There are so many different cultures in Hawaii and that is reflected in the food. Some of these foods you can’t find anywhere else unless you make it yourself or find a specialty shop. If you make it out to the islands, these are the six things I recommend you try.
Kalua Pig – Some of you may know this as pulled pork but it’s cooked a little differently. The authentic way to cook Kailua Pig is by digging a pit, lining it with rocks and leaves, putting the pork in the center, burying it, and let the sun cook it in the ground. It goes great with rice and mac salad.
Meat Jun – You will find Meat Jun at Hawaii Korean BBQ sports. If you ask for it outside of Hawaii people will usually look at your like you’re crazy (I know because I’ve asked). It’s beef that’s had been coated in an egg batter and fried. It is one of my all time favorite lunch options.
Spam Musubi – This is Hawaii’s PB&J. Growing up you would bring a spam musubi for lunch on school trips along with a Hawaiian Sun juice and chips. It is a slice of spam (usually coated in teriyaki sauce), rice, and nori (seaweed). Best way to describe it would be spam sushi.
Poke – Yes I know there is a craze going on now and you can find poke shops across the country but most of these places don’t compare to the poke in Hawaii. The fresh fish and the seasoning is unlike anything you’ve had before. It makes for a perfect pupu (Hawaiian for appetizer) or a snack at the beach. Poke is raw fish that has been seasoned in a variety of different ways. It great on its own or you can pair it with rice.
Malasada – Heaven in pastry form. It is batter that has been fried and rolled in sugar. It makes for a great dessert or quick snack. Just be careful when you eat it as it can get messy with the sugar. The sugar will get all over the place if you’re not careful.
Shave Ice – Some people may call it a snow cone but I think it’s a little different. To me shave ice (Yes shave ice. Not Shaved Ice. No “d”) is finer which will hold the syrup better. You can put ice cream or azuki beans at the bottom and if you buy condensed milk on top it’s called a Snow Cap. There are a variety of different syrup flavors you can mixed together for endless combinations. Definately a great way to cool down on those hot Hawaiian days.
If you can’t try all six I recommend trying at least one thing on this list while your visiting the 50th state.