Delicious Hawaiian Foods You Must Try
There are so many delicious Hawaiian foods that you should try as many as you have the opportunity to try. If you go to a luau this is a great opportunity to try a variety of foods, however there are so many other foods that are traditional to Hawaii and even Kauai that you will need to experiment on more occasions than just at a luau! Keep in mind the food local to Hawaii is a mixture of Hawaiian, Japanese, American, Chinese, Filipino, and more. Read the following descriptions of different types of food so you know what they are and are sure to give them a try.
The Hawaiian spiny lobster is quite tasty and different from Maine lobster, although this type of lobster is available on the big island. It is a spiny lobster and should be tried if you like seafood.
Mahi-mahi is a fish known as dolphin fish although many people call it dolphin, which confuses others who think it is Flipper. Mahi-mahi is not a dolphin but rather a fish from the deep ocean. The meat can taste fishy but a good cook can prepare it well and the fishy flavor is lost.
Marlin is a fish that is available most of the year, specifically the Pacific Blue Marlin. The fish is tough if it is not smoked, but when smoked it is actually quite good.
The Monchong is a deepwater fish that is also available all year. This fish is mostly marinated or grilled although there are other ways to prepare it. It is truly an outstanding fish and should be tried if you like seafood.
The Onaga is also called the red snapper. It is good almost any way it is cooked.
The Ono, or Wahoo, can be cooked almost any way you like it. Ono is fabulous to eat and is available most frequently May through October. The word Ono is Hawaiian also means delicious and that is exactly what this fish is.
Opah is also referred to as moonfish. It is wonderful in all recipes and is available most frequently April until August.
‘Opakapaka, also known as crimson snapper, is good and found October through February. It can be cooked many different ways as well.
‘Opihi are frequently eaten raw with just salt as seasoning. This seafood is not easy to catch and requires prying it off rocks with a special knife. This job should be left to those who know how to do it.
Poke is octopus or another raw fish like ahi mixed with limu, which is seafood, seasonings, sesame seed, and oil.
Swordfish on Kauai is known as Shutome. The meat can be cooked many different ways and is most common during the months of March, April, May, June, and July.
The Kelaha shrimp or prawns that are farm raised on Kauai are absolutely wonderful and should definitely be tried when the opportunity arises.
Other Foods to Try
Apple bananas are tangier than traditional bananas not to mention they are smoother and smaller.
Barbecue sticks are marinated meats served on bamboo sticks. The meat is barbecued and is pork, chicken, or beef.
The breadfruit is a fruit that is about the same size as a melon. It is served baked, steamed, boiled, and even deep fried. It is not a taste most people like right off.
Crackseed is an interesting food and it is really preserves that are spicy. This is a Chinese food.
Guava is a great fruit although it can be overly tart if eaten raw. It is most often used in jelly, juice, or jam. It is about the size of a plum and has an excellent flavor.
The Hawaiian supersweet corn is amazing and it is guaranteed to be the best corn you have ever tried. In fact, you will probably want to eat it every day of your trip once you get a bite!
Huli huli chicken is great and it is really just barbecue chicken, but it is Hawaiian style and really good. You ought to try it, you will like it.
The Ka’u oranges are very tasty, especially the more unattractive the orange is. These oranges are from the Big Island.
Kim Chee is a dish that is Korean in nature and is really a relish. It is made up of pickled onions, cabbage, radishes, garlic, and chilies. This is an acquired taste for many although many folks love it.
If you like good coffee then you must try out Kona coffee. This coffee is far superior from the coffee on Kauai and it is grown on the Big Island’s Kona coast. The flavor is smooth and wonderful.
Kulolo is a pudding made from the taro root. Some people like it, some don’t. You will have to try it to find out!
Laulau is a cool name for beef, fish, or pork wrapped in it and taro leaves. It is then steamed and served. You just eat the meat inside not the leaves!
Passion fruit is also known as liliko’i in Hawaii. This fruit is a bit bitter but absolutely wonderful in juice.
Loco moco is a typical Hawaiian plate that is made up of rice, meat, eggs, and gravy. Not exactly healthy, but really tasty.
Lychee is a wonderful fruit. The peel is red and bumpy, but when removed a sweet fruit is revealed. There is a pit inside so be careful if you are biting down! Lychees are absolutely wonderful and most everyone who tries them loves them.
If you like nuts then you will be overwhelmed with the Macadamia nut. This nut has a wonderful flavor and is great eaten alone or baked in cookies, muffins, or anything else!
The malasada is a doughnut dipped in sugar, but it’s a Portuguese doughnut to be exact. When served warm these are very dangerous to the waistline!
Fruit lovers must try the mango when they are in Hawaii. This fruit has a pink, yellow, green, orange skin that varies in hues and an orange colored flesh. The flavor is out of this world and when it is fresh it is even better!
Manapau is a meat filled bun that is baked or steamed.
Manju is a sweet lovers dream. This cookie is yummy and it is filled with something sweet in the middle. A must try!
Methley plums are not just any plums. They are wield and found at Koke’e State Park only during the summer. You must have a permit to pick them, but if you do you will certainly enjoy them.
Musubi is an interesting food and not everyone will want to try this. It is seafood wrappers filled with sliced Spam and cold rice. Yum, or not.
Papaya is yet another fruit that is really good. It is larger in size like a melon and has yellowish green skin. There are two types of papaya on Kauai, sunrise and strawberry. Try both if you get the chance!
The plate lunch is a typical lunch on the island. It is cheap, fills you up, and perfect to go or for picnics. It consists of macaroni salad, two scoops of rice and fish, beef or chicken. This meal is also referred to as a box lunch.
Portuguese sausage is another typical food on the islands. It is pork sausage seasoned with red pepper. In fact, it is seasoned with a lot of red pepper. Not everyone likes this sausage, but those who do love it.
Pupu is a name for snacks, appetizers, and the like. You may have heard of a Pupu platter or tray that is made up of a variety of finger foods. This has an Asian background.
Saimin is a food that nobody knows where it comes from. The Chinese say from Japan, the Japanese say from China. Regardless, it is a Hawaiian food now and made up of noodles cooked in a broth from fish, chicken, or pork.
Sea salt is frequently used on the Hawaiian Islands and much of Kauai’s comes from the Salt Pond. It is strong and good and if you go to a luau you will definitely have some!
Shave ice is another island favorite. The ice used to make shave ice is actually shaven from a big block of ice. It is not crushed ice as some people believe. Then, a syrup is poured on top. Many times shave ice is served on top of ice cream, which although it sounds weird is really very good.
Smoothies are also famous on Kauai and the rest of the Hawaiian Islands. They are made up of all kinds of fruit but the most frequent ingredients include mango, papaya, frozen bananas and passion fruit. Milk is added to the fruit to make it creamy and the result is a milkshake style fruit drink. Refreshing and healthy!
Taro is purple and makes most of the foods it is baked with the same color. Amazingly taro has fluoride in it, which makes your teeth strong. Taro is used in all kinds of foods included fritters, taro chips, breads, and more.
What to Try