Shoyu Chicken is a succulent, tender chicken dish with highlights of aromatic flavors. Melts in your mouth as you experience tenderly cooked chicken like never before!

Shoyu Chicken with rice and coleslaw on a white plate

This exotic Shoyu Chicken may sound complicated to make. However, I’m here to tell it’s a breeze! A Shoyu Chicken recipe Hawaii style is a bone-in chicken recipe that almost cooks itself!  Leaving the bone and skin in will create an irresistible flavor.


This dish is a Hawaiian Shoyu chicken recipe that is popular on the islands. It is similar to the Shoyu chicken recipe Sam Choy makes. This aloha shoyu chicken recipe is so famous in Hawaii, in fact, that they have a shoyu chicken rainbow drive-in where you can taste the delicate flavors straight from the source. 

What I love about this recipe is it brings Hawaii to the dinner table! Shoyu chicken, Hawaii-style. is an exciting combination of exotic flavors and spices. These generally include minced garlic, fresh ginger, soy sauce, Chinese five spice and ground paprika. In my Shoyu Chicken Hawaii dish, I like to be generous with the ginger and garlic. I find that these two flavors, when brought together, are the perfect marriage of flavors.

Another ingredient I like to use in my baked Shoyu Chicken recipe is brown sugar. This may surprise you, as this is a savory dish. However, soy sauce and brown sugar are often used together and complement each other as the chicken glaze. Brown sugar is the best type of sugar to use in this recipe – it’s thick and mixes well.

As for the seasoning, I like to spice things up a little without going overboard. That’s why I use a sprinkling of dried oregano with red pepper flakes. Of course, the dish wouldn’t be complete without some ground black pepper to taste.




Shoyu Chicken topped with green onions on a white plate


Traditionally this dish is braised on the stovetop. Braising Shoyu Chicken produces absolutely succulent meat. Just keep a close eye on how the chicken is cooking, so as not to overcook it. If it’s cooked too long, it will be dry. When the chicken is tender enough and white in the center, I take it out of the skillet and place it on a plate. 


  • Ease of Preparation-It’s mostly hands-off cooking!
  • The Chicken comes our sooo tender and succulent.
  • The subtle aromatic flavor.
  • Oh, that SAUCE! Deeelish!


I like to serve Shoyu Chicken with something fresh and tropical. Personally, I love a crisp, tasty salad that’s going to offset the intensity of the spices in this dish. Hawaii cuisine has some excellent side dishes that pair perfectly with succulent Shoyu chicken. 

If you’re like me, you’ll want a bit of carbohydrate to soak up that spicy sauce as it drips off the chicken. It’s perfect served with simply cooked white rice. And the rice is obviously quick to make so it’s a great pairing for a weeknight meal. When I’m serving this for a Sunday Supper, I love to pair it with my Authentic Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Another great side dish I often pair Shoyu chicken with is my  KFC Coleslaw Recipe. Who doesn’t love a bit of KFC, even in Hawaii?! 

Shoyu Chicken topped with green onions on a white plate

How Do You Make Shoyu Chicken in The Crockpot:

Crockpot Shoyu Chicken is a great option! Shoyu chicken slow cooker style is my favorite way to go if I’ve got a busy day – and the family loves it, too.

Crockpot Instructions:

  • Place the chicken in crockpot.
  • Combine sauce ingredients and pour over the chicken.
  • Cooking on a low setting,  6-8 hours., or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken to a plate, and set aside.
  • Pour the sauce, from the crockpot, into a saucepan and turn the heat to medium.
  • In a small bowl, make the cornstarch slurry by whisking the cornstarch into the water until smooth. Slowly add it to the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until the sauce has thickened.
  • Pour sauce over chicken and serve.

How Do You Make Shoyu Chicken in The Oven 

Cooking Shoyu Chicken in the oven can work as well. Here are instructions if that’s your preferred method.

Oven Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place chicken skin side down in a Dutch Oven.
  • Combine sauce ingredients and pour over the chicken.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, turning chicken skin side up halfway through cooking time, or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Transfer the Dutch oven to the stovetop. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, make the cornstarch slurry by whisking the cornstarch into the water until smooth. Slowly add it to the Dutch oven and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until the sauce has thickened.
  • Pour sauce over chicken and serve.

Shoyu Chicken with rice and coleslaw on a white plate


Get Ready –I like to assemble all my ingredients first so that when I mix them, they combine to form a lovely sauce all ready to pour over my chicken thighs. I measure out a cup’s worth of soy sauce, water, and brown sugar.

Garlic- In this recipe, the garlic works best when it is minced. I break away the shell of the garlic with the flat surface of a sharp knife – this makes it easy to peel. I find that serrated blades don’t do too well with garlic – I prefer a nice big straight-edged knife.

Ginger- Peeling ginger can be a chore – unless you know how to do it correctly. Experts say that you can peel ginger with a spoon. Because the skin of the ginger is so delicate, using a blunt edge like that on a spoon will do the job better than a vegetable peeler. The peeler will take too much of the ginger with it. I love this kitchen hack!

Soy Sauce- The right type of soy sauce assures the authenticity. I like to use Hawaiian Soy Sauce with this dish. Shoyu soy sauce is popular in Hawaii and has a sweeter, less harsh flavor.  I try to avoid commercial brands like Kikkoman in this recipe. While it’s a good option that’s widely available, I find that it can be too salty. They do, however, have a low salt version you can try if you want to use it in this recipe.

Chinese 5 Spice-  is an optional spice in this dish that I’ve included.  As the name suggests, Chinese 5 spice is a blend of five different spices (cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise, and Szechwan peppercorns). It’s used a lot in Asian and Arabic cooking. The truth is, not everybody loves this spice, so you don’t have to include it if you don’t want to. The Shoyu chicken will still be tasty without it! 

Skin On-  Traditionally, Shoyu chicken is made with bone in, skin on chicken thighs. Both of these helps the chicken to maintain moisture and results in tender, succulent meat that will melt in your mouth. I personally don’t like to use any other part of the chicken, but of course, you can! If you do choose to make Shoyu chicken with chicken breasts, I’d stick with bone in, skin on breasts. Remember to keep a close eye on the chicken while it’s cooking. Breast tends to cook faster, so don’t overcook it.

Oh, That Sauce!- Key to this recipe is the thickness of the sauce. A thick sauce complements the tenderness of the chicken well – it seeps through the meat without being soupy. To thicken the sauce, I add a tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with water to the sauce in the skillet and slowly stir it until it has reached the desired thickness.



Shoyu Chicken with rice and coleslaw on a white plate
4.25 from 12 votes

Easy Shoyu Chicken

Shoyu Chicken is a succulent, tender dish that highlights aromatic flavors like ginger and paprika. This chicken will fall off the bone and melt in your mouth as you experience tenderly cooked chicken like never before!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 People
Calories 755 kcal
Author Kathleen


  • 1 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger Root, Grated
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Paprika
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice
  • 5 Pounds Chicken Thighs Bone-In, Skin On
  • 2 Tablespoon Cornstarch Mixed With 3 Tablespoon Cold Water


  • 2 Tablespoon Green Onions, Thinly Sliced on the Diagonal


  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the first 10 ingredients until brown sugar is dissolved and everything is well combined. 

  2. Place the chicken thighs in a large, high sided skillet or large pot, and pour sauce over chicken. Turn the chicken over to coat both sides with the sauce.

  3. Bring sauce to a boil, over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer partially covered, turning occasionally,  until chicken registers 165 degrees when an instant-read thermometer is inserted near the bone, about 30-35 minutes.

  4.  Remove the chicken to a serving platter.

  5. Add the cornstarch and water mixture to the liquid in the skillet, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly, and cook until thick. 

  6. Adjust seasoning and pour sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with green onions and serve.

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Nutritional Information

Nutrition information will vary based on the specific products. To be safe, check the nutrition facts labels of your products. Optional object listed above have been left out of nutritional data.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Shoyu Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 755 Calories from Fat 423
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 47g 72%
Saturated Fat 12g 60%
Cholesterol 277mg 92%
Sodium 1853mg 77%
Potassium 707mg 20%
Total Carbohydrates 31g 10%
Sugars 27g
Protein 49g 98%
Vitamin A 8.9%
Vitamin C 0.7%
Calcium 6.6%
Iron 17.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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