Have you heard?! Huli Huli Chicken Kebabs sauce is trending, and this is the scoop…
It’s party time! More specifically, luau time. Packed full of flavor, this Huli Huli Hawaiian Chicken Kebabs recipe makes for an incredibly simple and healthy dinner.
In case you’re wondering what the heck that is (along with the rest of us), it’s a traditional Hawaiian sauce that marinates the chicken.
Not only is Huli huli ridiculously fun to say (at least it is for me, Rebecca), but it tastes incredible too…
What is Huli Huli Sauce?
“Huli” means “to turn around” in the Hawaiian language. That seems appropriate for something on the grill, right?
This signature Hawaiian sauce was invented by Ernest Morgado in 1955 when he cooked and created the dish for a group of farmers.
Huli huli sauce packs the perfect, flavorful blend of tangy and sweet. This sweet and savory marinade also compliments the fruits and veggies on the ‘babs so well and it’s a staple found everywhere in Hawaii.
It’s essentially made up of fresh pineapple juice, brown sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, ginger and garlic powder. You can think of it as a play on the traditional teriyaki chicken.
Now that we’ve covered a little history on this chicken recipe, let’s talk about getting these skewers on the grill!
How Long Should I Marinade Huli Huli Chicken?
When it comes to tasty Huli Huli chicken, the longer you marinate it the better! Skinless chicken breast easily absorbs flavors so you can marinade it as little as 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
A rule of thumb is that soaking the chicken overnight, or even for 24 hours, is an ideal marinating timeframe.
Make sure to cover and refrigerate the marinated chicken and keep in mind that because the huli huli sauce recipe has been in contact with raw chicken, you will want to discard any remaining marinade not used.
How Can You Make Sure Kebabs Are Evenly Cooked?
I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with kebabs. Perfectly done meat usually means the veggies are generally still crisp and mostly raw. If the veggies are cooked appropriately, then the meat is usually dry and tough.
And while I do love raw bell pepper, I really prefer to not bite into a chunk of hard spicy onion. Don’t worry! I’ve come up with a solution!
The cooking time is always a tricky part of being the household chef, but know that you’re not alone!
Instead of putting all of the different ingredients on each skewer, they each get their own to cook for several minutes on each side as needed.
Have skewers dedicated just for chicken, the grilled pineapple, the onions, etc. In doing so, each ingredient can be left on the grill for as long as they need to be perfectly done.
Once they’ve all finished, pull them all off into a medium bowl, and add the chicken pieces and your favorite additions into mixed skewers.
Now give the kebabs another minute or two on the grill. This way, you can heat all the ingredients back up before enjoying your perfectly cooked and delicious huli huli chicken kebabs.
What To Put on the Huli Huli Chicken Kebab Skewers
Now that we’re on the topic of prepping each kabob accouterment just right, here are some additional recipe ideas for you.
The sky is the limit on how much you want to combine with your grilled huli huli chicken recipe. For ours, we kept is simple and included red bell peppers, pineapple, and purple onion.
Here are a few other kebab fruit and veggie ideas —
— Red, green, yellow, or orange peppers
— Grape tomatoes
— Baby potatoes
— Chicken thighs
— Tofu (perfect for making vegetarian kebabs!)
Tips for Grilling Hawaiian Huli Huli Chicken Kebabs
Another quick tip — let that grill get nice and hot before you put the kebabs on. It’ll sear the outside of the meat, and give you those beautiful char lines that are so delicious and beautiful.
So when you want to fire up the grill, these Huli Huli Hawaiian Kebabs are here to make your meal easy and soooo good. Grass skirts only kinda optional.
How Do I know When Huli Huli Chicken Is Done?
Chicken is tricky since it can easily dry out. For white meat, the chicken skewers should read 160 degrees internally.
You can always check the temperature of a piece if you’re unsure!
How To Store Kebabs
Like most freshly cooked meats, make sure the kebabs don’t sit for more than two hours or you risk bacteria growth. Be sure to store them wrapped in foil or put any leftovers in a tight seal bag.
How Long Will Kebabs Stay Good?
They will only keep for a couple of days in the fridge — after that the veggies will start to shrivel.
You can also freeze any leftovers for up to 3 months. Make sure to wrap the kebabs tightly in aluminum foil. Or store them in freezer bags.
Hawaiian Huli Huli Chicken Kebabs Recipe
For the Huli Huli marinade:
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 6 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 tsp fresh ginger minced
- 1 tsp fresh garlic minced
For the kebabs (cut all ingredients into 2” chunks):
- 1/2 lb chicken breast
- 1 pineapple
- 1 large purple onion
- 2 red bell peppers
- Combine all of the marinade ingredients. Place the cut chicken in the marinade and let it sit for a couple of hours, though overnight is better.
- When you are ready to grill, place each kebab ingredient (the chicken, pineapple, onion, and pepper) on their own sticks and grill until done. Each ingredient will take a different amount of time, so make sure to watch them carefully.
- When they are all cooked, remove them from the kebab skewers and re-skewer them in the order you would like. Return to the grill to heat again, then serve immediately over rice.
Don’t forget to share your Hawaiian kebabs with us on Instagram using the hashtag #sugarandclothloves. We always love seeing all of your creations! And if you’re looking for more quick and delicious recipes you can find them all right here with a few cocktails to go along with them!