Huli Huli Sauce is a sweet and savory Hawaiian teriyaki barbecue sauce that adds wonderful flavor to chicken or ribs.
Huli Huli chicken is a popular dish in Hawaii. The word huli in Hawaiian means to turn. This famous Hawaiian barbequed chicken is traditionally marinated and then grilled over a fire on a rotisserie or spit.
You might be wondering what does huli huli sauce taste like? The flavor is intensely sweet and savory with a hint of spiciness. Pineapple juice and brown sugar are paired with sweet Hawaiian onions, garlic, and shoyu. The result is best described as a teriyaki barbeque sauce.
What's in Huli Huli Sauce?
- pineapple juice
- pineapple chunks
- soy sauce or shoyu
- brown sugar
- rice vinegar or sherry vinegar
- fresh ginger grated
- garlic minced
- sesame oil
- sriracha optional
How to Use
After blending the ingredients to a smooth consistency, the Huli Huli sauce recipe does double duty as a marinade and basting sauce.
Start by using half of the sauce to marinate chicken or pork ribs, and then use the remaining marinade as a basting sauce during grilling.
Marinating the meat overnight is best, then grill chicken on an indirect fire or rotisserie.
How to Make Authentic Huli Huli Chicken
Traditionally huli huli chicken was made by roasting whole fryer chickens that had been marinated over a wood fire on a spit. The chickens were turned rotisserie style.
This marinade recipe can also be used to marinate chicken pieces or even pork ribs.
The Best Huli Huli Chicken on Maui
While Hawaiian huli huli chicken is world famous, most Hawaiian bbq places also have huli huli ribs. The sweet and savory sauce adds mega flavor to either one.
I love to try out all the food places when I'm in Maui, and hands down, the best Hawaiian barbecue on Maui is at Braddah Huts Barbecue in Hana. It's completely worth the drive if you're going to be on the Island.
Huli Huli Chicken, also in Hana, at Koki Beach Park, is also worth mentioning. They have no website. You'll find them grilling over a wood fire at the beach park. Bring cash and a hearty appetite.
What to serve with Huli Huli Chicken or Ribs
Hungry for more Hawaiian Recipes?
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Huli Huli Sauce Recipe
- Blend: Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.1 cup pineapple juice, 1 cup pineapple chunks, ½ cup soy sauce, ½ cup brown sugar, ½ cup ketchup, ¼ cup rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, 4 cloves garlic, ½ teaspoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon sriracha
- Marinate: Use one half of the sauce to marinate either chicken or ribs. Marinate overnight or at least a minimum of 4 hours.
- Reduce: Add the rest of the sauce to a saucepan and simmer on low until it is the consistency of a barbecue sauce. Use this extra sauce to baste the meat during cooking.
- Grill: set up you grill for indirect heat.
- Huli Huli Ribs: Grill @ 250°F for 4 hours. Baste the ribs with huli huli sauce periodically. Ribs should be 225°F to make sure that they are fall off the bone tender. Use a probe thermometer to check the internal temperature.
- Huli Huli Chicken: Cut a whole chicken into fryer pieces and marinate it. Grill on indirect heat until the internal temperature reached 165°F. Baste the chicken periodically with extra huli huli sauce.
Laura's Tips + Notes
- Nutrtion info is calculated for the huli huli sauce only.