken is an unforgettable island experience. Aloha and let’s get cooking!


Huli Huli Chicken Recipe Ingredients 

Sure, here are the ingredients and tools needed for making huli huli chicken:


2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup ketchup

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup pineapple juice

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons minced ginger

2 tablespoons minced garlic

Salt and pepper, to taste

Mixing bowl


Large ziplock bag



Meat thermometer (optional)

These are the basic tools and ingredients needed to make huli huli chicken. However, you may need additional tools or ingredients depending on the sides you plan to serve with the chicken. For example, if you plan to serve rice, you’ll need a rice cooker or pot to cook the rice. If you plan to serve grilled vegetables, you’ll need a grill basket or skewers to grill them.

Huli Huli Chicken Recipe instructions 

Remove the bone and skin from the chicken thighs using a sharp knife.

Cut the chicken thighs into even-sized pieces to ensure they cook evenly.

Soy Sauce:

Measure 1/2 cup of soy sauce and set it aside.


Measure 1/2 cup of ketchup and set it aside.

Brown Sugar:

Measure 1/2 cup of brown sugar and set it aside.

Pineapple Juice:

Measure 1/3 cup of pineapple juice and set it aside.

Vegetable Oil:

Measure 1/4 cup of vegetable oil and set it aside.


Peel a piece of fresh ginger using a vegetable peeler or the back of a spoon.

Mince 2 tablespoons of ginger using a sharp knife.


Peel and crush 2-3 garlic cloves using a garlic press or mince them using a sharp knife.

Salt and Pepper:

Measure the desired amount of salt and pepper and set it aside.

Once all the ingredients are prepped, you can move on to making the marinade and marinating the chicken.

Huli Huli Chicken Recipe Variations:

While the classic Huli Huli Chicken is a beloved Hawaiian dish known for its sweet and savory flavors, there are several creative variations to explore. These variations add exciting twists to the traditional recipe, allowing you to customize your Huli Huli Chicken to suit your taste preferences. Here are some delightful Huli Huli Chicken variations to consider:

  1. Huli Huli Chicken Skewers: Transform the dish into flavorful skewers by threading marinated chicken pieces onto bamboo or metal skewers. This variation is perfect for grilling enthusiasts and adds a fun element to your meal.
  2. Huli Huli Tofu: For a vegetarian or vegan twist, replace the chicken with tofu. Marinate tofu cubes in the same Huli Huli sauce and grill them until they develop a delicious smoky flavor.
  3. Spicy Huli Huli Chicken: Add some heat to your dish by incorporating spicy elements like crushed red pepper flakes, Sriracha sauce, or minced jalapeños into the marinade. This variation balances sweet and spicy flavors for an extra kick.
  4. Huli Huli Chicken Bowls: Create vibrant and healthy grain bowls by serving sliced Huli Huli Chicken on a bed of rice or quinoa. Top with fresh vegetables, avocado slices, and drizzle with extra marinade or a zesty sauce.
  5. Pineapple Huli Huli Chicken: Enhance the tropical essence of the dish by incorporating pineapple chunks or crushed pineapple into the marinade. This variation adds a burst of fruity sweetness to every bite.
  6. Huli Huli Chicken Burgers: Form the marinated chicken into burger patties and grill them to perfection. Serve on buns with lettuce, tomato, and a slice of pineapple for a Hawaiian-inspired burger experience.
  7. Huli Huli Chicken Tacos: Shred cooked Huli Huli Chicken and use it as a flavorful filling for soft tacos or tortillas. Top with shredded cabbage, fresh salsa, and a drizzle of creamy sauce for a taco night with a tropical twist.
  8. Huli Huli Chicken Salad: Slice or shred grilled Huli Huli Chicken and toss it with mixed greens, cucumber, bell peppers, and a tangy vinaigrette dressing for a refreshing and nutritious salad.
  9. Teriyaki Huli Huli Chicken: Combine the flavors of Huli Huli and teriyaki by adding teriyaki sauce to the marinade. This fusion creates a unique blend of sweet and savory notes.
  10. Huli Huli Chicken Wings: Marinate chicken wings in the Huli Huli sauce and grill or bake them for a delightful appetizer or game-day snack.

These Huli Huli Chicken variations offer endless opportunities for culinary creativity. Whether you prefer it as a classic dish or enjoy experimenting with new flavors, each variation promises a delicious and memorable dining experience. So, go ahead and explore the world of Huli Huli Chicken to find your favorite rendition of this Hawaiian classic.

Huli Huli Chicken Recipe Presentation and Serving Suggestions:

The presentation and serving of Huli Huli Chicken are as important as its delicious flavors. To capture the spirit of Hawaii and make your dining experience truly memorable, consider these presentation and serving suggestions:

1. Tropical Table Setting:

  • Set the mood by decorating your dining area with tropical-themed tableware, such as bamboo plates, tiki torches, and vibrant floral centerpieces. Create an island oasis right at your dining table.

2. Grillside Gathering:

  • If possible, grill the Huli Huli Chicken outdoors. The aroma of grilling and the open-air ambiance add to the Hawaiian experience. Use a charcoal or wood pellet grill for that authentic smoky flavor.

3. Family-Style Platter:

  • Arrange the grilled chicken pieces on a large platter, garnished with pineapple wedges and fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley. This family-style presentation encourages sharing and conversation.

4. Bamboo Skewer Service:

  • If you’ve prepared Huli Huli Chicken skewers, serve them on bamboo skewers to enhance the tropical vibe. Place a selection of dipping sauces, like extra Huli Huli sauce or a zesty pineapple salsa, on the side.

5. Fresh Fruit Sides:

  • Complement the dish with fresh tropical fruits like sliced mangoes, papaya, or kiwi. These colorful additions not only provide a refreshing contrast but also contribute to the Hawaiian theme.

6. Coconut Rice Bed:

  • Serve the Huli Huli Chicken over a bed of coconut rice to capture the essence of Hawaiian cuisine. The creamy, subtly sweet rice pairs beautifully with the savory chicken.

7. Tiki-Inspired Cocktails:

  • Accompany your meal with tiki-inspired cocktails, such as Mai Tais or Piña Coladas, served in fun, decorative glasses. Don’t forget the paper umbrellas and pineapple slices for garnish.

8. Hula Music Playlist:

  • Create a playlist of Hawaiian music or island tunes to set the mood and transport your guests to the Hawaiian shores. Traditional ukulele melodies can add a delightful touch.

9. Floral Lei Napkin Rings:

  • Fold cloth napkins into the shape of a lei and use them as napkin rings. This small detail adds a charming Hawaiian touch to your table setting.

10. Dessert Luau:

  • Complete your Hawaiian feast with a tropical dessert, such as coconut cream pie, pineapple upside-down cake, or a refreshing fruit salad.

11. Sunset Dining:

  • Time your Huli Huli Chicken dinner to coincide with a beautiful sunset. Enjoying your meal while watching the sun dip below the horizon is a truly magical experience.

By incorporating these presentation and serving suggestions, you can create an unforgettable dining experience centered around the deliciousness of Huli Huli Chicken. Whether you’re hosting a special occasion or simply enjoying a family dinner, these touches will transport you to the enchanting world of Hawaiian cuisine. Aloha and bon appétit!

Huli Huli Chicken Recipe Nutritional Information (per serving):

The following nutritional information is provided as an estimate for a standard serving of Huli Huli Chicken. Keep in mind that actual values may vary based on factors such as portion size and specific ingredients used:

  • Serving Size: 1 chicken thigh or 4-6 ounces (approximately 113-170 grams)
  • Calories: Approximately 250-350 calories per serving
  • Total Fat: About 15-25 grams
    • Saturated Fat: Approximately 4-7 grams
    • Unsaturated Fat: Approximately 9-15 grams
  • Cholesterol: Approximately 80-120 milligrams
  • Sodium: Approximately 800-1200 milligrams
  • Total Carbohydrates: About 5-10 grams
    • Dietary Fiber: Approximately 0-1 gram
    • Sugars: Approximately 3-5 grams
  • Protein: Approximately 25-30 grams
  • Vitamins and Minerals:
    • Calcium: About 2-4% of the Daily Value (DV)
    • Iron: Approximately 8-12% DV
    • Vitamin C: About 10-15% DV

Please note that these nutritional values are approximate and can vary based on factors such as the specific cut of chicken used (thighs, breasts, etc.), the marination ingredients, and the cooking method. If you have dietary restrictions or specific health concerns, it’s advisable to adjust the recipe or consult with a nutritionist to meet your dietary needs.

Huli Huli Chicken, while delicious, is typically considered a moderately high-calorie dish due to the marination and grilling process. Enjoy it in moderation as part of a balanced diet, and consider incorporating healthier sides like grilled vegetables or a fresh salad to create a well-rounded meal.

Huli Huli Chicken Recipe Conclusion:

As we bring this culinary journey to a close, the tantalizing aroma of Huli Huli Chicken still lingers in the air, and the flavors of Hawaii continue to dance on our taste buds. Crafting this iconic dish has been a delightful experience, and now, as we conclude, let’s reflect on the essence of this Hawaiian masterpiece.

Huli Huli Chicken isn’t merely a meal; it’s a celebration of flavors, a testament to the art of grilling, and a direct ticket to the sunny shores of Hawaii. Its sweet and savory marinade, coupled with the smoky char from the grill, creates a symphony of taste that’s nothing short of paradise on a plate.

This dish embodies the spirit of aloha – a warm, welcoming embrace that invites friends and family to gather, share stories, and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. It’s a reminder that in the midst of our busy lives, we can always take a moment to savor the joys of good food and great company.

Whether you’ve prepared Huli Huli Chicken for a special occasion, a backyard barbecue, or simply to satisfy a craving, it’s a culinary adventure worth embarking upon time and time again. The taste of Hawaii is now within your reach, and you can share this tropical delight with loved ones, creating moments that will be cherished forever.

So, as you savor each bite of Huli Huli Chicken, may you also savor the memories created around the table. May the flavors transport you to the shores of the Pacific, where the sun sets in brilliant hues and the breeze carries with it the promise of a new day.

As we conclude, we leave you with a parting thought: Huli Huli Chicken isn’t just a recipe; it’s a slice of paradise served on a plate. Share it, enjoy it, and let it remind you that life’s most beautiful moments are often accompanied by the deliciousness of good food and the warmth of loved ones. Aloha, and until we meet again at the table!

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