Sashimi Platter

Attraction

A Taste of Hawaii

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Hawaii offers a unique mix of different cultures, inspired by settlers and sailors who have crossed vast distances to call this paradise home. Therefore, the Hawaiian cuisine is a cocktail of Polynesian, Chinese, Portuguese and Japanese food influences. From this collection of far flung communities, a multitude of fusions and tasty treats have evolved such as Spam Musabi, spam layered with sticky rice and wrapped with nori, and Pipi Kaula (Hawaiian-style beef jerky). Head to a farmers markets to experience the best local food, or ask the locals for their favourite restaurants. You can be sure if the Hawaiian's are going there, it will be an authentic experience.

Street food favourites include:

Poi
This is a traditional and primal dish in Hawaiian cuisine and consists of a thick paste made from taro root that's either steamed, baked or pounded. Poi has a rather distinctive flavour that is starchy and slightly sour from the fermentation in the preparation but is a staple for the locals.

Laulau
This dish would not be left off a Hawaiian feast. It's traditionally made with pork wrapped in layers of taro leaves and then cooked in an underground hot rock oven for hours, but nowadays you can easily find fish or chicken laulau on the menu. The slow cooking of this dish creates a soft and smoky flavour with tenderised meat.

Kalua pig
This is also cooked in an underground oven and creates a slow roasted, juicy and tender meat. It's similar to southern American pulled pork, but instead of a tangy barbecue sauce, Kalua pig has a fantastic intense wood smoke flavour.

Poke (pronounced po-kay)
With the mix of cultures, Hawaii created their own version of Japanese sashimi, or raw fish, known as Poke. The interpretation of this thinly sliced dish has been evolved by the Hawaiians into larger, bitesize cubes and is most commonly made with ahi tuna fish, or another saltwater fish. The Poke is seasoned with soy sauce, Hawaiian sea salt, sweet Maui onions and sometimes limu, a seaweed-type plant. 

As with the rest of the USA, prices can vary across the Hawaiian islands from city centres to remote villages. Eating out however doesn't have to be expensive and the island culture thrives on casual dining. In the more tourist filled areas, you'll find chain restaurants and fast food venues that will charge similar to that on the mainland. 

A traditional 'plate lunch' consisting of rice, meat and salad can be less than 10 US Dollars while fine dining can start at 35 US Dollars and alcoholic drinks costing on average $7.50 per glass.