Shoyu Chicken

When I was browsing through the Aloha Kitchen cookbook, it was such a challenge to pick a protein to go with my mac salad!

Do I go with chashu? Spam? Maybe some mochiko chicken, or beef teriyaki? So many good choices, so little time!

I ended up choosing this shoyu chicken, because it’s got everything I want in a recipe:

  • I already have all the ingredients on hand, and they’re easy to find
  • it’s an easy, mostly hands-off recipe
  • and it looks tasty!

We’ll start by braising the chicken.

As the name suggests, the main sauce ingredient is shoyu, or Japanese soy sauce.

A good bit of water, to thin out the sauce – otherwise it’ll be super salty.

Honey and brown sugar for sweetness.

A bit of sliced ginger.

And a few cloves of garlic. Since they’re just smashed, we’ll use whole fresh cloves this time.

Nestle your bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs into the sauce, and bring it to a boil.

Add in some sweet Maui onion wedges, and green onion pieces.

And it’s time for a hot girl simmer!

Let the chicken simmer for an hour, flipping halfway through.

Then we’ll broil the chicken, just really quick, to get a nice brown on the skin.

While the chicken is broiling, we’ll add a bit of cornstarch to the sauce, and cook it a little longer, to get a nice thick sauce to serve with the chicken.

And there you have it! Serve with white rice, and that mac salad we made last time, and you’ve got a perfect plate lunch.

Shoyu Chicken

from the Aloha Kitchen cookbook

  • 3/4 cup shoyu
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • one 2″ piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1/2 Maui onion, peeled and cut into 3/4″ wedges
  • 2 or 3 green onions, white and green parts, cut into 2″ pieces
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 cups steamed rice, for serving
Cooking Directions
  1. In a heavy Dutch oven or pot, mix the shoyu, water, honey, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic together. Nestle the chicken thighs in the sauce, skin-side up, submerging the meat as much as possible. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. When the sauce comes to a boil, add the Maui onion wedges and green onion pieces and turn the heat to a medium-low. Cover the pot with a lid and let simmer for 30 minutes. Using a pair of kitchen tongs, gently turn all the chicken pieces over. Cover the pot again and simmer for another 30 minutes. Check the tenderness of the meat with a fork; if you can easily insert the fork into the meat, the chicken is done. Remove the cooked thighs from the sauce, reserving it, and place them on a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Preheat the broiler.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch with 1/4 cup of the sauce until smooth, then add the cornstarch mixture back to the pot with the remaining sauce and cook over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Broil the chicken thighs for a minute or two, watching carefully to make sure you do not burn the skin. The goal is to just quickly brown the skin.
  4. Serve the chicken with the thickened sauce and rice.

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