My Grilled Pizza: The Real Hawaiian

Updated: Mar 14, 2020

Do not worry, I am not putting any pineapple on a pizza. I still don't get it, why would anyone put pineapple on a pizza? The earthy tomato sauce, the salty nutty cheeses and the fragrance herbs, I don't see any place for any sweet pineapple. Besides, what's so Hawaiian about a pineapple and ham toppings? I promised myself that I will create a real Hawaiian pizza with real authentic Hawaiian elements, and what better way than to create a Huli Huli chicken grilled pizza?

Huli Huli chicken is perhaps a Hawaiian national dish. You can find it anywhere in Hawaii; from the streets to eateries to restaurants. Usually, whole chickens are grilled in a giant rotisserie over burning mesquite wood. They are then basted with a sweet BBQ sauce. It is rumored that the BBQ sauce is actually teriyaki sauce, somehow or rather, it evolved into its own unique blend to suit the locals' tastebuds.

I put my chicken in a simple brine and set aside in the fridge for 12 hours or overnight. Sadly, I do not have a backyard to hold an actual grill, I was just using my stovetop skillet to cook the chicken. While cooking, I brushed the Huli Huli sauce onto the chicken. Tho, it may seem like a long process, but the end results make it all worthwhile.

Practically, I can enjoy the chicken by itself, but, we are gonna put them onto a grilled pizza. I don't wanna complicate the toppings; I just use green onions, deseeded sauteed red chilis and the duo cheeses. So there, a real Hawaiian pizza. I hope you will give this recipe a try.


(Make 3 grilled pizzas)

  • Chicken Brine:

  • Hot Water, 1/4 Cup

  • Sea Salt, 2 TBSP

  • Granulated Sugar, 1 TBSP

  • Bay Leaf, 1

  • Garlic Powder, Pinch

  • Ice Cubes, 1 Cup

  • Cold Water, 3/4 Cup

  • Skinless Boneless Chicken Breast, 250g

  • Chicken Rub:

  • Garlic Powder, 1 TSP

  • Sea Salt, 1 TSP

  • Smoked Paprika, 1/2 TSP

  • Cayenne, 1/2 TSP

  • Onion Powder, 1/2 TSP

  • White Pepper, 1/2 TSP

  • Cumin, Pinch

  • Huli Huli Sauce:

  • Fresh Pineapple Juice, 1/2 Cup

  • Good Quality Pineapple Jam, 1 TBSP

  • Tomato Ketchup, 1/4 Cup

  • Soy Sauce, 1/4 Cup

  • Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 TBSP

  • Dark Muscovado Sugar, 1/8 Cup

  • Ginger Grated, 1/2 Inch

  • Pizza:

  • Olive Oil, A Drizzle

  • Red Chilies Deseeded Thinly Sliced, 2 Or More If You're Awesome

  • Grilled Pizza Dough, 3 Dough Balls

  • Sesame Oil, For Brushing

  • Low Moisture Mozzarella Freshly Shredded, A Handful

  • Parmigiano Reggiano Freshly Grated, A Few Sprinkles

  • Green Onion, A Handful

  • Pure Honey, For Drizzling


  • Griddle / Grill Oven

  • Sauce Pot

  • Cast Iron Skillet / Pan


  1. Please visit my "My Grilled Pizza Journey and Beyond" page for more information.

  2. Please visit my "Grilled Pizza Dough" page for the recipe.

  3. Prepare the chicken brine.

  4. In a bowl, add in hot water, salt, sugar, bay leaf and garlic powder.

  5. Stir to combine well and until the sugar, salt and garlic powder have dissolved.

  6. Transfer into a large bowl.

  7. Add in ice, cold water and chicken.

  8. *Make sure the chicken is fully submerged. You can add more cold water.*

  9. Cover with cling film and set aside in the fridge between 4 to 12 hours. No more, no less.

  10. Prepare the chicken rub.

  11. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.

  12. Set aside.

  13. Prepare the Huli Huli sauce.

  14. In a sauce pot over medium heat, add all the ingredients.

  15. Stir to combine well and until the sugar has dissolved. Stir, stir, stir.

  16. Bring it up to a simmer.

  17. As soon as it coats the back of your spoon or it reaches a thick saucy consistency, remove from heat and set aside.

  18. Cook the chicken.

  19. If you have a backyard grill, you may grill this on your griller. I am using a skillet instead.

  20. Remove the chicken from the brine.

  21. Pat the chicken dry with a kitchen paper.

  22. Rub the chicken generously with the rub blend.

  23. In a skillet over medium heat, drizzle olive oil.

  24. As soon as the oil is heated up, gently place in the chicken away from you.

  25. Sear the chicken until lightly brown on the bottom.

  26. Flip, using a pastry brush, brush the chicken with the Huli Huli sauce.

  27. As soon as the bottom is lightly brown, flip and brush with the sauce.

  28. At this point, the chicken should be almost done.

  29. Give it the last couple of flipping and brushing.

  30. Once it is lightly charred on both sides, remove from heat and dice into bite-size pieces.

  31. Set aside.

  32. Prepare the pizza.

  33. In a skillet over medium heat, drizzle olive oil.

  34. As soon as the oil is heated up, add in the chilies.

  35. Saute until soft.

  36. Remove from heat and set aside.

  37. Once you have rolled out your pizza dough, brush the dough with sesame oil using a pastry brush.

  38. *Remember to use a fork and gently poke all over. This is crucial as it will prevent the crust to puff up.*

  39. In a griddle over medium heat, gently place in the dough oiled side down.

  40. Carefully and gently, using your hands to press down the dough to make sure the whole dough sits fully on the griddle.

  41. Brush the top with more sesame oil.

  42. Grill until almost charred.

  43. Flip the dough.

  44. Spread the Huli Huli sauce generously onto the pizza.

  45. Add the low-moisture mozzarella onto the sauce, distributing them evenly.

  46. Dip the chicken cubes in the Huli Huli sauce and scatter the chicken evenly over the top.

  47. Lastly, sprinkle the Parmigiano over the top.

  48. Immediately cover the griddle to generate steam so that the cheese will melt.

  49. As soon as the cheese melts and bottom is charred, remove the cover.

  50. Remove the pizza from heat and transfer onto a serving plate.

  51. Immediately, sprinkle the red chilies over the top.

  52. Using a pair of scissors, cut the green onion over the top.

  53. In a spiral motion, drizzle some more of that Huli Huli sauce over the top.

  54. Finally, drizzle some honey over the top in a spiral motion.

  55. Repeat the steps for the remaining pizzas.

  56. Slice and serve immediately.

#pizza #hawaiian #grilledpizza #hulihuli

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