Huli Huli Chicken Breast

October 19, 2021

Huli Huli Chicken Breast

The original hawaian Huli Huli recipe is a trade secret, but there are several variations you can find on the internet. They all tend to include a combination of ginger, garlic, soy sauce, ketchup, sugar, and something acidic (such as vinegar or lime juice.)
I would define it as a sort of teriyaki-style sauce: sweet and tangy, ketchup and soy based.

Huli Huli Chicken Breast

Authentic Huli Huli chicken is usually made with bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (such as thighs or a whole chicken) and is cooked on a grill filled with mesquite wood — “huli” means “turn” in Hawaian and refers to how it’s prepared: grilled between two racks and turned halfway through cooking.

Huli Huli Chicken Breast

I tried it with mundane and boring chicken breasts and it worked like a charm. Succulent, delicious, and tender.
Once, I also tried making it in the oven and it came out fantastic. The flavors were all there: intense and vibrant. Granted, it was missing the light char and aroma that grilling brings, but if you’re not feeling like firing up the grill, don’t worry you’ll get a pretty awesome Huli Huli chicken in the oven.
All in all a delicious chicken recipe that doesn’t require much effort and will definitely impress: full of flavor, sweet, tangy and so delicious!

Huli Huli Chicken Breast
Adapted from NYTCooking

Serves 4

2 chicken breast halves (about 6 oz each)
¼ cup ketchup
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup brown sugar (or honey or maple syrup)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 garlic clove, minced

Vegetable oil for brushing the grill grate or for greasing the baking pan.


In a bowl whisk together the ketchup, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, ginger, and clove.
Arrange chicken in a shallow container (or in a Ziploc bag) and pour marinade over it.
Cover (or seal) and let marinate for at least 1 hour (marinate overnight or for 8 hours for fullest flavor.)
Remove chicken from the marinade and allow it to come at room temperature.
If grilling, preheat the outdoor grill over medium-high heat and lightly oil the grill grates. Grill chicken for about 20 minutes (flipping at the 10 minute mark and basting it with the marinade) or until cooked through, no longer pink in the center, and the juices run clear (an instant thermometer should read 165°F when inserted in the center.)
If baking, preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C) and place a rack in the middle.
Place chicken breasts in a large baking dish or on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.
Bake uncovered for 15 minutes, then flip on the other side, basting it with the marinade, and bake for further 15 minutes, or until cooked through, no longer pink in the center, and the juices run clear (an instant thermometer should read 165°F when inserted in the center.)
Once cooked, let the breasts rest for five minutes before serving to allow the juices to evenly distribute throughout the meat.
Sprinkle with a bit of chopped fresh parsley and serve!

Nutrition facts

One serving yields 183 calories, 1 gram of fat, 15 grams of carbs, and 28 grams of protein.


  1. Wow - should that be a 1 inch piece of ginger? 11 inches seems like A LOT.

    1. One 1-inch piece - there's a space between 1 and 1