Sheldon Simeon’s Huli Huli Hen Recipe

Merna Delaurentis

Table of Contents Chef notesPreparing Chef notes Huli indicates “switch” in Hawaiian, a reference to the specific rotating grills employed to cook this community type of rotisserie rooster. Huli huli, so the legend goes, was created by an enterprising poultry farmer named Ernest Morgad in 1955. In the many years […]

Table of Contents

Chef notes

Huli indicates “switch” in Hawaiian, a reference to the specific rotating grills employed to cook this community type of rotisserie rooster. Huli huli, so the legend goes, was created by an enterprising poultry farmer named Ernest Morgad in 1955. In the many years because, it has turn out to be a favorite listed here, typically offered at faculty fundraisers and stands that set up together the freeway. Through one particular fundraiser for my substantial university volleyball team, my dad’s men designed a substantial contraption made from chicken wire and rebar: The chickens had been sandwiched between the wire and cooked more than a large hibachi pit crammed with kiawe wooden, which despatched up billows of sweet-smelling smoke that perfumed the air for miles.

Recipes for huli huli hen range, but most tend to use a common teriyaki marinade with the addition of ketchup or pineapple for tanginess. When I set huli huli chicken on the menu at Lineage, the concept was to incorporate all those homey roadside flavors with how traditional roast rooster is normally introduced at fancy restaurants. I get started by coating the hen in shio koji, a paste for marinating or seasoning created from fermented rice malt and salt, which has the dual impact of tenderizing the hen and unlocking a complete universe of savoriness (ready-to-use shio koji paste or marinade is readily available at most Japanese and Asian markets or can be requested online).

The 2nd step, which can be performed ahead, is to produce a sweet-tangy glaze to brush on the chicken, since the true mystery of huli huli is not only the turning, but the repeated shellacking of glaze that keeps the hen succulent.

Approach ideas: To mimic the influence of a rotating spit, develop two zones of low heat and substantial warmth on your grill and flip the chook in between the zones, basting it typically to make a glistening browned crust. Also, utilizing a spatchcocked hen will enable the meat cook evenly.

The most straightforward way to spatchcock a rooster is to have your butcher do it. Normally, use a sharp pair of kitchen shears to cut along equally sides of the chicken’s spine (backbone), separating it from the ribs. With the backbone eliminated, switch the bird around so the breast is facing up. Splay out the legs and breasts till they lie flat and give the chook a organization push in the middle of the breast you may well hear a crack and it must lie flat on its possess.



Place the hen on a large sheet pan and rub all around with the shio koji. Cover loosely with parchment paper and refrigerate overnight.


In a saucepan, blend the chicken stock, butter, oyster sauce, pineapple juice, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and sesame oil. Crush the white pieces of the scallions with the butt of a knife and increase all those, far too. Convey this to a boil, then minimize the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time, or right until the liquid has minimized by about 50 percent. Take away the ginger, scallions and garlic making use of a slotted spoon or sieve.


In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water to make a slurry. Stir it into the sauce and improve the warmth to deliver again to a boil ahead of eliminating from the warmth.


An hour right before you happen to be completely ready to cook dinner, get rid of the rooster from the fridge and permit it arrive to room temperature. When you happen to be ready to cook dinner the chicken, rinse off the shio koji and pat the hen dry with a paper towel. Year the chicken flippantly and evenly with garlic salt.


Preheat a grill to medium-warm. Working with tongs, oil the grates of the grill with an oiled rag or paper towels. Established up the grill for two-zone cooking: If employing coals, force them off to a person facet of the grill so you have immediate and indirect heat. If working with fuel, reduce the heat to minimal on one aspect of the grill.


Position the rooster, breast-side up, on the cooler side of the grill. Cover and grill for 10 minutes. Uncover, brush the rooster with sauce, cover and grill a further 10 minutes. Uncover, glaze the hen once more, then flip the chicken breast-aspect down onto the hotter part of the grill. Prepare dinner more than immediate warmth, uncovered, right until the pores and skin commences to brown and char a bit, about 10 minutes, then brush with sauce and flip the hen breast-side up, even now more than immediate heat. Brush the breasts with sauce and continue cooking the rooster in excess of direct warmth until eventually the juices run obvious, or a thermometer inserted into the breast reads 160 F (approach for about 40 minutes whole cook dinner time). Remove the hen from the grill and permit relaxation for 15 minutes.


In the meantime, provide any remaining sauce to a boil (if the sauce is damaged, will not fret, it will emulsify when it boils). Clear away from the warmth and allow neat a little. Slice the chicken and provide topped with some a lot more sauce and the chopped scallion greens.

Reprinted with permission from Cook Real Hawai’i by Sheldon Simeon and Garrett Snyder, copyright© 2021. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random Property.” Photography copyright: Kevin J. Miyazaki © 2021.

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