Hawaii Shoyu Chicken in an InstaPot Recipe

Hawaii Shoyu Chicken in an InstaPot

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Hawaii Shoyu Chicken
Hawaii Shoyu Chicken

Hawaii Shoyu Chicken Recipe

Shoyu Chicken is a favorite local staple dish in Hawaii. You will find it on every menu in a local “plate lunch” establishment. Like many regional dishes, mostly everyone has their own version of the recipe. Overall, shoyu chicken is a dish that is always made with bone-in chicken thighs; the overall taste is similar to teriyaki, with the sweetness from brown sugar mixed with deep umami flavors of soy sauce, ending with delicious notes of green onion, garlic, and ginger. I updated my favorite recipe for the instant pot, saving you time on busy weeknights! The bone-in chicken thighs make this dish perfect for pressure cooking, resulting in the dish being so packed full of flavor, and fall off the bone tender in half of the cooking time. This instant pot shoyu chicken recipe, is a weeknight dinner win!


6-7 Pounds of bone-in chicken thighs, should be about 8 pieces. Skins removed.

Shoyu Sauce

1 cup Regular Soy Sauce (not low sodium)

1 cup Water

1/4 c. Brown Sugar

1/4 c. Honey

2 Inch piece of ginger – Minced if you love the bite of ginger in every bite (like I do). Or cut into chunks and smashed if you prefer a more subtle ginger flavor.

6 Cloves of Garlic, Minced

1 Cup Green Onion, Cut into 1 inch pieces


1/4 c. Water

2 Tbls Corn Starch

Instructions Directions:

Prep your bone-in chicken thighs, by removing any skin and excess fat.

Place prepped chicken directly into the instant pot liner.

Prep Shoyu Simmering Sauce: Add Soy Sauce, Water, Brown Sugar and honey into a volume measuring cup. Stir to incorporate.

Prep your aromatics: Green onions, Garlic and Ginger. I prefer to cut my green onions into 2 lengths, the whites I cut small into 1/4” Dice, and the greens I like longer into 1” pieces. I remove the skins and root piece off of 6 cloves of garlic and mince. Lastly ginger, I am completely obsessed with ginger and I want to taste it in every bite. I like to mince mine up to get that effect, but traditionally the dish is made with 1/2” chunks of ginger that you smash to release the flavor, and fish out later when the dish is done.

Add the Garlic, Ginger, and Green Onions to the liquid sauce, and pour over chicken thighs reserved in the instant pot liner. Place liner inside of pressure cooker, make sure the dial is turned to “seal”, and close instant pot.

Select “Pressure Cook”, and set timer for 15 minutes on high pressure. After the instant pot timer counts down from the 15 minutes, it’s time to perform the “quick release method”.

Quick Release Method: Place a kitchen towel* over the steam dial, and very quickly turn dial down from “sealed” to “vent”. Extremely hot steam will immediately start to escape from this dial, and you want to be sure a towel is covering to protect yourself, your kitchen, your glass of wine, your dog. Just whatever you do, DO NOT skip this and think “I’ll just wing it”. After the steam has escaped, remove kitchen towel and make sure the pressure gauge is DOWN before opening the pot. Sometimes my gauge doesn’t fall right away, and I just give the pot a little nudge and it will fall. That’s your indicator that it’s safe to open your pressure cooker. After opening the instant pot, select “Sauté” function.

Remove the chicken thighs into a bowl, place corn starch slurry into the sauce and let reduce for 3-5 minutes until sauce is noticeably thickened. Place chicken back in the sauce to coat, then serve on top of your rice/quinoa and veggies, immediately. Don’t forget to top a few glorious tablespoons of the sauce ALL OVER the dish. Eat and enjoy!

Hawaii Shoyu Chicken Thighs in an InstaPot
Hawaii Shoyu Chicken Thighs in an InstaPot