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Jun 5, 2011 12:02 PM

Huli Huli Chicken Recipe

I'm looking for a good recipe for Huli Huli chicken...also, best way to grill it? Directly on grill or rotisseried?

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  1. I thought I was the only one interested in Huli Huli Chicken around here. In the past I have purchased this Huli Huli Chicken marinade and put it on and then rotisseried it. I have also used a recipe that made the marinade for it as well. I have to find my recipes to let you know the recipe version of it. You can do both rotisserie it or direct grill it but I prefer the rotisserie version of it. Much better in my opinion. If you don't have access to a rotisserie then of course you have no choice but to do a direct grill. Beer can chicken method works for it too. I'd go with the beer can method over the direct grill.

    Here is the sauce that I bought for marinading it -

    Just found online a marinade recipe that you can use. I might have used this one but not certain off hand -

    8 Replies
    1. re: HoundDogz

      Thanks for your help HoundDogz. I read an areticle on Huli Huli vendors in Hawaii and my friends who have traveled there talked about how good it was so I wanted to take a stab at making it at home. I do have a rotisserie so I 'll cook it that way.

      1. re: dragonchowmein

        Just printed out the recipe, I am going to give it a try. LOOKS GREAT!!!

        1. re: dragonchowmein

          Glad to be able to help. Is your rotisserie the kind in the gas barbeque, a stand alone like a Ronco type, or is it on a charcoal bbq? I'm sure all of them will turn out great chicken.

          I live in the greater Los Angeles area and not sure if you are familiar with Los Angeles but there is an area called Eagle Rock and they have a farmer's market there. Well there was an old Chinese guy there who was from Hawaii originally and he'd go there every Friday to cook Huli Huli Chicken. In Hawaii they will have these trailers that are the actual rotisseries for the chicken. They have it hitched to a truck and when they get to their destination they put the charcoal in and start the rotisserie. Well this is what the Chinese at the farmer's market did too. He also owned a restaurant in Chinatown called Hawaiian Chicken. I never went to the restaurant but the farmer's market was so good. I have not gone in some time and went and he was not there. He eventually stopped doing that and closed his restaurant as well. He was about 72 or 75ish when I used to go to the farmer's market so I figure he decided to just retire. It was so good.

          1. re: HoundDogz

            I found some videos on YouTube of Huli Huli Chicken in Hawaii. I choose to link one video that gave a great showing of how this stuff is made. I have a rotisserie attachment for my charcoal bbq and have tried making this. As you can see in the video the rotisserie spins around fast. Mine at home goes slow, the motor is not fast. It seems to work but I never could make it as good as the guy at the farmer's market though. I have not tried to make it too often so maybe if I did it more I can improve upon it.

            In Hawaii they often do Huli Huli Chicken as part of fundraisers and you see it on the side of the roads and other random places wherever they feel like setting up. It benefits schools and stuff. I have not had HHC in a long time in Hawaii so I'm not sure how the guy at the FM compared to the one in Hawaii. All I can say is his taste great. Next time I go to Hawaii I must stop at the side of the road to get some HHC.


            1. re: HoundDogz

              I have a gas grill with a rotisserie and turns pretty slow so I should be in good shape. I'm going to try it this weekend and I'll let you know how it turns out ;)

              1. re: dragonchowmein

                Gas grill with rotisserie will be perfect. Should turn out great. You could add wood chips if you want a smokey flavor to it too but it's not a necessity.

                Yes, please report back and let us know how it is, I'm really curious about this. Good luck.

                1. re: HoundDogz

                  Left LA last summer, never did go the Eagle Rock. Thank you for all of the information on the chicken. Can't wait to give it a try on a gas grill with rotisserie.

                2. re: dragonchowmein

                  Hi, how did it turn out when you made the Huli Huli Chicken?

        2. True Huli Huli chicken is just whole chicken slit in half and brine in salt water. There is no "marinades" what so ever, all the flavor comes from the smoke of the Kiawe wood when grilling (aka Mesquite is the mainland). Sometimes people will mix guava wood for a added flavor. So to start you want whole fryer chickens split in half, then you put the chicken in a container most preferably a cooler. You then add a lot of Hawaiian sea salt, ice, and water enough to submerge the chicken, brine over night. Next day start a big fire of Kiawe wood, when you have glowing embers you then grill the chicken. That is it simple and easy. Hope this helps and enjoy!

          2 Replies
          1. re: bobbykauaiboy

            Thanks for the info. I was not aware of this sort of Kiawe wood. I did some research into it after I read your post and found out a lot. Impressive wood. I smoke brisket and ribs and such, I think that the wood would be great for my purposes. I found a place online that sells it but I can't find on the site how much wood they give you with your shipment. Just the price. I have to e-mail them.

            So are you saying bobby, that there are no rotisseries involved just on the grill flat? I see them using the flatbed attached to a truck with the rotisserie but if you say that straight on the grill works then that's what I'll try.

            The guy in Eagle Rock, the old Chinese guy made great chicken. I don't think he used Kiawe wood but lump charcoal because to buy the Kiawe must cost a lot so he had to stick with the lump. I had no idea how he seasoned it but I tend to think he did the brine method you mention because I didn't taste garlic or ginger or anything. Regardless of lack of other spices it just taste great. I suppose if he had the Kiawe wood it would have been even better.


            1. re: HoundDogz

              I did make the Huli Huli chicken this weekend Hounddog and it turned out great. I will post my recipe when I get home tonight...been a super busy week. Since my rotisserie was having technical difficulties I did grillit flat with terrific results.

              I had read about the use of Kiawe wood, Bobbie, but since Kiawe is a member of the mesquite family, and mesquite is much more available herein Tucson, I used mesquite chips and got great flavor. I also brined and just finished the chicken with a sauce.

          2. I have a gas grill. If you are using charcoal adjust these instructions to fit you cooking method.

            Huli Huli Chicken
            1 quart water
            ¼ cup pineapple juice CONCENTRATE
            ¾ cup soy sauce
            1 tablespoon ginger juice or 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
            1 chicken split in half

            Combine the water, juice, soy sauce and ginger in a bowl or cup. Clean and half the chicken. Place chicken in a large baggie inside of a bowl or pot and pour in brine. Seal the baggie and let chicken marinate for 2-6 hours turning the baggie over every couple of hours. DO NOT marinate chicken any longer than 8 hours or it will be too salty.

            ¼ cup pineapple juice CONCENTRATE
            ¼ cup dark Karo syrup or honey
            ¼ cup soy sauce
            ¼ cup ketchup
            ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
            ¼ cup dark rum
            1 teaspoon garlic powder
            1 teaspoon Asian chili paste or hot sauce
            1 teaspoon ginger juice or 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

            Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and boil, stirring often, over medium high heat until you have one cup of glaze. This should take about 10 –15 minutes.

            Remove the chicken from the brine, drain and pat dry. Discard brine.

            Turn gas grill to high. Put a couple of handfuls of mesquite chips in a foil packet, puncture packet several times with a fork and place it on the grill. As soon as the packet starts smoking turn the grill to medium ( 400 –450 degrees) and put the chicken on the grill skin side up. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.

            Turn chicken over, cover and cook skin side down for 10-15 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 170 degrees. .

            Turn the heat down to medium- low and paint one side of the chicken with glaze, flip and grill for 3-5 minutes. Paint the other side, flip and grill for 3-5 minutes. Remove from grill and serve with left over glaze.

            6 Replies
            1. re: dragonchowmein

              Thank you for the update on your huli huli and thank you for the detailed description of the process in which you make the huli huli chicken. I am going to try your method for sure. Not sure when but within the next few weeks.

              Did the chicken turn out crispy? Just curious because the one I used to get at Eagle Rock was very crispy in terms of the skin. Thank You!

              1. re: HoundDogz

                The skin was indeed crispy, but the meat was tender ...perfectcombo in my mind ;) Let me know how it turns out for you.

                1. re: dragonchowmein

                  Man oh, man ... I'm sure glad you made huli huli and posted the recipe and process in which you made it. I won't make any for a couple of weeks but when I do I'm doing it your way and posting it. Thanks!

                    1. re: dragonchowmein

                      This is more addressed to "HoundDogz" since he states he lives in Los Angeles. I checked and dragonchowmein lives in Tucson so unless he comes this way once in a while, it's probably not much use to him. I posted some time back I found a cheap bbq-ed chicken place in Lennox (in L.A. county). It's done at a hispanic market called La Playa at the intersection of Lennox/Inglewood Avenue. Info at my initial posting. The last posting by "Ogawak" says his Hawaiian born wife says the chicken tastes like huli huli chicken from the islands. If you're closeby HoundDogz you might check it out. Having never been to Hawaii, I can't vouch for how close it tastes to "the real thing." Not much english is spoken at the market, but the guy who cooks the chicken has pretty good command of the language. The nice lady at the food window....not so much, but she's nice. I believe they only cook until about 7pm (don't know the start time) Mon, Thurs., and Friday. The start earlier and stop sooner on the weekend. No bbq on Tues. and Weds.

                      1. re: Feed_me

                        Thanks for the info. I want to try it out. I will check it out.

            2. The original comment has been removed
              1. I have to agree with bobbykauaiboy. I used to actually do the fundraisers for huli huli chicken when we were in school and the chicken halves went straight out of the refrigerator box onto the wire grids which had a top and bottom. You would open the grid, place the chicken on the bottom, close the top over the chicken and whisk away to the fire pits which were hardwood keawe charcoal. We would walk around and spray the chicken with shoyu (soy sauce) from one of those weed spray type sprayers...up and down.... and sometimes we would spray the chicken with some type of wine....thats it... no other seasoning. The true flavor came from the chicken and the grill and the shoyu.