Rumaki Chicken Liver and Bacon Appetizer

Rumaki chicken livers with bacon recipe

The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 30 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
57 Calories
2g Fat
5g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 30
Amount per serving
Calories 57
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 38mg 13%
Sodium 210mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 2mg 11%
Calcium 5mg 0%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 144mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Rumaki is a popular party appetizer that probably originated in Polynesian restaurants. The rumaki goes back to the mid 20th century; one of the first known print references was, purportedly, on the 1941 menu of the restaurant, Don the Beachcomber

Rumaki appetizers are typically put together with marinated chicken livers, water chestnuts, and bacon. The wrapped chicken livers are marinated in an easy mixture of soy sauce and spices, and then they are. Feel free to use whole unsliced chicken livers.

Don't like chicken livers? Take a look at the possible variations below the recipe.


  • 15 strips bacon

  • 6 ounces chicken livers

  • 2 (8-ounce) cans water chestnuts, drained and sliced

  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, or 5-spice powder

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1 dash salt

  • 1 dash pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for rumaki chicken livers with bacon
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  2. Heat the oven to 375 F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and place a rack in the pan.

    Line baking sheet
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  3. Cut the bacon in half crosswise and arrange the strips on the rack.

    Bacon on tray
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  4. Bake the bacon for about 12 minutes, or until they are partially done but still quite flexible. (We'll be rolling the chicken livers and water chestnuts in the bacon, so they need to be pliable.) 

    Bake the bacon
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  5. Remove the bacon to a cooling rack and pat gently with paper towels. Put the pan with the rack aside for the rumaki. 

    Remove bacon
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  6. While the bacon is cooking, cut the chicken livers into 3/4-inch pieces.

    Cut chicken livers
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt 
  7. Put the chicken liver pieces in a bowl and add the drained water chestnuts, soy sauce, ginger, curry powder, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Set aside to marinate for about 15 to 20 minutes while the bacon cooks.

    Put chicken liver pieces in bowl
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  8. When the bacon is cool enough to handle, place a strip on a work surface. Place a piece of chicken liver on the top of the bacon and a slice of water chestnut just below it.

    Put chicken liver in bacon
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  9. Roll the bacon up tightly and secure with a toothpick. Ensure the toothpick goes through the water chestnut, the chicken liver, and the ends of the bacon.

    Roll bacon up
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  10. Place the rolled rumaki on the rack and repeat the assembly with the remaining bacon, livers, and water chestnuts.

    Place on rack
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  11. Strain the marinade into a saucepan and bring to a full rolling boil. Remove from the heat and set aside.

    Strain marinade
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  12. Bake the rumaki for about 20 minutes or until the bacon is crisp, turning halfway through the cooking time and basting occasionally with the boiled marinade.

    Bake rumaki
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  13. Discard the remaining marinade and transfer the rumaki to a bowl for serving. Or, if not serving immediately, keep the rumaki warm on a warming tray or in a slow cooker (on the warm or low setting). Serve and enjoy!

    Rumaki chicken livers
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt


  • Replace the chicken livers with large sea scallops sliced in half horizontally. 
  • Replace the chicken livers with pineapple chunks. Wrap a sliced water chestnut and pineapple chunk in bacon. Marinate and cook as directed, or until the bacon is crisp.