Browned with tha flavours of the island, this Hawaiian style Shoyu chicken is simmered in a sweet bath of flavor. Serve atop a pile of white rice (for a real plate lunch!), garnish with scallions, and you will have dinner ready all in an hour.
Growing up on the island of Kauai, we had a really close relationship with Shoyu. REALLL CLOSE.
*Shoyu is the Japanese word for soy sauce*
The holy triangle of Hawaiian food is shoyu>garlic>ginger. Add in some laulau, ramen, fresh poke, and a whole lotta white rice, and you have yourself a new cuisine! A lot of Hawaiian dishes manage to be packed with flavour and colour, and at the same time use only a few basic ingredients. Delicious mouth-watering recipes that are also easy and light on the shopping list? Yes, Please!
So- What is Shoyu Chicken?
Salty and sweet, Shoyu chicken is the all around favourite for Hawaii locals. Find this umami-packed chicken dish at any lunch place, served with the legendary Mac Salad and 2 huge scoops of white rice to sop up all the good flavour! The marinade is simple: soy sauce(Shoyu), sugar, water, garlic, and ginger. I always add in some chili flakes for a little heat, and garnish with slices of green onion. Some add chicken broth or mirin(Japanese sweet wine), according to family and taste, but this here is our tried and true winner.
A long time ago, I tried making homemade dog food. I was in a really serious DIY stage and around the same time also tried out Homemade Rug Cleaner, and also a Homemade Menorah from toilet paper rolls. (Miserable Failure). I’m usually up for trying anything, both in the crafts and food department, but it needs to be at the right time. Brunch is my ideal time for dilly-dallying in the kitchen, using new spices and trying out recipes. But when dinnertime rolls around, I need something good, something fast, and something I don’t have to squinch up my eyes and pray will be edible dinner.
Yes, the dog food was a one time thing. This shoyu chicken recipe on the other hand, is a good ol’classic.
A recipe that you know so well you can shout directions to your husband from the other room. A recipe that doesn’t let you down, ever. Most importantly, a recipe that can always be made with things on hand, at the spur of the moment(aka no prep) and be on the table in an hour flat.
This Hawaiian shoyu chicken recipe is just that. True to Hawaii & a real plate lunch style dish, this is best served with a side of white rice to soak up all those ono flavors.
Love Hawaiian Food? Try these favourites:
I use Kikkoman Soy Sauce that we buy in bulk and always have on hand, fresh grated ginger, and freshly crushed garlic. You can use either white or brown sugar(I like brown) -note that the sauce will be a bit sweeter with white! I also add some red pepper flakes for a little kick, with sesame seeds and sliced scallions for garnish. Looks good, tastes even better.
Get Kikkoman Soy Sauce here on Amazon(affiliate link!)
TIPS on getting the perfect Shoyu Chicken:
Skin your chicken, pleaseee! Most of the flavor soaks into the first layer and no one wants to eat non-crispy skin. Use a mix of breasts and drumsticks and make everyone happy.
If you don’t trust my timing even though you should-AN HOUR FLAT- you’ll know the chicken is ready when the meat literally starts to fall off the bone.
Be Careful with the Sauce.
Flip the chicken 20-20-10-10. That way, it cooks evenly and you have time to make sure the sauce isn’t burning. Once it simmers down it goes from perfect to burnt super fast. Also, use a timer.
Start your rice after the first 20 minute flip. That way, it’ll be done at the same time as the chicken. Dinner win!
I hope you love this One Pot Hawaiian Shoyu Chicken like we do! Remember to leave a review or a nice thought in the comment section below- I love hearing what recipes are your favourites and what is the “matzav” in your kitchen. For fun and behind-the-scenes, come and join the fam on Instagram!
Lots of love, Estee
- 3/4 Cup White or Brown sugar
- 3/4 Cup Soy sauce
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 4 Cloves Crushed garlic
- 1 Tbs. Grated ginger
- 1/2 tsp. Red pepper flakes
- Sesame seeds white/black For garnish
- Spring onions For garnish
- 6-8 Chicken breasts and thighs Skin removed
- Add sugar, soy sauce, water, garlic, ginger, and red pepper to a pot over low heat. Bring to a boil and dissolve sugar.
- Lower flame. Place chicken into pot and cover with a lid. Set timer to 20 minutes. When it goes off, flip each piece, cover, and cook another 20 minutes. Flip again and set timer for 10 minutes. Flip and cook another 10 minutes on the other side.
- Wet a small bowl or container and fill with rice. Turn upside onto your serving plate, creating a dome of rice. Arrange chicken pieces and garnish with sesame seeds. Thinly slice scallions on the diagonal and sprinkle over. Enjoy!