Are you looking to have a special culinary experience in Hawaii? Most people think of the endless beaches and beautiful landscapes when they think of this destination. But the traditional food is also something that’s not to be missed. Don’t spend all your time relaxing at your Oahu beachfront rental instead get out there and sample some of the delicious local cuisines. This article describes some of the best food to try in Hawaii.
What Type of Food Do People Eat in Hawaii?
Hawaiian food is rich and diverse. The early Polynesians had a diet of meat, plants, and fish. This evolved when the British and later merchants and laborers from around the world arrived on their shores. Today, it’s a fusion of Polynesian, Asian, and Portuguese as the different cultures merged together to create the Hawaiian identity. Expect seafood, rice, and a range of pork and chicken dishes that make meals mouthwateringly delicious.
1# Spam Musubi:
This is based on the Japanese rice ball snack that includes a chunk of grilled spam and other tasty ingredients. You can find this in most shops and convenience stores and it’s very popular with the locals in Hawaii.
2# Huli Huli Chicken:
Huli Huli Chicken is the Hawaiian version of Teriyaki chicken that’s marinated in sugars and soy sauce. When you bite into the crispy flesh, you’ll find the meat to be succulent and juicy. Street vendors tend to sell this during special events.
Poke is a traditional dish that’s strongly associated with the history and culture of Hawaii. This is a raw fish salad combining the ancient Polynesian styles with the more modern dishes. In fact, it’s very similar to sushi that you eat with a salad. The dish is often served as a starter with a variety of other vegetables and seaweed and is a very common dish amongst the Hawaiians.
4# The Acai Bowl:
The Acai Bowl is kind of like a thick smoothie from berries and fruits served with honey, oatmeal, or peanut butter. This is a favorite snack and locals often eat in the morning for breakfast.
5# Shave Ice:
Most of us would have tried a variation of shave ice at some point in our lives. But, the ones you find in Hawaii take it to the next level. The syrup is expertly poured over the ice to make sure that each flake of ice has flavor. You can find a range of different toppings including mocha, which is a little ball of chewy rice. This is a refreshing dessert after spending a few hours in the hot tropical sunshine.
6# Fish Tacos:
The locals sometimes wrap their fish in a tortilla to create a fish taco. Some have pineapples and mangoes added whereas others are best served with a sauce. You should be able to find vendors selling this delicious snack along the streets or in some of the smaller restaurants. Try to sample this in Hawaii if you get the chance.
7# Loco Moco:
The Loco Moco is unhealthy, but an extremely delicious snack that’s available in lots of restaurants throughout the Hawaiian Island. This is a more modern meal and typically consists of white rice on a hamburger patty with a fried egg on top. This is then served with brown gravy.
You can find different types of this dish including some that substitute the hamburger patty for either spam or a sausage. And you can find various flavors of gravy too with some having a spicy or garlicky kick. The dish is easy to find and is considered to be one of the ultimate comfort foods in Hawaii.
Saimin is the local version of an Asian noodle dish. It combines the best of Filipino, Chinese and Japanese dishes to create the perfect Hawaiian fusion. This is a noodle soup with a mixture of vegetables and meat served in a tasty broth. Saimin is served around the islands and is perfect for a light meal.
This is a sugary snack that was introduced to Hawaii by the Portuguese. Malasadas look like small donuts without a hole in the center. The deep-fried pastry may not be the healthiest, but it’s certainly one of the tastiest and a good one to sample as a treat. Some Malasadas have different fruit fillings so be sure to try more than one kind. You can find these inexpensive treats in almost every bakery in Hawaii and should be on your list of food to try when you visit.
10# The Plate Lunch:
The Plate Lunch is popular with locals as a hearty meal of rice, meat, and a salad. When you order the food, you have the option to choose from a selection of meats including fried chicken or beef. This is similar to the lunch time specials you can find in many Asian countries and you have the option to eat in or take away. Explore the restaurants and try the Plate Lunch specials to find the most delicious one for you.
Important Things to Remember:
Hawaii isn’t just about beaches, surfing and relaxing along the lazy coastal areas. The islands have a type of cuisine that’s a unique fusion between Polynesian, the East and West. The good news is that you can find delicious meals almost everywhere. I hope this article has provided you with the inspiration to get out and taste some of these delicious dishes on your trip to Hawaii.