Hawaiian Shoyu Chicken-- so flavorful you'll forget how easy it is to make! Filled with flavors of ginger, garlic, and just a touch of red pepper, it's a meal you'll want over and over again!
There is a little hole-in-the-wall cafe where we used to live in Corvallis, Oregon that serves the best Hawaiian Shoyu Chicken 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 pretty stinkin' good substitute when I have a hankering for a big plate of sweet meat, rice, and mac-- which happens at least twice a week.
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.
What kind of chicken should I use for Hawaiian Shoyu Chicken?
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.
Tips for Making Hawaiian Shoyu Chicken:
- This recipe can be made on the stove-top or in a slow cooker. Directions for both will be in the recipe below.
- My favorite way of eating it is with lots of steamed rice, macaroni salad, fresh-cut pineapple, and a little concoction our local cafe serves with all of its meats called "Da Sauce". It's basically more soy sauce and sugar and the recipe is included in the recipe card below.
Want More Easy Chicken Recipes?
- Garlic Ranch Chicken Marinade
- Bacon Wrapped Pesto Chicken
- Sheet Pan Pesto Chicken and Veggies
- Sticky Sweet Chili Chicken
- One Pan Smothered Chicken Skillet
Tools used for Making Hawaiian Shoyu Chicken:
- Instant Pot : I use my Instant Pot as my slow cooker these days. This is the model that I have and LOVE. It’s been with me for over a year and I’ve definitely put it through the ringer, but still works like new! It’s changed the dinnertime routine at our house and helps me make meals in under an hour that used to take HOURS!
- Ninja 3-in-One Cooking System: When my Instant Pot is already in use (It makes the BEST rice) I still use my favorite slow-cooker. I've owned this slow cooker for about 6 years (when they were first introduced) and I still love it. The stovetop feature allows me to sear and cook meats before allowing them to slow cook (less dishes) and there's a bake feature as well.
Hawaiian Shoyu Chicken
- 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 ½ cups soy sauce
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 ½ cups white sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 inch piece fresh ginger chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
For Da Sauce
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
- Place chicken in a large pot on the stove top.
- 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.
To Make in a Slow Cooker:
- 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.
- To make "Da Sauce": Combine and stir all ingredients until the sugar is dissolved and serve with the chicken and rice.
To Make in an Instant Pot
- Combine the soy sauce, water, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes, ginger and garlic in the Instant Pot. Place the chicken in the sauce and spoon some sauce over the top of the chicken.
- Lock Instant Pot lid in place, making sure the venting valve is sealed.
- Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
- While chicken is cooking, combine the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
- When the cooking time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then do a quick pressure release and when the pin drops remove the lid.
- Serve the chicken and sauce over the top of steamed white rice alongside some macaroni salad.