Crispy Hawaiian Garlic Chicken

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Crispy Hawaiian Garlic Chicken made with a soy garlic sauce and fried jalapeño rings. This is a spicy version of your favorite island takeout!

We love Hawaiian food, especially Hawaiian takeout food and this recipe is the PERFECT main course served with rice and Hawaiian Macaroni Salad.

Crispy Hawaiian Garlic Chicken with Rice in bowl

It tastes like an L&L Barbecue Hawaiian Chicken copycat, if you’re fortunate enough to have L&L Barbecue nearby.

You’re probably wondering about the jalapeños because true Hawaiian crispy garlic chicken doesn’t have jalapeños. Well, the reason we fried them up and added them to the mix is that one of my absolute FAVORITE Chinese Food dishes is Salt and Pepper Chicken.

This Crispy Hawaiian Garlic Chicken has a lot of the same flavor elements of Chinese Salt and Pepper Chicken. I was contemplating adding spice a different way, either with Sriracha or crushed red peppers, but when we order salt and pepper chicken we all fight over those fried jalapeños.

You can certainly leave them out, but if you like spice I would tell you to at least give it a shot with the jalapeños, they’re so delicious with the rest of the Crispy Hawaiian Garlic Chicken.

The sauce itself is a pretty simple sweetened soy sauce mixture filled with a whole lot of garlic. Most takeout food is this simple though and if you were ordering a Hawaiian chicken plate at your favorite takeout spot you’d see this chicken with a giant pile of rice and macaroni salad.

This dish is certainly at least marginally related to my Korean Fried Chicken but it’s closer to an l&l garlic chicken recipe with a hint of Chinese salt and pepper chicken because of the thin sauce it is tossed in along with those fried jalapeños.

Piece of L&L hawaiian garlic chicken copycat

How to make Hawaiian Garlic Chicken:

  • Heat the oil to 350 degrees.
  • Make sure the chicken isn’t coated too thickly with flour.
  • Bring the sauce to a boil.
  • When the chicken is done frying toss it together with the sauce RIGHT before serving so it doesn’t get soggy.
  • Serve with rice and macaroni salad.

What Makes Hawaiian Garlic Chicken different than most fried chicken:

Hawaiian Crispy Garlic Chicken is different because of the sauce. While the fried chicken is pretty straight forward, the intense soy garlic sauce it is tossed in adds a ton of flavor to the chicken. Since the mixture is only brought to a boil before being turned off, the garlic is still a very strong flavor.

Again, you guys definitely don’t HAVE to add the spice, but if you like spice you’re going to be fighting over those bites. We actually slice up two jalapeños personally since we all love them, but I adjusted the recipe to 1 jalapeño to prevent it from being too spicy.

Looking for more Asian food takeout?

Tools used in the making of this Hawaiian Crispy Garlic Chicken Recipe:
Soy Sauce: Nothing much to say here except I only use this brand and I always recommend reduced sodium.
Cast Iron Dutch Oven: I used to fry in my cast iron skillet, but this dutch oven is perfect for frying larger pieces of food and it keeps heat really well. Plus the lid is a second pan!
Slotted Skimmer: Love this tool for gently removing and draining oil from fried food.



Crispy Hawaiian Garlic Chicken

4.89 from 9 votes
  • Yield: 8 Servings
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Hawaiian
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
Crispy Hawaiian Garlic Chicken made with a soy garlic sauce and fried jalapeño rings. This is a spicy version of your favorite island takeout!


  • 1 1/2 pound chicken thighs boneless and skinless
  • 1 jalapeno sliced (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • oil for frying
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons garlic minced


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Cut the chicken into 1 inch pieces and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Slice the jalapeno into 1/4 thick slices [if using].
  3. Heat oil on high heat, to 350 degrees.
  4. In a bowl, mix the salt, flour and cornstarch and coat the chicken in the mixture.

  5. Add about 1/4 of the chicken to the oil at a time, frying in batches.
  6. Once the chicken is fried add the jalapeños to the oil and fry for 30 seconds.

  7. While the chicken is frying add the rest of the ingredients to a saucepan and bring it to a boil, whisking well.
  8. When the mixture reaches a boil, turn off the heat.
  9. Once all the chicken is fried, toss it with the sauce mixture.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 8 Servings, Amount per serving: 262 calories, Serving Size: 1 , Calories: 262g, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 83mg, Sodium: 617mg, Potassium: 206mg, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 85g, Vitamin C: 2.7g, Calcium: 12g, Iron: 1.2g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: Crispy Hawaiian Garlic Chicken
Crispy Garlic Chicken Collage
Classic Hawaiian Takeout Garlic Chicken

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  1. This was delicious! But….I found that half way through frying the chicken I needed to egg it first then dredge in the flour. Made the chicken soooo much more Crispy. Otherwise…’s amazing.

  2. Hi! The taste is delicious. But I am having a hard time making it crispy like your images. I did pay dry the chicken with paper towel too.

    1. First you want to make sure that your oil is hot enough to get the chicken crispy. Also, in between batches, place them on a wire rack vs a plate or paper towel that way there isn’t any added moisture to make it soggy. I hope this helps for next time.

  3. I love this recipe! I make mine keto by subbing the breading with a Parmesan/nut flour mix, and sub Swerve for the sugar. I serve it with cauliflower fried rice…so good!

  4. I’ve made this recipe three times now my hubs loves it! But I wonder how you get that good breaded fry that your picture seems to have. When I put my chicken in the hot oil the coating seems to come right off. My oil temp is high enough as I’ve put the therm in there to make sure that wasn’t the problem Thank you

    1. I’m so glad you guys are loving it! Next time, try and make sure the chicken is fully dried before placing it in the flour and cornstarch mixuture. Sometimes I even pat it with a paper towel before. Hope this helps!

    2. Whenever I make a crispy fried dish, like chicken or beef, I allow It to sit with the coating on it, for about 45 minutes before I fry it. This prevents the coating from coming off in the oil. I hope that helps.

  5. Made this for dinner tonight with some fried rice and it was excellent!! Will definitely add it to my rotation. Very easy and uses simple ingredients. Thank you!

  6. Okay so I’m going to try this as Crispy Hawaiian Garlic GROUND Chicken! I love your idea of turning some of my favorite takeouts into a ground meat situation and with this is the one I’m going to try next!

    1. You’ll want to add the ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking well. Once it starts to boil, turn off the heat.

  7. I made this tonight and it’s delish. I used chicken breast instead of thighs, but that’s the only alteration I made. I loved it! Thank you for the recipe

  8. This was a very easy dinner to make. The sauce was so flavorful. Definitely better than takeout. What is your secret for such a perfect fry on the chicken?

    1. Thank you so much! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I love my spider strainer when frying food. I put the food in, leave it a second and the shake it for a second. It works perfectly every time! Here’s a link to the one I use.