Best Rainbow Drive-In Shoyu Chicken Recipe

If you’re looking for an easy and delicious recipe that will transport your taste buds straight to the islands, look no further than this Rainbow Drive-In Shoyu Chicken Recipe. This dish is a staple of traditional Hawaiian cuisine and is beloved for its savory, umami-rich flavor.


  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • 6-8 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sliced green onions for garnish (optional)


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, water, rice vinegar, garlic, and ginger. Set aside.
  2. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned on both sides, about 4-5 minutes per side.
  3. Pour the soy sauce mixture over the chicken. Bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 45-50 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Turn the chicken occasionally to ensure it is fully coated in the sauce.
  4. Remove the chicken from the skillet and transfer to a serving platter. Simmer the sauce for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until it has thickened to your liking. Pour the sauce over the chicken and garnish with sliced green onions, if desired.
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Serving Suggestions and Variations

This Rainbow Drive-In Shoyu Chicken is traditionally served atop a bed of steaming hot white rice, but you can also serve it with noodles or another grain of your choosing. For a spicier kick, you can add a minced jalapeño or red pepper flakes to the sauce. You can also experiment with different cuts of chicken, such as drumsticks or breast meat, if you prefer.

Tips and Notes

  • This dish can be made in advance and reheated for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.
  • If you don’t have rice vinegar, you can substitute with apple cider vinegar or white vinegar.
  • If you want a thicker sauce, you can stir in a cornstarch slurry (1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup cold water) during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking. Stir continuously to prevent clumps.
  • Leftover sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week and used as a marinade or dipping sauce for other proteins.
  • If you’re looking to cut down on sodium, you can use a low-sodium soy sauce or reduce the amount of soy sauce in the recipe.
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1. What makes shoyu chicken different from regular chicken?

Shoyu chicken is a traditional Hawaiian dish that is made with soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger. This combination of flavors gives the chicken a unique umami-rich taste that sets it apart from other chicken recipes.

2. Can I make shoyu chicken in a slow cooker?

Yes, you can make shoyu chicken in a slow cooker. Simply add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours, or until the chicken is fully cooked.

3. Can I use chicken breasts instead of thighs?

Yes, you can use chicken breasts instead of thighs if you prefer. Keep in mind that chicken breasts cook faster than thighs, so you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

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4. Can I freeze leftover shoyu chicken?

Yes, you can freeze leftover shoyu chicken. Simply store the chicken and sauce in an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to three months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then heat in a skillet or microwave until fully warmed through.

5. What other dishes can I make with shoyu chicken?

Shoyu chicken makes a great addition to fried rice or stir-fried vegetables. You can also use leftover shoyu chicken to make sandwiches or wraps for a quick and easy lunch.

Wrapping Up

With its flavorful sauce and tender, juicy chicken, this Rainbow Drive-In Shoyu Chicken recipe is a crowd-pleaser that will transport your taste buds straight to the islands. Whether you’re looking to liven up your weeknight dinner routine or impress your guests with a taste of Hawaii, this recipe is sure to please. So fire up your skillet and get ready to experience the magic of shoyu chicken!

Best Rainbow Drive-In Shoyu Chicken Recipe
TheInfoWise Team
TheInfoWise Team
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