Grilled Huli Huli Chicken Recipe

Huli Huli Chicken

Grilled Huli Huli Chicken Recipe

Have you ever tried the irresistible huli huli chicken that tantalizes the taste buds with its sweet, smoky, and slightly charred flavors?

Originating in 1955, when a clever businessman named Ernest Morgado first grilled this delightful dish for a family gathering in Honolulu, it quickly became a staple at every Hawaiian BBQ.

The secret lies in the huli huli chicken marinade, a harmonious blend of garlic, ginger, brown sugar, and soy sauce, which is generously basted on the chicken as it chars on the grill.

My first encounter with authentic huli huli chicken recipe was at a local food festival where the Hawaiian vibes were as vivid as the flavors.

The chicken, perfectly marinated and brushed with a glaze that locked in every nuance of flavor, was nothing short of finger-licking good.

As I savored each bite, I understood why this dish was more than just food; it was a culinary celebration of culture.

The beauty of huli huli chicken extends beyond its taste. It’s a versatile dish that can easily be whipped up at home.

Whether you serve it over a bowl of sticky white rice or with a side of macaroni salad or grilled vegetables, the outcome is always delicious.

And let’s not forget the leftovers, which can turn a simple cold rice or vegetable salad into a savory meal, ensuring the Hawaiian-inspired feast continues.

The process of making Huli Huli Chicken thighs, from marinating to basting and turning it on the grill, is a true labor of love that brings family and friends together, sharing stories and creating memories around the smoky BBQ.


authentic huli huli chicken recipe

Grilled Huli Huli Chicken Recipe

Huli Huli Chicken Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic, finely minced
  • 24 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (approximately 6 pounds)


  1. Combine brown sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, chicken broth, ginger, and garlic in a small bowl. Set aside 1-1/3 cups of this mixture for basting later and keep it chilled. Split the remaining marinade evenly between two large, shallow dishes. Place 12 chicken thighs in each dish, ensuring each piece is well-coated. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight for best flavor infusion.
  2. Remove chicken from marinade; discard the used marinade.
  3. Preheat grill and lightly oil the grate. Grill chicken covered over medium heat, flipping once, for 6-8 minutes on each side, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 170°F. During the last 5 minutes of grilling, frequently baste the chicken with the reserved marinade to enhance the flavor and keep it moist.

huli huli chicken thighs

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