Huli Huli chicken is traditionally cooked on a spit over a fire. Huli is Hawaiian for turn; this staple got its name when onlookers would shout "HULI!" when it was time to rotate the chickens. Fun and super easy, this recipe will quickly become a backyard grilling favorite.

Huli Huli Hawaiian Chicken

Yields – 4 servings

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  • 4 boneless and skinless chicken thighs
  • 1-2 cups pineapple, fresh, trimmed and de-cored, cut in large strips


  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup honey
  • 4 Tbsp pineapple juice
  • 2 Tbsp ginger root
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Cilantro leaves
  • Sesame seeds (black & white mixed)
  • Scallions, sliced
  • Crispy bacon, chopped

For the Honolulu Style Fried Rice You’ll Need

  • 5 cups brown rice (cooked day before)
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp ginger, minced
  • ½ cup bean sprouts
  • ¼ cup celery, sliced
  • ¼ cup onion, yellow, diced
  • 1 cup bacon, chopped
  • ¼ cup carrots, shredded
  • ¼ cup bok choy cabbage
  • ¼ cup scallions
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 2-3 Tbsp mirin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method of Preparation

Day 1: For Huli Huli Sauce

  1. Mix all ingredients. Season to taste.
  2. With half of the huli huli sauce, marinate raw chicken overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. You can also cook the brown rice this day to use for fried rice on day 2.

Day 2:

  1. Light charcoal grill and allow 30 minutes to pre-heat/prep coals and wood
  2. Fried rice: Heat sesame oil in a large wok or sauté pan. Add olive oil, bacon, yellow onion and sauté for 5 minutes.
  3. Add rest of vegetables to the pan and sauté for another 3-5 minutes. Season to taste.
  4. Chicken: While waiting for vegetables to cook, add chicken to the grill. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  5. Add rice to fried rice pan and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Add mirin, soy sauce, 1 Tbsp sesame oil. Season to taste
  7. Rice should be done at this point. Remove from heat and reserve on the side.
  8. Add pineapple strips to grill and grill on both sides until hot and lightly charred.
  9. Chicken should be done around this point. Remove from grill once fully cooked.
  10. To assemble plate, spoon brown rice on the bottom of the plate, slice chicken and place on top, drizzle the other half of the huli huli sauce on chicken and rice, and garnish with pineapple and other optional ingredients from garnish list.
  11. Enjoy!

Chef Notes

  1. One-day old cooked rice is perfect for fried rice.
  2. For gluten-free, omit hoisin sauce and use gluten free soy sauce.
  3. For soy free, omit soy sauce and use coconut aminos.

Bon appétit!

Chef Kyle Williams

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