Shoyu chicken is Hawaiian style teriyaki. This sweet and savory chicken is slow-cooked in an aromatic broth made with shoyu, ginger, garlic, sesame, and brown sugar. The result is fall-off-the-bone tender and super flavorful chicken.
I learned to make this shoyu chicken recipe in my home economics glass in middle school when I lived on Oahu. I still remember loving this class so much, and I've never forgotten how this shoyu chicken tasted. It's still one of my go-to recipes.
Hawaiian Shoyu chicken is easy and economical, as many Hawaiian recipes are.
Let's get started!
What You'll Need
- Chicken Thighs - Traditionally, shoyu chicken is made with bone-in skin-on chicken thighs. However, I usually opt for skinless, bone-in thighs. It's totally up to you. You can also use chicken breasts, if you prefer.
- Shoyu sauce - You can use soy sauce if you don't have shoyu on hand.
- Mirin - Mirin is a sweet rice wine. You can find this in the Asian section of the grocery store.
- Sesame oil - Toasted sesame oil.
- Brown sugar - Adjust the sweetness to your taste.
- Ginger - Use fresh peeled ginger root.
- Garlic - Use fresh garlic cloves.
- Water- to thin the shoyu broth.
Shoyu vs. Soy Sauce What's the Difference?
Shoyu and Soy Sauce are very similar. But, if you're curious about the difference.
Shoyu is a Japanese-style soy sauce. It's made with fermented soybeans, wheat, and salt. The addition of wheat contributes a slightly sweet flavor and softens the saltiness. Shoyu has a more sophisticated flavor profile than its cousin, soy sauce.
Soy sauce is a Chinese-style soy sauce, it's made with hydrolyzed soybeans. This chemical process speeds up the production process. The soy mixture is then fermented for a minimum of 3 weeks. However, many soy sauces are fermented for years.
How To Make Shoyu Chicken
- Remove any excess fat from the chicken thighs.
- Combine all of the ingredients for the shoyu broth in a saucepan.
- Add the chicken to the saucepan and bring the shoyu broth to a boil over medium high heat.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the chicken. Simmer for 40-45 minutes.
- Remove the lid and bring the sauce to a slow boil one more time. Allow the shoyu broth to reduce slightly. The chicken should be dark in color.
- Remove chicken from the shoyu broth. You can continue to reduce the sauce and then serve it over the chicken and on top of rice.
What To Serve with Shoyu Chicken
These tasty Hawaiian chicken thighs are super tasty and perfect for dinner. Pair them with a few traditional Hawaiian side dishes and you have a tasty Island style dinner.
More Hawaiian Recipes To Try
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- 8 chicken thighs bone in skin on, or skinless, or boneless skinless
- Trim the excess fat off of the chicken thighs.8 chicken thighs
- Combine all of the ingredients for the shoyu broth in a saucepan.½ cup shoyu, ½ cup mirin, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, ¼ cup brown sugar, 4 to 5 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, 1 cup water
- Add the chicken to the saucepan and bring the shoyu broth to a boil.8 chicken thighs
- Reduce the heat and cover the chicken. Simmer for 40 minutes.
- Remove the lid and bring the sauce to a boil one more time. Allow the shoyu broth to reduce slightly. The chicken should be dark in color.
Laura's Tips + Notes
- You can use chicken breasts in this recipe if you prefer.
- Traditional shoyu chicken is made with bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs.
- Soy sauce can be used in place of shoyu.
- Serve with rice and buttered corn.