There is a little hole-in-the-wall cafe here in town the serves the BEST Hawaiian plate lunch you can get short of flying to Hawaii. The ribs are probably their claim to fame, but I’m a sucker for their shoyu chicken and macaroni salad. It’s been a while in the making, but I think the recipe I’ve come up with makes for a stinkin’ good substitute when I have a hankering for big plate of sweet meat, rice, and mac– which happens at least twice a week. Today I’m going to focus on the chicken and will share the macaroni salad recipe soon, promise!
Hawaiian Shoyu chicken is one of the simplest things to make. Seriously. Yet somehow the few, simple ingredients turn into deep flavors, tender meat and an all-around unforgettable meal. Shoyu is just another name for soy sauce, so as you might guess, we’re using a lot of soy sauce here. Other ingredients include Worcestershire sauce, ginger, garlic, sugar, water, and a little red pepper.
You’ll need about 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I know I’ll have someone ask if they can use breasts, and the answer it yes, yes you CAN. But try it once with chicken thighs just for me, please? The thighs have so much flavor and really make this shoyu chicken what it’s supposed to be. This recipe can be made on the stove-top or in a slow cooker. Directions for both will be in the recipe below.
You’ll make the sauce by combining all of the ingredients except for the chicken, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
Pour the sauce over the chicken in either a pot or slow cooker and give it a little stir.
You’ll end up with something that looks like this:
And then let it cook. That’s it! Once the chicken is nice and tender, I like to shred it up and stir it back into the cooking juices to absorb more flavor before serving. My favorite way of eating it is with lots of rice and a little concoction our local cafe serves with all of its meats: “Da Sauce” (recipe below).
- 3 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1½ C soy sauce
- 1½ C water
- 1½ C sugar
- 1½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 in piece fresh ginger, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ C soy sauce
- ¼ C water
- ¼ C + 2 tbsp sugar
- Place chicken in a large pot on the stove top or in a slow-cooker.
- Combine remaining ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour over chicken and stir until all chicken is immersed in sauce.
- Bring to a low boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Let cook for about 1 hour at a low simmer until the chicken is tender.
- Cook on LOW for up to 8 hours or HIGH for 4.
- Remove chicken from cooking liquid, shred and return to pan to soak up some more flavor. Serve over steamed rice with the sauce below.
- Combine and stir all ingredients until the sugar is dissolved.