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Shoyu and Vinegar Roast Chicken

This recipe combines the elements of two popular Hawaii dishes (Shoyu Chicken and Chicken Adobo), to make real saucy roast chicken, complete with crispy skin!

Shoyu and Vinegar Roast Chicken
Shoyu and Vinegar Roast Chicken

Hot from the oven! Crispy on top, so juicy throughout. Serve with a big bowl of rice.

Shoyu and Vinegar Roast Chicken

You remember the Shoyu Chicken recipe? That is a Hawaii classic. You remember Chicken Adobo? That is also a popular Hawaii dish.

This recipe combines my favorite parts of Shoyu Chicken and Chicken Adobo. It’s made from chicken thighs (and onions) roasted with soy sauce (shoyu), vinegar, and olive oil!

Rice vinegar, soy sauce (shoyu), and olive oil
Rice vinegar, soy sauce (shoyu), and olive oil

Easy, One Pan Meal

I love making this dish for three key reasons:

  • Easy to make
  • Very onolicious!
  • Requires only one pan

All the assembly and cooking is done in one pan. The only ingredient you need to cut is onions.

Easy prep = easy clean up ^_^

For the minimal amount of effort involved, this also a fairly impressive looking dish. We always keep a few pounds of chicken thighs (always bone-in and skin-on) in the freezer for last minute meals.

Shoyu and Vinegar Roast Chicken. Don't forget to cook rice ^_^
Shoyu and Vinegar Roast Chicken. Don’t forget to cook rice ^_^

Shoyu and Vinegar Roast Chicken Method

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Ready to cook? Ok, the first thing to do is assemble the sauce. In a large pan (I use a big saucepan that is oven-safe), combine the three key sauce ingredients:

Just 5 ingredients: chicken thighs, onions, soy sauce (shoyu), rice vinegar, and olive oil.
Just 5 ingredients: chicken thighs, onions, soy sauce (shoyu), rice vinegar, and olive oil.

Then add in the minced onions (use a sweet Maui onion if you can). Mix everything well.

Add in all the chicken thighs (recipe calls for 3 pounds but as long as you use 2-3 pounds, you are fine). Use your hands to toss the chicken in the sauce, making sure every piece is evenly coated.

Put in the oven for 30 minutes at 425F. Give it a stir half way through to make sure no onion bits burn. Turn the oven up to 475F and cook for 10 minutes more until the skin is golden and crisp.

Eat with rice! There will be a lot of sauce/juice at the bottom of the pan. Make sure to spoon up all that sauce (along with the onions) and pour it over your rice. So onolicious.

Rice vinegar, soy sauce (shoyu), olive oil, and onions
Rice vinegar, soy sauce (shoyu), olive oil, and onions

What Is Rice Vinegar?

This recipe calls for rice vinegar. Rice vinegar is made from fermented rice (it’s sometimes called “rice wine vinegar”). Out of all the common cooking vinegars, rice vinegar is the most mild and mellow.

Rice vinegar shows up in many local Hawaii recipes, and a lot on this blog! A few popular dishes include:

My Rice Vinegar Pick:

We use the Marukan brand of Rice Vinegar which you can easily find at all Japanese (and many Asian markets).

Note: you might see two types of rice vinegars on the shelf. One is “Marukan Rice Vinegar” and the other is “Marukan Seasoned Rice Vinegar.” The seasoned vinegar includes the addition of sugar and salt. If you have the option, I prefer to get the “Marukan Rice Vinegar,” because the flavor is cleaner.

Right before Shoyu and Vinegar Roast Chicken goes in the oven.
Right before Shoyu and Vinegar Roast Chicken goes in the oven.

Substitutions

Can I use a different type of vinegar?

Yes. You can replace rice vinegar with apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar. You can even mix two types of vinegar. Rice vinegar is gentle and mild. A more acidic vinegar will make the dish sharper.

If you make this recipe multiple times (which I hope you will ^_^). I recommend trying it with various vinegars to find your favorite. 

Do I have to use chicken thighs?

Chicken thighs are my favorite for this recipe, but you can use any part of the chicken. You can use drumsticks and wings. You can even get a whole chicken and cut it up. But please make sure that the chicken is skin-on and bone-in. The bones give so much flavor. The skin keeps the meat moist (and who doesn’t love eating crispy skin).

Do you have shallots at home? 

If so, use them! Replace the onion with 4-5 shallots, sliced thinly. I use shallots when making this recipe on the mainland, and use onions when making the recipe in Hawaii (shallots are just less common/popular at local Hawaii markets).

Shoyu and Vinegar Roast Chicken, ready to eat!
Shoyu and Vinegar Roast Chicken, ready to eat!

Tips

Get Crisp Skin / Don’t Burn Onions
When you check on the chicken halfway through the cooking time, I recommend brushing the onions off the top of the chicken skin. Why? Because the onions may burn and also prevent the chicken skin from getting really golden and crisp.

Maui Onion
This recipe works with any onion, but if you happen to have a sweet Maui onion, please use it. We love these sweet onions so much that we often eat them raw, sliced and dipped in Hawaiian sea salt. The Maui onions + Hawaiian sea salt combo is even served as a side dish at Helena’s Hawaiian Food.

Sauce On Rice
This dish is best enjoyed with a big bowl of steaming hot rice. Put the chicken rice on top of the rice and pour the onions and sauce/chicken juices from the pan all over. The rice soaks it up so good!

Alternatively, you can pour the onions and sauce/chicken juices in a separate bowl and use it as a “dipping sauce” for the chicken. Either way, do not let the sauce go to waste.

Shoyu and Vinegar Roast Chicken Recipe

See below for the recipe ^_^

Shoyu and Vinegar Roast Chicken

Shoyu and Vinegar Roast Chicken

Yield: Lunch/dinner for 3
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Shoyu and Vinegar Roast Chicken combines the elements of two popular Hawaii dishes (Shoyu Chicken and Chicken Adobo), to make one really saucy and juicy roast chicken, complete with crispy skin! Eat with rice.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
  2. In a roasting pan/oven proof saucepan, mix together rice vinegar, olive oil, soy sauce, and minced onion.
  3. Add the chicken thighs to the skillet and toss so that every piece is evenly coated in the mixture.
  4. Roast the chicken skin-side up for 30 minutes at 425F. Give the chicken/sauce a stir halfway through. Turn the heat up to 475F and roast for 10 more minutes.
  5. Eat with rice! Make sure to spoon the juices/sauce and onions all over the rice) ^_^

Mimmie

Thursday 21st of October 2021

Just made this for lunch! Delicious and super easy. Thanks for all of your recipes and tips!

Kathy

Thursday 21st of October 2021

Aloha Mimmie - So happy you enjoyed! Thank you for the kind words :) - Kathy

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