Last Updated on March 24, 2023
Hawaii is a tropical paradise that is renowned for its beautiful beaches, stunning landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. The island’s cuisine is no exception, with a blend of indigenous Hawaiian, Asian, and American influences that creates a unique culinary experience. One of the things that make Hawaiian cuisine so special is the vast array of side dishes that accompany the main courses.
Here are ten Hawaiian side dishes that you will love.
Poke (pronounced po-kay) is a popular Hawaiian side dish that is made from raw fish, usually tuna, salmon, or octopus, that is marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, and other seasonings. Poke is typically served as a cold appetizer or side dish and is often accompanied by rice, seaweed, and other toppings such as avocado, cucumber, and scallions. Poke is a healthy and flavorful dish that is perfect for any occasion.
2. Macaroni Salad
Macaroni salad is a popular side dish in Hawaii that is typically made with macaroni noodles, mayonnaise, and various vegetables such as carrots, celery, and onions. The salad is often served cold and is a staple at barbecues, picnics, and other outdoor events. The Hawaiian version of macaroni salad is slightly sweeter and creamier than the traditional American version, making it a popular and delicious side dish.
3. Lomi Lomi Salmon
Lomi Lomi Salmon is a traditional Hawaiian side dish that is made from fresh salmon, diced tomatoes, onions, and green onions. The dish is typically served cold and is often accompanied by poi or other starchy side dishes. Lomi Lomi Salmon is a refreshing and healthy dish that is perfect for a hot summer day.
4. Kalua Pig
Kalua pig is a traditional Hawaiian dish that is made by roasting a whole pig in an underground oven called an imu. The pig is seasoned with sea salt and wrapped in ti leaves before being placed in the imu. After several hours of cooking, the pig is tender and juicy, with a smoky flavor that is unique to this preparation method. Kalua pig is typically served as the main course at traditional Hawaiian luaus but can also be served as a side dish with rice or other starchy accompaniments.
5. Spam Musubi
Spam musubi is a popular snack food in Hawaii that is made from a slice of grilled spam, rice, and nori seaweed. The spam is marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and other seasonings before being grilled and served on top of a bed of sticky rice. The dish is typically wrapped in nori seaweed to make it easy to eat on the go. Spam musubi is a beloved snack food in Hawaii and is a must-try for anyone visiting the islands.
Poi is a traditional Hawaiian side dish that is made from the taro plant. The taro root is cooked, mashed, and mixed with water to create a thick, starchy paste that is similar in texture to mashed potatoes. Poi is typically served as a side dish and is eaten by dipping fingers into the paste and scooping it into the mouth. Poi has a slightly sour taste and is a staple food in Hawaiian culture.
7. Shoyu Chicken
Shoyu chicken is a popular Hawaiian dish that is made by marinating chicken thighs in a mixture of soy sauce, brown sugar, and ginger. The chicken is then grilled or baked until it is tender and juicy. Shoyu chicken is typically served with rice and other side dishes such as macaroni salad or green salad. This dish is a crowd-pleaser and is perfect for a casual family dinner.
Haupia is a traditional Hawaiian dessert that is often served as a side dish. It is a coconut-based pudding that is made from coconut milk, sugar, and cornstarch. The mixture is heated until it thickens and then poured into a pan to cool and set. Haupia is typically cut into squares and served alongside other desserts or fruit as a refreshing and sweet side dish.
9. Taro Chips
Taro chips are a popular Hawaiian snack food that is made from thinly sliced taro roots that are then fried until crispy. Taro chips are a healthier alternative to potato chips and are often served as a side dish or snack at Hawaiian-themed events. They are usually lightly salted, but some variations include other seasonings such as garlic or chili powder.
10. Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potato fries are a popular side dish in Hawaii that is made from thinly sliced sweet potatoes that are deep-fried until crispy. Sweet potato fries are a healthier alternative to regular french fries and are often served at local restaurants and fast-food chains. They can be seasoned with salt or other seasonings such as cinnamon or brown sugar for a sweeter taste.
In conclusion, Hawaiian cuisine is a unique and flavorful blend of indigenous, Asian, and American influences that creates a diverse array of side dishes to accompany the main courses. From the fresh and healthy poke to the sweet and satisfying haupia, these ten Hawaiian side dishes offer something for every palate. Whether you’re a local or a visitor to the islands, be sure to try these delicious dishes and experience the unique flavors of Hawaii.
What are you favorite Hawaiian side dishes? Let us know in the comments.