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+ servings

Huli-Huli Style Marinade and Glaze

Course Main Dish
Cuisine American, Hawaiian
Keyword chicken, grilled, Hawaiian, recipe, sauce, spiced
Servings 8 Cornish hens


for brining

  • 2 each chicken whole, or 8 chicken quarters, or 8 Cornish hens
  • 1 gallon water cold
  • 8 oz kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup ginger fresh, sliced
  • 1/4 cup pineapple chunks fresh, sliced
  • 4 tbsp chili garlic sauce fermented, Asian

for glaze (4 cups)

  • 40 oz pineapple chunks fresh, ~ 1 large pineapple with skin and core removed
  • 8 oz ginger fresh, peeled and chopped
  • 2.5 oz garlic fresh, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cup chicken stock homemade, gelatinous
  • 1 cup light soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup lilikoi balsamic vinegar Hawaiian Lilikoi (Passion Fruit) Balsamic
  • 1/2 cup honey Hawaiian Ohia Lehua Blossom honey
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 4 each Thai red chili pepper whole, scored
  • 4 tsp smoked salt Hawaiian Island Salt Company Kiawe Smoked


for glaze

  • Wash a large ripe pineapple. Remove prickly skin and core. Slice the flesh, measure 40 oz and transfer it into a blender or food processor jar.
  • Peel and chop ginger, measure 8 oz and transfer it into the same jar. Note: The ginger available in Central Texas stores is not the freshest and juiciest. Make sure you buy plenty to have 8 oz of peeled ginger at the end.
  • Smash garlic cloves with the flat side of your knife and remove the skin. Transfer garlic into the same jar.
  • Use the lowest speed of your blender or food processor to process pineapple, ginger, and garlic into a chunky puree. Do not make it smooth. Line a strainer with cheesecloth and place it on top of a non-reactive bowl. Pour the puree into the strainer and squeeze 3+ cups of highly fragrant juice. Give it some time and pressure to better yield. Discard the solids.
  • Combine the juice with chicken stock, light soy sauce, lilikoi balsamic vinegar, and honey in a pot, bring to simmer over medium heat and cook it down to 4 cups of thick sauce. (Note: To make it thick and viscous, use homemade gelatinous chicken stock.) Add scored Thai chilies to the sauce to infuse while it is cooling. When the sauce is room temperature, remove the peppers and either discard or reserve for serving. Using a whisk, blend sesame oil into the sauce. Store refrigerated in a closed jar for up to two weeks or portion and keep frozen for longer storage. Note: One piece of chicken or half of Cornish hen requires about 1/4 cup of this sauce to glaze and serve.
    Huli-huli glaze

for brining

  • Combine brine ingredients in a large bowl. Submerge chicken, cover, and refrigerate — whole chicken for 6-8 hours, chicken legs for 3-4 hours, halved Cornish hens for 30 minutes.

for grilling Cornish hens

  • Preheat salamander/broil (top heating element) in your oven or Salamgrill 450+F. Place a grilling rack into a baking pan and arrange Cornish hen halves skin down. Brush them with the glaze and sprinkle with smoked salt. The hens should be ~10" below the heating element. Cook for 3-5 minutes until pink juices disappear.
    Huli Style Cornish Hens
  • If using an oven, turn the salamander/broil off and turn the oven 400F on. If using Salamangrill, tun the heat to minimum. Flip the hens skin up, brush with the glaze, and continue cookingfor the next 20-25 minutes, turning and glazing them every 5 minutes.
    Huli Style Cornish Hens
  • Glaze them skin up for the last time, sprinkle with smoked salt, turn off the heat, and keep them in the crack-open oven until ready to serve.
    Huli Style Cornish Hens

for grilling chicken drumsticks

  • Combine brine ingredients in a bowl: 2 oz salt + 4 cups water + 1 tbsp fermented chile and garlic sauce + 1/4 cup fresh pineapple slices. I had fresh turmeric, so I added 2 tbsp thin slices. Submerge 5 chicken drumsticks, cover, and refrigerate 1-2 hours.
  • Preheat grill on high, and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Using paper towels, pat dry chicken drumsticks, coat them with some vegetable oil, and sandwich between folding grilling grids.
  • I grilled the same way a few slices of seasoned pineapple and sweet onion.
  • Grill chicken drumsticks and pineapple and onion slices turning and glazing them with some Huli style glaze every 2-3 minutes for about 20-25 minutes. (The inner temp for chicken is 155F.) Make sure they are being cooked with hot air. In other words, they should not touch the heavy grill grid. Expect glaze drippings to caramelize and burn. They'll need to be cleaned after cooking is done.
  • Serve hot with some extra sauce.


Hawaiian Huli-Huli Teriyaki Marinade and Sauce By Meathead Goldwyn
Turn! Turn! Turn! How to make Huli-Huli Chicken BY JOHN HECKATHORN (http://www.hawaiimagazine.com)
Huli Huli Chicken Recipe by JOSHUA BOUSEL (http://www.seriouseats.com)
Check out 100 Best Thinngs to do Hawaii for more culinary adventures in Hawaii.