Trader Joe’s Hawaiian Huli Huli Chicken Recipe

June 27, 2021Van
Blog post

Prep time: 12 hours 5 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4

Huli Huli Chicken originated in Hawaii in 1955 when Ernest Morgado roasted a big batch of chicken for a farmer’s group.  It was marinated in his unique version of teriyaki sauce and cooked over an open charcoal pit – “huli” means turn in Hawaiian, a reference to the special rotating grills used to cook this special style of rotisserie chicken.  It was such a huge hit, it became a signature dish all over Hawaii.  This is an easy version of Huli Huli Chicken made with a few ingredients from Trader Joe’s, Island Soyaki already contains most of the ingredients needed for huli huli sauce, I just added little bit of ketchup and honey – grill the chicken on a charcoal bbq for the best flavor.

Trader Joe’s Hawaiian Huli Huli Chicken Recipe

These are so convenient and can be found in the freezer section at Trader Joe’s

Serve with Trader Joe’s Calrose Rice & Hawaiian Mac Salad (recipe here) For my plate lunch salads, I usually make a simple Sweet & Sour Dressing, whisk together ¼ Cup Vegetable Oil, 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar, 1½ Tablespoons Granulated Sugar, ¼ Teaspoon Fine Sea Salt, ⅛ Ground Black Pepper Trader Joe’s Hawaiian Huli Huli Chicken Recipe

Print Recipe

Trader Joe’s Hawaiian Huli Huli Chicken Recipe

  • Prep time: 12 hours 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Serves: 4


  • 3½-4 lbs Chicken Thighs or Legs
  • 1¼ Cups Trader Joe’s Island Soyaki or Soyaki
  • ¼ Cup Ketchup
  • ¼ Cup Honey
  • 1 Garlic Clove, pressed
  • 1 Teaspoon Fresh Ginger, grated


  • 1)

    In a bowl, combine 1¼ Cup Trader Joe’s Island Soyaki, ¼ Cup Ketchup, ¼ Cup Honey, 1 pressed Garlic Clove and 1 Teaspoon Grated Ginger. Reserve ½ Cup of the marinade for basting, cover and refrigerate until it’s time to cook the chicken. In a large bowl or tupperware container, add the chicken thighs and legs, pour in the rest of the marinade and coat all the pieces well. Cover and marinate for 12-48 hours.

  • 2)

    Pre-heat your grill to med-high heat on one side or if you’re using a charcoal grill, arrange the briquettes on one half side of the grill (no charcoal on the other side). Sear the chicken for about 2 minutes on each side, turning often so they get golden, but not charred. Move the chicken to the unlit side and cook covered until the internal temp of the chicken reaches 170°F. This took about 35 minutes for me – flip/turn the chicken pieces every 7 minutes and brush on a light coating of the reserved marinade each time you flip.

    *OVEN OPTION: Grilling on a charcoal bbq will give you the best flavor, but if that’s not possible, you can cook the chicken in an oven. You could add ½ Teaspoon of Liquid Smoke to the marinade to enhance the flavor. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper, place the chicken skin side down on the pan. Bake for 20 minutes, flip the chicken thighs so they are skin side up, baste the chicken with the reserved marinade and continue baking for another 30-40 minutes, baste every 10 minutes – the internal temp of the chicken should be 170°F or slightly above. Coat the chicken in the pan drippings before serving.

↓ Supplies to make this recipe ↓



  • Elena

    July 14, 2021 at 11:28 am

    I haven’t tried this yet, but can I just say that I LOVE that you put the amounts into the description/instructions as well! I hate when recipes say the amt in the ingredients list, then don’t mention the amount in the instructions, so you have to look back and forth, back and forth! THANK YOU for making it much easier to follow!

    1. Van

      July 14, 2021 at 2:19 pm

      I’m glad someone appreciates it! I do that simply because that’s how I’d like to read a recipe 🙂

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