Barbecue Chicken off the Grill (Huli Huli Chicken - Hawaii)

RECIPE: Hawaiian Huli Huli Chicken

With spring finally upon us, no doubt many North Americans are thinking ahead to the warm summer days to come and all the activities on offer. One such activity is barbecuing. Can’t wait till summer? Why not bring out the grill now and say Aloha! to the smells and tastes of the season with Huli Huli Chicken. This dish from Hawaii offers a twist to regular barbecue chicken, blending complimentary ingredients to offer a sweet and tangy flavour.

This quick and easy Hawaiian Huli Huli Chicken recipe goes with any side dish, and in keeping with a “tropical” theme, would pair perfectly with pineapple salsa.

Iconic shot of Waikiki and Leahi, Oahu, Hawaii
Iconic shot of Waikiki and Leahi on the island of Oahu, Hawaii

Serving: 10-12


  • 4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger root
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Green onions or cilantro for garnish


  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together pineapple juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, chicken broth, ginger, and garlic. Keep aside 1 cup of sauce for basting.
  • Put chicken thighs in a large freezer bag, and then add the sauce. Let the mixture marinate at least 3 hours or overnight.
  • On a barbecue, grill chicken, covered, over medium heat for 6-8 minutes on each side or until no longer pink. Baste occasionally with reserved marinade during the last 5 minutes.
  • Garnish with sliced green onions or coarsely chopped cilantro, if desired. Or, garnish with a spoon of Pineapple Salsa (recipe below).

Pineapple Salsa (makes 2-1/2 cups):

  • 1-1/2 cups chopped fresh pineapple or canned pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet pepper, any colour
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons squeezed lime juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Dash of chili powder, to taste (spicy optional)

Mix all the above ingredients together and let stand for 30 minutes before serving. Refrigerate in an air-tight glass container for up to 3 days.

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Tara Sorab
Tara Sorab

Contributing Editor - For over 25 years, Tara has travelled to various places around the globe, including numerous countries in Europe and Asia. Some of the most memorable and favourite trips have been to Egypt, Italy, Thailand, Vietnam, and China. Istanbul, Turkey still sits at the very top of Tara’s bucket list, and her heartstrings always tug for anything along the Mediterranean – where she has a special love for Italy’s Amalfi Coast.

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