Satisfy Your Cravings with this Shoyu Chicken Recipe

If you’re looking for a dish that’s bursting with flavor and easy to make, look no further than Rainbow’s Shoyu Chicken Recipe. This recipe is a Hawaiian classic, with roots at the beloved Rainbow Drive-Inn on Oahu. Now you can bring the taste of Hawaii to your home kitchen with this amazing shoyu chicken recipe.

At its core, this dish is all about balancing salty and sweet flavors. The sauce consists of soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, sugar, fresh ginger, garlic cloves, and a touch of apple cider vinegar. The chicken thighs are cooked until tender and juicy in this flavorful sauce, creating a mouthwatering combination of tastes that will have your family and friends begging for seconds.

Not only is this a delicious and comforting recipe that everyone will love, but it’s also incredibly versatile. You can enjoy it on its own or pair it with a side dish of your choice – rice, vegetables, salad – the options are endless.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s dive into the world of Hawaiian cuisine and make Rainbow’s Shoyu Chicken Recipe tonight!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Rainbow's Shoyu Chicken
Rainbow’s Shoyu Chicken

Are you tired of serving the same old chicken recipe at every party? Look no further than Rainbow’s Shoyu Chicken Recipe! This dish takes the classic Hawaiian plate lunch staple and elevates it to a whole new level.

Not only is this recipe easy to follow, with simple ingredients that you can easily source from your local supermarket, but it also packs a punch of flavor that your guests won’t be able to resist. With a perfect balance of sweet and savory, this shoyu chicken recipe is guaranteed to leave your guests wanting more.

But don’t just take my word for it. As someone who has cooked this dish time and time again, I’ve received countless compliments and requests for the recipe. Trust me when I say that this dish never fails to impress.

Featuring a blend of soy sauce, vinegar, fresh ginger, garlic cloves, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and sugar marinade, Shoyu Chicken Rainbow Drive Inn style is an irresistible mixture of flavors. It goes beyond the standard chicken fare by incorporating traditional Hawaiian ingredients like Aloha shoyu and apple cider vinegar.

You’ll also be pleased to know that this recipe is highly versatile – it can be made with both boneless and bone-in chicken thighs. You can even swap out the sugar for brown sugar or adjust the measurements according to your own taste preferences.

So why not give Rainbow’s Shoyu Chicken Recipe a try? Your guests will surely thank you for it.

Ingredient List

 A Burst of Colors: Rainbow's Shoyu Chicken
A Burst of Colors: Rainbow’s Shoyu Chicken

Here is a detailed list of ingredients you will need for making the Rainbow’s Shoyu Chicken Recipe:

For the Sauce:

  • 2 cups soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced

For the Chicken:

  • 12 lbs. chicken thighs (or bone-in skin-on chicken pieces)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Rainbow Shoyu or Aloha Shoyu (see #Tips for Perfect Results)

These easily accessible ingredients can be found in any grocery store near you. Make sure to get everything ready before you begin cooking, so that you don’t miss out on any essential ingredients while following the recipe.

The Recipe How-To

 One Bite Wonder: Shoyu Chicken that Melts in Your Mouth
One Bite Wonder: Shoyu Chicken that Melts in Your Mouth

So you’re ready to cook Rainbow’s Shoyu Chicken Recipe? Let’s get started!


  • 5 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 cup Aloha shoyu
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 5 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce


  1. In a small bowl, mix together shoyu, sugar, apple cider vinegar, grated ginger, garlic cloves, and Worcestershire sauce.
  2. Set aside.

Preparation and Cooking:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the chicken thighs and sauce ingredients.
  3. Toss the chicken in the sauce mixture, making sure each piece is coated thoroughly.
  4. Transfer the chicken and remaining sauce into a large baking dish or pan.
  5. Bake for approximately 45 minutes.
  6. Baste the chicken with the sauce every 15 minutes.
  7. After 45 minutes, increase the oven temperature to 425°F (218°C) and continue to bake for another 15 minutes or until the skin is crispy and golden brown.

Safety Precautions:

  • Remember to always wash your hands before and after handling raw chicken.
  • Use a food thermometer to check if the internal temperature of the chicken has reached at least 165°F (74°C).

Enjoy this delectable recipe! This Rainbow Drive-In Shoyu Chicken recipe is perfect for any occasion – from casual dinner with friends to special events. It’s easy to prepare while having an exquisite Hawaiian taste!

Substitutions and Variations

 It's All About That Glaze: Rainbow's Shoyu Chicken
It’s All About That Glaze: Rainbow’s Shoyu Chicken

This Rainbow’s Shoyu Chicken Recipe is already a delicious dish, but if you want to experiment with some substitutes or add a little twist, here are some ideas:

– Instead of chicken thighs, you can use bone-in chicken breasts or even drumsticks for this recipe. The cooking time will vary depending on the cut of the meat.

– If you’re looking for a healthier version, you can try using skinless chicken and reducing the amount of sugar in the recipe. You can also use a low-sodium soy sauce.

– For a hawaiian-style variation, you can use Hawaiian shoyu instead of regular soy sauce. This will give your dish a unique flavor that is similar to teriyaki.

– If you prefer a baked chicken recipe, coat the chicken with the sauce ingredients and place it in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes, or until cooked through.

– Add some fresh vegetables like bell peppers or onions to the pan while cooking for an extra boost of flavor and nutrition.

– For a slow cooker version, mix all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the chicken in the slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Remember that cooking is all about experimenting and finding what works best for your taste buds. So don’t be afraid to play around with different substitutions and variations until you find your perfect shoyu chicken recipe.

Serving and Pairing

 Heavenly Scents: Rainbow's Shoyu Chicken
Heavenly Scents: Rainbow’s Shoyu Chicken

Now that your Rainbow’s Shoyu Chicken Recipe is ready, it’s time to serve it up and pair it with some delicious sides. This chicken recipe is an excellent main dish option for various occasions such as family dinners, backyard barbecues or potluck parties. But what should you pair this succulent chicken with?

As a classic Hawaiian plate lunch recipe, Rainbow Drive Shoyu Chicken can taste great over white rice, alongside macaroni salad or coleslaw. You could also complement it with sautéed vegetables such as green beans or sliced carrots.

For drinks, go for refreshing cold beverages like iced tea or lemonade. If you’re serving this shoyu chicken at a barbecue party, beer could be a better option. Try pairing it with a light lager or pilsner beer to balance its savory flavor.

If you’re hosting a gathering for vegetarians or health-conscious guests, consider incorporating salad options like coleslaw or arugula salad. They not only add more nutrients to your meal but also offer vegan and gluten-free choices.

Lastly, don’t forget the presentation of your dish! Dress it up with some green onions on top and sesame seeds to enhance the look and taste of your shoyu chicken recipe.

Serving and pairing Rainbow’s Shoyu Chicken Recipe is all about balancing its flavorful taste with delicious complements that could satisfy different preferences. So try out these suggestions and make your get-togethers more enjoyable!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Juicy and Tender: Rainbow's Shoyu Chicken
Juicy and Tender: Rainbow’s Shoyu Chicken

One of the best things about Rainbow’s Shoyu Chicken Recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and stored for later. This makes it a great dish to prepare for busy weeknights or for those who like to meal prep.

To make this dish ahead of time, cook the chicken according to the recipe instructions and let it cool completely. Once cooled, store the chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

When reheating, there are a couple of options. For a quick reheat, simply microwave the chicken until heated through. However, for best results, we recommend reheating in the oven or on the stovetop. To reheat in the oven, place the chicken in a baking dish and cover with foil. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through.

If you have any leftovers, they can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days. To reheat leftover shoyu chicken, simply follow the same reheating instructions as above.

Overall, make-ahead and storing options give plenty of flexibility to prepare and enjoy Rainbow’s Shoyu Chicken Recipe at your own pace – all while saving stressful mealtime decisions on busy days.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Magic on a Plate: Rainbow's Shoyu Chicken
Magic on a Plate: Rainbow’s Shoyu Chicken

To ensure a successful outcome for your Rainbow’s Shoyu Chicken recipe, it is crucial to follow some helpful tips and tricks. Here are some of my favorite tips to help you achieve perfect results every time:

First, use fresh ginger and garlic cloves for optimal flavor. These ingredients can lose their potency over time, so be sure to use them within three weeks of purchase. Grate the ginger and finely chop the garlic to release their flavors into the sauce.

Next, make sure to marinate the chicken in the sauce for at least 4 hours, or even better – overnight. This will allow for the chicken to fully absorb all of the flavorful sauces.

When cooking the chicken, it is important not to overcrowd the pan. If too many chicken pieces are cooked at once, they won’t have enough space to brown properly, resulting in a less crispy skin. Cook the chicken in batches instead of all at once.

Another tip is to cover the pan with a lid while cooking. This will help keep the moisture locked in and ensuring the meat remains juicy.

Don’t shy away from using different cuts of chicken. Although thighs work especially well in this recipe due to their flavor and ability to stand up well against a rich marinade, you can also try using bone-in chicken breasts or even drumsticks.

Finally, adjust seasoning according to your personal preference. Taste and season your sauce before adding it to your chicken to ensure that it is perfectly balanced for your palate.

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll surely impress your guests with perfectly cooked Rainbow Drive Shoyu Chicken that is bursting with flavors of Hawai’i!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Rainbow’s Shoyu Chicken Recipe is an impeccable dish full of colorful flavors that will leave your taste buds begging for more. This recipe has a perfect combination of ingredients to deliver the best chicken dish that you have ever tasted. Whether you are hosting an event, party or simply cooking a meal for dinner, this shoyu chicken recipe from Rainbow Drive Inn will not disappoint.

It is suitable for a range of dietary needs, and you can make substitutions and variations as per your preference. You can enjoy this dish on its own or pair it with rice, veggies or any other side of your choice. Moreover, you can make it ahead of time, store and reheat accordingly without losing its original taste.

With tips and recommendations provided in this recipe article, you will achieve perfect results every time. You do not need to worry if you are new to cooking; the instructions are easy to follow with step-by-step guidance.

The ingredients used in making this dish are readily available and affordable, so you don’t have to empty your pockets to cook up something tasty. It is such a versatile recipe that can be enjoyed by anyone; kids love it, adults love it – who wouldn’t?!

In conclusion, if you are looking for an easy-to-follow recipe that is full of flavor and color like the rainbow, then Rainbow Drive Inn’s Shoyu Chicken Recipe is undoubtedly one of the best options out there. Try it today and discover why it has become such a popular dish among people worldwide.

Rainbow's Shoyu Chicken

Rainbow’s Shoyu Chicken Recipe

This recipe is from the a drive-inn/plate lunch place in Honolulu. I haven't made it yet but I put it here for easy conversion to smaller portions.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Hawaiian
Calories 1172 kcal


  • 12 lbs chicken thighs


  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 1/4 cups soy sauce
  • 3/4-1 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 -4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 -5 inches fresh ginger, crushed


  • Wash and drain chicken.
  • Combine sauce ingredients.
  • Combine chicken and sauce in a pot. Bring to a boil and cook until chicken is tender, 20-30 minutes. Skim sauce. Thicken with flour or cornstarch. Bring to a boil again and serve.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 590gCalories: 1172kcalCarbohydrates: 46.3gProtein: 86.8gFat: 69.5gSaturated Fat: 19.4gCholesterol: 382.1mgSodium: 4801.9mgFiber: 0.7gSugar: 42.9g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Beginner Cook, Chicken, Chicken Thigh & Leg, Easy, Meat, Poultry
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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