Chicken is a popular food for Americans, but not all chicken is the same.
A Hawaiian dish called Huli Huli Chicken is a delicious recipe made with soy sauce and pineapple juice that creates a mouth-watering flavor you won’t be able to stop thinking about.
Huli Huli Chicken is a tasty dish that has been served in Hawaii for decades.
The dish is a traditional Hawaiian dish called Kalua pig, which uses a pig roast to create a tasty meal.
While both dishes are traditionally made over hot coals, Huli Huli Chicken is baked in a sauce made from soy sauce and pineapple juice, giving it a unique and delicious flavor.
The best part of the Huli Huli Chicken recipe is how easy it is to make.
You can use chicken legs or thighs for this dish, but be careful not to overcook the meat because you want it to stay moist and tender.
While the chicken bakes in the oven, you can use this time to make your side dishes.
We recommend fried rice, Hawaiian macaroni salad, and green beans with butter for your side dishes.
This article will list the best side dishes to serve with Huli Huli Chicken for the perfect meal.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Huli Huli Chicken?
Huli Huli Chicken is a traditional Hawaiian dish that involves roasting chicken over an open flame and basting it with pineapple juice, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and brown sugar.
The dish has recently become popularized around the United States and is often served during Fourth of July barbecues as an alternative to traditional American dishes such as hamburgers.
However, Huli Huli Chicken is not complete without a side dish or two.
Side dishes are a great way to add variety and further enrich the dining experience by complementing the main course in taste, texture, and presentation.
When considering side dishes for a Hawaiian feast, consider keeping it traditional.
For example, one or more roasted root vegetables would be an excellent option to serve with Huli Huli Chicken.
In addition to providing a beautiful presentation, roasted vegetables are also delicious.
They also go very well with the Asian flavors of Huli Huli Chicken and provide suitable textural contrast.
What to Serve with Huli Huli Chicken? 8 BEST Side Dishes
Here are eight excellent side dish options for your next Huli Huli Chicken meal:
1 – Roasted Root Vegetables
Root vegetables such as potatoes, beets, and parsnips provide a beautiful presentation and delicious flavor that contrasts well with the Asian flavors of Huli Huli Chicken.
They taste great with various spices and seasonings, including garlic, rosemary, thyme, sea salt, and pepper.
Options such as sweet potatoes or turnips provide a sweeter flavor to contrast with the saltiness in Huli Huli Chicken.
Roasting vegetables is easy to do, and it can be done in advance.
Vegetables tend to need approximately 30-45 minutes of cooking time.
So it’s best to roast them before the main course is served so that they still have a good texture.
2 – Steamed Rice
While it may be a common side dish, there are few foods more versatile than rice.
It can be served as a base for other dishes to provide excellent textural contrast, and it can be cooked in a variety of ways to provide an exciting flavor.
Options for cooking rice include steaming, sauteing, or stir-frying.
Rice can also be flavored with seasonings such as turmeric, garlic, pepper, ginger, and more.
You can also prepare rice using chicken broth for some extra flavor depth.
However you choose to flavor the rice, it will provide an excellent contrast in texture and flavor to the Asian-inspired flavors of Huli Huli Chicken.
3 – Mashed Cauliflower
Cauliflower is one of the healthiest vegetables available, and at the same time, it is very versatile.
As long as you handle cauliflower with care while cooking it (don’t overcook), the taste should complement your meal nicely.
Cauliflower can be steamed, boiled, or sauteed. It can also be mashed to provide an excellent alternative to potatoes.
Mashed cauliflower is easy to make and only requires a few minutes of cooking time.
Just cook until it’s soft enough to mash with a fork.
Then place the cauliflower in a colander and run cold water on it to cool.
Once the cauliflower is cooled, place it in a bowl and mash it with a fork or potato masher.
You can also add salt and pepper and some butter (or vegan alternative) for some extra flavor depth.
4 – Baked Sweet Potatoes
It may not be easy to choose between the many types of roasted root vegetables available, but one thing is for sure – baked sweet potatoes can add a nice touch to your meal.
Sweet potatoes provide a sweeter flavor and go very well with the Asian flavors in Huli Huli Chicken.
To bake a sweet potato, poke a few holes in it using a fork.
Place it in the microwave for approximately 5 minutes to soften the skin (this step can be skipped if you don’t mind peeling the skin off after cooking).
Once softened, cut open and remove any spots that are brown or mushy.
Then place the sweet potato on a plate with a paper towel covering it, and cook using either the oven or the toaster oven until it is soft throughout.
At this point, remove the sweet potato from the microwave and cut it into halves lengthwise.
Add salt, pepper, and butter (or vegan alternative) before eating.
5 – Sautéed Spinach
Spinach is highly nutritious as well as flavorful.
It provides a nice contrast in terms of flavor while also providing a nice presentation due to its vibrant green color.
Spinach can be sauteed in a pan with some olive oil and garlic or added raw to salads for an extra crunch.
The important thing is not to overcook the spinach, as it will lose its texture and turn it brown.
6 – Roasted Asparagus
Asparagus is another excellent vegetable option to consider.
It provides a nice crunch and flavor that will make it great for dipping into sauces like the Huli Huli sauce.
To roast asparagus, spread olive oil onto the spears (be generous here), salt them lightly, and roast in the oven until they are soft (this should only take about 10 minutes).
You can also roast asparagus in the microwave.
If you do this, make sure to wrap them in plastic wrap first (to avoid dryness) before microwaving them for approximately 5 minutes.
After cooking, spread olive oil onto the spears and salt lightly.
7 – Fried Rice
Fried rice is another excellent way to provide contrast in terms of flavor and texture.
Rice provides a nice change from steamed or sauteed vegetables, especially if you are using leftover rice that has been previously cooked or purchased from the store.
It’s also fairly easy to cook fried rice. You have to stir fry some vegetables in oil, add the leftover rice, and season it.
If you want to make things easier for yourself, use frozen mixed vegetables or pre-cooked rice.
This will provide an excellent balance in terms of flavors while also providing a nice crunch due to the presence of the vegetables.
8 – Mashed Sweet Potatoes
If baked sweet potatoes are not your thing, you can always opt for mashed sweet potatoes.
This is very easy to prepare and only requires a few minutes of work.
Cook until soft enough to mash with a fork or masher before placing it in a colander and running cold water on the potato to cool it down before mashing.
Once cooled down, place it in a bowl and stir in butter (or vegan alternative) as well as salt and pepper.
You can also add some milk to achieve a creamier texture.
Before serving, you will want to place the mashed sweet potato back into the microwave for several minutes until it is warm throughout.
This will ensure that it has a nice and creamy consistency.
Huli Huli chicken is such a versatile dish that it can be paired with many different side dishes.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that it is important to provide contrast in terms of flavor and texture, which will make the flavors stand out even more if you can pair them with vegetables, even better.
If you’re looking for something tasty, easy to cook, and also nutritious, then these side dishes are for you.