Huli Huli Chicken Skewers

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When summer rolls around, we always find excuses to fire up the grill. Whether we’re looking to cook something special for an easy weeknight dinner or BBQ party, grilled skewers are one of our go-to’s all season long. Embark on a culinary journey to the Hawaiian islands with these Huli Huli Chicken Skewers and say aloha to the island life!

These Huli Huli Chicken Skewers feature chicken breast infused in a sweet pineapple brine that imparts tangy-sweet flavors, and grilled until perfectly charred. Serve them with grilled pineapple slices and rice for the perfect tropical meal.

Huli Huli Chicken is a dish that perfectly captures the essence of Hawaiian cuisine. Beloved for its balance of sweet and tangy flavors, Huli Huli Chicken is an island classic.
The word 'huli' means “to turn” in native Hawaiian language, hence the name comes from the need to turn or flip the chicken on fire several times until perfectly juicy and charred.


The magic of the recipe lies in brining the chicken in a flavorful pineapple brine, which is a concoction of pineapple juice, soy sauce, honey, minced ginger and garlic. Brining lets the chicken soak up all the flavors & moisture before it gets grilled.
Though this step requires some advanced planning, it’s absolutely worth it. And, once you make the marinade, you can let it do its job for a few hours while you rest.

If you are craving for more such recipes this Summer, you can give these recipes a try, too:

While I have used chicken breast for this recipe, you can make this recipe using any cut of chicken. The brining process works well for chicken thighs or even wings! Depending on the cut you choose, adjust cook times accordingly.


Once the skewers are grilled, all that’s left to do is serve! Here area few suggestions for dishes to serve on the side.
  • The most traditional way to serve them is alongside scoops of white rice , fresh green salad and grilled pineapple slices for an authentic Hawaiian experience.
  • You can also serve them with any other sides that you love most during grilling season – any pasta salads, simple grilled veggies, etc.

  • Reserve some of the pineapple brine separately for basting while grilling the chicken.
  • If are using wooden skewers, don't forget to soak them in water for 30 minutes before using them.
  • Don't use fresh pineapple juice for the marinade. Fresh pineapple juice has an enzyme that will make the chicken too tender and almost mushy. Stick with canned or cartoned pineapple juice for the marinade.

If you made these Huli Huli Chicken Skewers, I would love to know how they turned out! Please let me know by leaving a comment below.

  • 900 gm chicken breast, skinless and boneless,cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1/2 cup canned pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha
  • 2 Tablespoons Sesame oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Freshly cooked rice, for serving

  1. To make the marinade, in a mixing bowl add the minced ginger, garlic, pineapple juice, soy sauce, ketchup, honey, sriracha, sesame oil,salt and black pepper. Whisk the ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Place the cubed chicken into a large bowl and pour 3/4 of the prepared marinade and mix everything together. Reserve the other 1/4 marinade for basting. Cover the bowl, transfer to the refrigerator to brine for at least 3 hours and upto 24 hours.
  3. If are using wooden skewers, soak them in water for some time before using them.
  4. Thread the marinated chicken pieces onto the skewers.
  5. Preheat an outdoor grill over medium heat.
  6. Add the chicken skewers, baste with the remaining reserved marinade, and cook for 4-5 minutes per side, or until charred and fully cooked through.
  7. Once the chicken is cooked, grill the pineapple rings until they have taken on a nice bit of caramelization. This should take about 2-3 minutes each side.
  8. Serve the chicken skewers and the caramelized pineapple slices over cooked rice for the perfect tropical meal. Enjoy!


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