Five-spice Shoyu Chicken

"My wife is from Hawaii, and one of her favorite restaurants is Russell Siu's Kaka'Aku Kitchen - she loves their five-spice shoyu chicken. (Shoyu chicken is cut-up chicken slow-cooked in a soy sauce-based liquid). I found a Sam Choy recipe for shoyu chicken that started with teriyaki sauce. Using that as a starting point, I redid my shoyu chicken recipe. My wife's response was that the result was even better than Kaka'Aku Kitchen's (not that she's at all biased in my favor)."
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Ready In:




  • Cut up chicken Chinese style (Cut off the end of the bone in the drumstick, cut each thigh in half, cut each wing into 2 segments with meat, and cut the breasts into strips transversely through the carcass with a heavy cleaver).
  • Do not debone chicken.
  • Combine the teriyaki sauce, five spice powder, cilantro, sesame oil, wine, and soy sauce.
  • For added flavor, combine ingredients and marinate chicken for 12-24 hours before cooking.
  • Add sauce and chicken to large saucepan of wok and bring to a simmer.
  • Cook, covered, at least 30 minutes or until chicken cooked through.
  • If time permits, cook for up to 1 hour on low heat- the longer cook time will get the chicken fall-off-the-bones tender.
  • Serve warm with rice (Also makes great leftovers).

Questions & Replies

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  1. didnt care for black licorice smell and taste .sauce was too thick
  2. Chris!!!! This recipe is heavenly! And so easy. What more could I ask for? I made the teriyaki sauce you referred to in your recipe, also a 5 star recipe, thanks for pointing it out. Anyway, I followed your recipe to the letter, using skinless, boneless chicken thighs. The aroma while this was cooking was unbelievable! My husband couldn't wait for it to finish. I brought the meat and sauce to a simmer, then covered and simmered for 45 minutes(the thighs were still a bit frozen), turning them every 15 minutes. Fantastic flavor with very little effort--you just throw it all together in the pan. :) Forgot to add--I added the cornstarch and water after the simmering time, and let it thicken for a few minutes. Served over white rice. The chicken was falling apart tender. The 5 spice powder just adds the most wonderful flavors to this dish. And as I write this, my dh is at work having some leftovers for lunch. Thanks for an amazing recipe that we will enjoy frequently!
  3. I had problems with this dish, however I will try it again and re-review if things change as I think it has great potential. First thing was the 5 spice powder refused to encorperate with the other ingreidents. I used low sodium terriyaki and soy sauce and the dish was way too salty (and I adore salty). Perhaps this came from the fact that for the "extra" flavor I marinated for about 10 hours...less than the 12-24 suggested. It does make fantastically moist chicken however....and I never did figure out what to do with the extra water and cornstarch, the directions never said. I imagine it was to thicken the sauce, but since it was WAY too salty that wasn't going to happen. Shredding the chicken and serving it minimally over rice is what saved it. Like I said I think this recipe has great potential and I will try it again...with slight modifications.



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