Savor the flavors from Hawaii, a fusion of cuisines with these 5 dreamy and easy to make at home recipes:
Hawaii is a magical destination known for its pretty beaches and lush rainforests. In addition to the sights and activities, visitors get to feast on Hawaii’s cuisine, which includes fresh elements like line-caught fish and tropical fruits.
A large part of the cuisine is centred around what is harvested from the ocean. In addition to the seafood that is caught there, the warm Pacific-ocean acts as a playground for water lovers.
If you’re into scuba diving, Molokini Crater in Maui and Lanai, just off the coast on Maui, should definitely be on your list of places to visit.
Here are 5 incredible Hawaiian recipes to transport your taste buds:
Pronounced ‘poh-keh,’ the hero of this dish is typically marinaded tuna, although octopus, shrimp, and salmon versions are popular too. The word ‘poké’ translates to ‘to slice’ in Hawaiian and refers to how the fish is sliced. This dish can be found throughout the islands, from upscale restaurants to supermarkets, making it easily available for you to tuck into while on vacay.
Here is a simple poké recipe to try out at home:
- 1 lb tuna, sushi-grade, cut into bite-sized cubes
- ¼ cup light soy sauce
- 2 TBS sesame oil
- 1 TBS rice wine vinegar
- 1 TBS sesame seeds
- 1 TBS green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
- ½ tsp chili flakes
- 2 TBS sliced seaweed
- Add the soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, ½ the sesame seeds, ginger, chili, and ½ the green onions to a medium-sized bowl. Whisk lightly to combine.
- Add the tuna to the marinade and mix to coat the tuna.
- Cover and refrigerate for 25-30 minutes.
- Serve the poke with a sprinkle of sesame seeds, seaweed, and the remaining green onions.
2. Shrimp Poké bowl
Known locally as ‘Ahi bowls,’ poké bowls are built on top of a base of rice, followed by marinaded fish and a set of tasty toppings. This is a great dish to get creative with and is a healthy, nourishing meal.
- 1lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 TBS light soy sauce
- 1 TBS rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/3 tsp grated ginger
- ¼ tsp chili flakes
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced
- ½ cup cucumber, diced
- 1 shallot, diced
- ¼ cup pineapple, diced
- 2 TBS sesame seeds
- Cooked white or brown rice
- Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, honey, ginger, and chili in a bowl.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the shrimp, shallots, avocado, cucumber, green onions, and pineapple. Toss together the soy marinade and shrimp mix.
- Marinade for about 20 minutes.
- Serve this on top of the rice and garnish with sesame seeds.
3. Spam Musubi
This is a popular snack item eaten in Hawaii, made of Spam wrapped with sushi rice and seaweed. This snack can be picked up everywhere, from high-end restaurants to gas stations.
- 4 cups cooked sushi rice
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 TBS sugar
- 8 sheets of nori
- 1 can spam, sliced into 8 pieces
- Combine vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan and simmer until the sugar dissolves.
- Add the rice and the vinegar mixture to a bowl and combine.
- Lay a sheet of nori onto a sushi mat, shiny side down.
- Place a cup of rice onto the mat, leaving a ½ inch rim empty around the edge. Spread the rice out.
- Lay a slice of spam on the rice at the bottom,1 inch from the edge of the nori sheet.
- Roll the mat to form a tight roll. Tuck the filling in as you roll.
- Cut the roll into 8 pieces. Repeat until you have 8 spam musubi.
3. Shave Ice
Served in a cup or a cone, this dreamy treat can be found all over the islands in flavors like coconut, pineapple, and strawberry. Get creative with fun toppings like sweetened ukuzi beans!
- 2 cups ice
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup condensed milk
- Toppings of your choice (shaved coconut, pineapple, mango, lychee, etc.)
- In a small saucepan, add the water and sugar. Boil them together until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 3 minutes and cool.
- Blend the ice until it turns to powdery ‘snow.’
- Add the ice to a serving bowl and drizzle over the condensed milk.
- Top with your fruit.
Haupia is a typical Hawaiian dessert that is a jello-like treat served at traditional Hawaiian events like luaus. This dessert has a sweet, coconut taste and is served either cold or warm.
- 1 can coconut milk
- ½ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¼ cup water
- Boil the coconut milk and sugar in a medium-sized pot until the sugar dissolves.
- Mix the water and cornstarch together to make a runny paste, whisk it into the coconut milk and lower the heat. Stir until the mixture thickens up.
- Grease a square dish and pour the haupia into it.
- Refrigerate your dessert for 2-3 hours or until it has firmed up, and cut it into squares.
Wrapping it up
I hope you’ve enjoyed this culinary journey through the islands and that you are inspired to whip up a few of these popular Hawaiian recipes at home. Let me know if you try any and what you thought of them.