Hawaiian Style Teriyaki Chicken

There’s something truly magical about a recipe that can transport you straight to the sandy shores and lush landscapes of Hawaii without leaving your kitchen. The Hawaiian Style Teriyaki Chicken is just that—a culinary journey that envelops you in the warm embrace of island flavors. Recently, I decided to treat my family to this tropical delight, and the outcome was nothing short of spectacular. The chicken emerged tender, juicy, and infused with a perfect balance of sweet and savory, thanks to the teriyaki marinade. It was a hit with everyone, earning a permanent spot in our family dinner rotation.


  • 3 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup of soy sauce
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 5 cloves of mashed garlic
  • 1 ginger root (2-3 slices cut thin and lengthwise)


  1. In a large bowl, mix together the soy sauce and water.
  2. Add in the sugar, stirring until fully dissolved.
  3. Incorporate the mashed garlic and slices of ginger into the mixture.
  4. Submerge the chicken thighs in the marinade, ensuring each piece is well-coated.
  5. For the best flavor, marinate the chicken for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. If short on time, a minimum of 24 hours is recommended.
  6. When ready to cook, grill the chicken over high heat until each side has a nice char.
  7. Transfer the grilled chicken to a pot on the grill and add a bit of fresh teriyaki sauce for steaming.
  8. Cover and let the chicken steam until it reaches a tender and juicy consistency.

Nutrition Facts

  • Servings: 6
  • Calories per serving: Approximately 350 calories

Preparation Time

  • Active Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Marinating Time: 24 to 72 hours
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: Depending on marinating time, up to 73 hours and 50 minutes.

Additional Tips

  1. Marinating Time: The longer you marinate the chicken, the deeper the flavors will penetrate. If possible, aim for the full 72 hours.
  2. Ginger and Garlic: For an even more pronounced flavor, slightly increase the amount of ginger and garlic.
  3. Soy Sauce Selection: Use low-sodium soy sauce to control the saltiness of the dish without compromising on flavor.
  4. Serving Suggestions: Serve the chicken with a side of steamed jasmine rice and grilled vegetables for a complete meal.
  5. Leftovers: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They make for a delicious teriyaki chicken salad or wrap the next day.


  1. Can I use chicken breast instead of thighs? Yes, though thighs are juicier, chicken breast can be used if preferred.
  2. Is there a substitute for sugar in the marinade? Honey or brown sugar can be used as alternatives, adjusting the amount to taste.
  3. How can I ensure the chicken doesn’t dry out on the grill? Keep the heat on medium-high and avoid overcooking. Using the steaming method after grilling helps retain moisture.
  4. Can I make the teriyaki sauce in advance? Absolutely. The sauce can be prepared and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  5. What’s the best way to mash garlic? Use a garlic press or the flat side of a knife to crush the clove.
  6. Can I freeze the marinated chicken? Yes, you can freeze it in the marinade for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before cooking.
  7. How can I make this dish spicier? Add a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes to the marinade for a kick.
  8. Is it possible to bake the chicken instead of grilling? Yes, bake at 375°F for 25-30 minutes, or until fully cooked.
  9. Can this recipe be made gluten-free? Use a gluten-free soy sauce to make this dish gluten-free.
  10. What are some recommended side dishes? A pineapple coleslaw or a cucumber salad complements the teriyaki chicken beautifully.

This Hawaiian Style Teriyaki Chicken recipe is a testament to the simple yet profound pleasure of eating. With its tender, flavor-packed bites, it’s a surefire way to bring a taste of the islands into your home. Whether for a special occasion or a simple family dinner, this dish promises a delicious escape to paradise.