How to Cook Shoyu Chicken

By Sarah Sandori

Last year, my husband and I took a dream vacation to Hawaii. We got to tour most of the islands and saw all sides of Hawaii, from Honolulu and the glitzy beach resorts to little towns well off the main tourist track.

Everywhere we went, we could count on finding an ubiquitous dish called shoyu chicken. Sometimes it came served with exotic garnishes, usually in the fancier restaurants, and sometimes it came straight out of the cooker and served on paper plates from some roadside stand, but it was always delicious.

When we got home, I knew I had to try cooking some shoyu in my own kitchen.

There must be thousands of different recipes for this dish. The differences are mainly in the ingredients for the sauce, but even the chicken itself can be cooked any way you like, from boiling in a pot to baking in the oven to grilling on the barbecue.

No matter the recipe, one ingredient you’ll always find is soy sauce. That’s because that’s what shoyu means–soy sauce. If you want, you can just call this dish soy sauce chicken. But I prefer to use the word “shoyu” in tribute to its native home in Hawaii.

If you would like to cook shoyu chicken, why not go all the way and make it the food centerpiece of a Hawaiian-themed party? Break out the leis, put on some ukulele or Don Ho music, and have some tropical fun.

This shoyu chicken recipe serves 12 people. If you want to make it just for your family instead of for a party, cut back the recipe portions accordingly.


12 pounds of chicken thighs

3 cups brown sugar

4 cups soy sauce

4 cans chicken broth

1/2 cup white wine

6 cups pineapple juice

1 cup vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

chopped green onion tops

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons ground ginger

2 cans pineapple rings


1. Wash and drain the chicken thighs.

2. Combine the sauce ingredients (everything listed above except the pineapple rings).

3. Combine the chicken and the sauce in a large pot. Bring to a boil, cooking 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender.

4. Place chicken thighs on serving platter; decorate with pineapple rings and serve.

Sarah Sandori is the food and entertaining columnist for the Solid Gold Info Writers Consortium. Have you ever wanted to be able to exactly duplicate a favorite dish from a favorite restaurant? Check out Sarah’s article where she reveals her source for the most mouth-watering secret restaurant recipes in America:

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