Hey Bruh, Mahalo!

Aʻole pilikia (no problems), man.

Such a pleasant exchange could take place only in Hawaii, and the reason for this sociability? Food almost certainly is involved, and it’s likely we’re talking chicken just pulled from the grill, topped with teriyaki and pineapple, and adorning a toasted King’s Hawaiian bun.

In other words, an Aloha Chicken Burger as featured in the April/May 2020 AllRecipes issue. Of course, other ingredients also add flavor and texture. Among them, a slice of thick-cut bacon (remnants of a luau?), Hawaiian mayonnaise, and still-crisp lettuce. Oh, and don’t forget the just-picked tomato, juicy and sun-warmed. It’s mid-August, so naturally:

Of course, this blog wouldn’t be itself without a few riffs, and this week comes well-prepared. For one thing, instead of chicken breasts, which must be cut and pounded into shape, how about thighs? They’re juicier and are more flavorful too. Also, the cheese was skipped altogether. It’s definitely not a personal favorite, and it’s far from Hawaiian, so toss it.

In fairness, mayonnaise doesn’t quite fit either, but this is a special mix, a Hawaiian mayonnaise found on the Burger Base website. Add orange marmalade, Dijon and whole-grain mustards, sprinkle in a little cayenne and twist in some pepper, and mayo’s set sail for the Pacific. A perfect tangy-zesty-creamy compliment to the other ingredients.

Most of the Aloha Burger remains true to the original, though. This includes perhaps the most important ingredient of all, the grill. It provides a faint, subtle smokiness, as well as those indispensable grill marks, thin ribbons of charred intensity. Both the chicken and the pineapple partake:

Then, while the flame finishes its job, how about something to drink?

Put it all together for a burger hitting all the highlights – sweet, tangy, creamy and fresh. Plus, plenty of umami (the Japanese word for particularly savory tastes). All of this, and luxurious juiciness too, thanks to the chicken, pineapple and tomato. It’s enough to make you flavor-tipsy too. After a few bites, everyone’s your bruh.


Aloha Chicken Burger

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (*1)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 8 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium teriyaki sauce
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese (*2)
  • 4 sweet Hawaiian hamburger buns, split
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 4 slices fresh or canned pineapple
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (*3)
  • 4 leaves iceberg lettuce (*4)
  • 4 slices tomato

Put the chicken and soy sauce in a large zip-top bag. Force out as much air as you can and seal the top. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Turn a grill to medium heat. Transfer the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade. Grill 6 to 8 minutes per side. As the chicken cooks, generously brush both sides with teriyaki sauce. Add cheese (if using) and grill until the cheese has melted. Remove the chicken from the grill and cut into 4 pieces, total.

Spread the cut sides of the buns with butter and arrange them, cut side down, on the grill. Grill until toasted, about 2 minutes. Remove the buns and lay the pineapple slices on the grill. Cook until light grill marks appear, about 2 minutes.

Serve chicken on buns with mayonnaise, bacon, pineapple, lettuce and tomato.


1 – Four boneless, skinless thighs are much better. Not only are they more succulent and tasty (mentioned previously), but they’re naturally of the proper width and thickness, requiring no additional effort in that regard.

2 – No. Just…no.

If you’re into cheese, that’s your problem, but don’t get any of it near my Aloha Burgers!

3 – Regular mayo, well, take it or leave it. Hawaiian mayo, though (recipe below), now we’re talking.

4 – I used Boston lettuce instead. Its leaves are smaller and are more pliable, making them ideal for sandwiches, and its less-watery taste works better with the other toppings.


Hawaiian Mayonnaise

  • 1-and-1/4 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a medium bowl whisk together all the ingredients until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, to allow the flavors to develop.


20 thoughts on “Hey Bruh, Mahalo!

    1. Much appreciated, Jenn! Agreed, absolutely.

      Leaving aside the boring science about pineapples’ enzymes, the combo of fruit and protein just tastes really good.

      Another particularly thrilling interaction arises from the assertive sweet-tart gold and the slightly receptive King’s Hawaiian rolls. Don’t mean to name-drop brands, but King’s fills a unique market niche here in the Northeast.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks much, Tamara! Pineapple’s calling card, aside from its obvious succulence, is the way it tenderizes the chicken. As though the bird weren’t juicy and indulgent enough.

      Speaking of bulldogs, if you want to snag Thor’s sandwich, remind him of feasting at Valhalla. As such, why should he settle for something Hawaiian, when the gods have promised more Viking fare, such as a turkey leg or a horn flowing with mead?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love grilled pineapple! Fresh pineapple, too, but it’s even better grilled. Why, this entire burger consists of things I like… Even, in the case of your version, the non-existent cheese. 😝

    And I have to say, that is an impressive tomato. That’s from your garden?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Much appreciated, Rachel! Gratified, though not especially surprised, to read of your enthusiasm. The heat concentrate’s the pineapple’s essence, which contrasts it wonderfully with the grill’s light char. Sweet and toasty, a variant of crisped bread’s “golden brown with marmalade” vibe.

      Oh, and the tomato appreciates the compliment. This summer’s bountiful sunshine won it fans everywhere, particularly in the deck garden. Your regard provides the warmest glow of all, though.

      I hope Instagram still intrigues you, as several garden pics appeared there already, in addition to most of this year’s WordPress output.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh! Instagram, right! I actually did toy around and make an account at one point… though social media and such always makes me feel like a minnow in an ocean. Lost, bewildered, and on the cusp of being eaten. But anyway — Perhaps I ought to ask what your username is?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The Instagram handle is insanely creative, kengwer. I’ll give you a few weeks to get your head around that one.

        Maybe you’ll stop by one day. I’d appreciate having company piloting the churning seas. While the audience there already is a few times bigger than it is here on WP, I still am but .001% of a Kardashian.

        All an all, the reception has been welcoming. Remarkably tolerant, too, of a tendency to go on and on. I even have succeeded in inspiring whole sentences in response. Thus, the corruption begins.

        Anyway, here’s to the day you visit. You probably will recognize a couple people from here, though I met most of them on IG. Though the IG audience is more sizeable and is growing, WP is more accepting of photo variety, and it’s more conducive to involved conversations. Meaning, I intend to keep two homes.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Engwer, huh? That’s interesting. I hardly ever get to see names with Ws, even last ones… It’s all Ls and Ms and the first letter of the alphabet. Terribly boring.

        Heh, well we’ll see if I can adapt to this strange new world… Though not being much of a picture person probably doesn’t up my belonging score much.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. The first letter is a “K,” actually – K-E-N-G-W-E-R. A screw-up on my part, as I misunderstood the registration “form” and thought it was asking for my email address, not my chosen screen name. By the time I realized what I had done, a couple people greeted me and started following the posts, making it too late to change the title to something better.

        I’m not going to lie to you, Rachel, Instagram is pretty image-driven. As you would expect from a platform on which most limit their comments and responses to six words or fewer.

        Speaking of “belonging” issues, you can imagine how well my lengthy paragraphs fit. To their credit, IG people accept this, and most seem to read all of it too. Heck, as mentioned, a few of them even have started sending me paragraphs of their own, both in response to the comments, or in reacting to my posts. I’d love to have an ally in promoting verbal a well as visual expressiveness.

        Oh, as for each page’s content, a couple people I follow use a stylized word as their graphic, and then include their writing within the post itself. Words in a couple different formats, that’s all. If you want some advice (from 1/100,000th of a Kardashian), start searching for topics which intrigue you and people sympathetic to your interests. Comment when you’re inspired. People will begin looking for what you post, and most will follow you back.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Ahh — I just assumed the K was for Keith. My talent for deductive reasoning is revealed. 😝

        There’s a few people (myself included) who would probably laugh to hear me be considered as an ally in verbal expressiveness… Such is not always my forte. A worthy cause, however, and perhaps I will render what aid I can.

        Interesting — thanks. I’ll… investigate. If I find a comfortable means of graphicizing things, I’ll see about joining you in Kardashianism.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Oh, the K is for “Keith.” It’s the first part of one of my email addresses. Before I realized I had typed a lame screenname by mistake, though, I was committed to perpetuating its dullness.

        Rachel, you’re deficient in confidence, not in expressiveness. Pick any one of your poems and zero in on any stanza at random. Look me in the eye 👁‍🗨 and tell me you don’t have an amazing talent for a gorgeous turn of phrase.

        Then, consider your output here. Over the last six months alone, you’ve furnished sparkling details about Rosy, the League, mini-mammoths, endless storerooms, marooned pirates, and bottled ghosts and spirits. Not to mention observations about all manner of food.

        Bring 10% of that to Instagram, and you’ll have ol’ Kim and Chloe squabbling back at the kids’ table. As for your graphic, I have an idea I think will work, whenever you’re comfortable moving beyond “Likes” and “Comments.” Please, don’t feel obligated. Whenever and if ever…

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Well, I… Would not use such adjectives, anyway. But I suppose I can do okay sometimes. On occasion. Though in the case of conversations, one could note that it takes two…

        In regards to Instagram, I would be very interested to hear your idea.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Well, Rachel, after our conversation you published your first entry, and its quality makes it obvious you don’t need any help.

        See, I thought you were stuck hopelessly, and I was going to suggest creating a Word document with the poem’s title in stylized font, and then using that as your “graphic.” You handled the launch much more deftly than that, though. Plus, I thought you intended merely to recreate on Instagram what you already released on WordPress. I can see now you’re five or six steps beyond that.

        Oh well, never mind…

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Nonsense! My intention was (and is, if I can get over some mild frustration involving Kindles and images) to do some experimenting and figure out what I like best. Your suggestion is perfectly viable, especially for longer poems. The only trouble is in how I’d want to go about it… But that’s a trouble produced by my own idiosyncrasies.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Then please, brainstorm away, Rachel, as I can’t wait until you’re up and running. It’ll be great for people who’ve been friends for years to join the Instagram peerage.

        My challenge isn’t as daunting as is yours, of course. As my posts already are somewhat photo-forward, I have no problem converting them to IG. That said, the platform’s latest trend is posting videos. “Reels,” I believe people call them.

        Not for me. At least not yet. However, you may recall there will be increased emphasis on my posts for dinnerware, linens, and dimensional decorations.

        For example, Air France will get the spotlight in a future article. Planning for it has included a search on Etsy for a poster sufficiently large. Then, on to Amazon for a vintage cookbook.

        Well, by “vintage,” I mean the 1960s, but still, far older than is either of us.


    1. Thanks, Crystal! The marmalade gives the mayo Big Island vibes, that’s for sure!

      While Dijon seems an odd choice for a Hawaiian condiment, it provides perfect balance. The sweetness is if anything, a bit more pronounced when it plays off its opposite number.

      Liked by 1 person

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