Wednesday, June 27, 2012

{ shoyu chicken }

Over 20 years ago, Ty's first assignment in the Coast Guard was at USCG Station Maui -- tough one, right? As a young, single guy, he lived large on a small budget. He still talks about his Maui days as if they occurred last week, rather than decades ago. Some of his favorite recollections seem to revolve around the food he ate and the friends with whom he shared it.

Ty loves pretty much any type of Asian food, but Shoyu chicken (Hawaii's answer to teriyaki chicken) remains one of his favorites. Chicken thigh meat is marinated in a sweet, spicy soy sauce marinade, then grilled and served with rice (shoyu is Japanese for soy sauce). Last night, I finally got around to diving in and making it for him ... and it didn't disappoint. According to Ty, it was some of the best he's ever had.

We'll be making it again. And again. It's a simple, healthy dish that packs a ton of flavor with just the right amount of kick and that perfect grilled chicken char that's so good.

Add a glass of cold white wine, and it's the perfect meal.

Shoyu Chicken
(adapted from

  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  •  6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion (or 1/2 large), chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 5 pounds skinless chicken thighs

  1. Whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, water, garlic, onion, ginger, black pepper, oregano, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, and paprika in a large glass bowl.
  2. Trim any extra fat off the chicken, and add chicken to the soy sauce mixture. Use tongs to maneuver chicken around the bowl to evenly coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour (the longer, the better!). I marinated mine for about 4 hours. 
  3. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat.              
  4. Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade and discard the remaining marinade. Grill the chicken thighs on the preheated grill until cooked through, about 15 minutes per side.
  5. Serve with a white rice.


Beverly said...

I'm sure it's good; but I can't get past the ginger. Can you taste it?

Elizabeth @ Lone Stars And Stripes said...

Just adds that spicy kick. It doesn't taste like gingerbread or anything like that. I'd definitely keep the ginger in the marinade.