What is Hawaii comfort food you may ask? It really spans the many different cultures of people from around the world during early Hawaiian plantation days , moving to Hawaii for a better life while working the pineapple and sugarcane fields. Along with Hawaiian people, all these immigrants shared their favorite and easy to make meals together at lunch and even after work or Pau Hana . These easy meals comprise of many favorite dishes that typify a mixture of Hawaiian comfort food.
Hawaiian traditional comfort foods and recipes
Chicken adobo recipe
Nothing says comfort food in Hawaii like this popular Filipino dish that was brought to plantation day potlucks and immediately became a hit at all potluck meals in Hawaii. This iconic adobo chicken is easy to make dish you’ll be able to find at many take out places, cafes, food trucks and outdoor famers markets all over Hawaii. Although chicken is the most popular type of adobe dish, other variations include using pork, seafood, beef and even vegetable adobo style.
If you’re looking for an easy and basic adobo style recipe, check out the video below for all the highlights and you’ll want to try making this dish real soon.
One of the most popular take away food or snack is spam musubi and combination of rice wrapped around a big slice of spam and wrapped outside with a nori seaweed wrap. Easy to make and store for a snack without refrigeration, it’s hard to keep this little bite for long when you have a salty craving for this nice salty spam and rice dish.
Check out the easy instructions on how to make a spam musubi on this video here to get started on making your own spam musubi.
Hawaiian plate lunch
This typical take away lunch is varied depending on the many different styles and ingredients used from any particular café/cook. But outside of the typical meat or seafood entrees that are chosen, you also have some of the usual sides to this plate lunch including two scoops of rice, a scoop of macaroni salad and the entrée that you choose
A definite comfort food that everyone loves here, the moco loco has many variations in the type of entrée chosen. The classic meal consists of a few scoops of rice with a hamburger type of meat patty with a nice fried egg on top and then smothered with some gravy to create a delicious comfort food that everybody loves to eat regularly.
Different entrée meat substitutions are offered from take out places, food stands and even food trucks, but you can create your own favorite style below. Check out this basic recipe below for instructions to making your own.
Hawaiian Lau Lau
One of the most popular Hawaiian dishes and favorite of all locals, lau lau is delicious, comfort food that really embodies this classic passed down dish. Really easy to make and an easy to go dish, lau lau is made primarily with lau lau or luau leaves, pork, fish and sweet potato.
Check out this classic lau lau recipe below for a step by step guide on how to make your own delicious meal. You’ll want to have this dish on your menu over and over again for sure.
Everyone in Hawaii loves a hot bowl of Saimin which is basically a mixture of plantation era Japanese, Filipino and Chinese rice noodle soup. With so many different variations made of this type of soup, its an easy to make dish with left overs in your fridge.
You can see the classic recipe below and add whatever you have in the fridge to create your own version of this comfort food in Hawaii. Basic ingredients include saimin noodles, shitake mushrooms, ham, eggs, seaweed, green onions and other herbs to make your rice noodle dish.
Chicken Long Rice
Who doesn’t love a nice soupy noodle dish with chicken for that classic comfort food? Brought originally by Chinese immigrants that made a nice soup and chicken dish, the Hawaiian version is not as soupy but still wet with chicken, rice noodles, garlic and ginger to a perfect combination of flavors. A popular side dish at any luau or potluck gathering, chicken long rice is always a crowd pleaser.
Check out this classic recipe for chicken long rice below and you’ll be craving to make this on a rainy day or really any day you’re in the mood for a rice noodle dish.
A hawaiian staple meat dish that you’ll always find at a luau or potluck in any social gathering in Hawaii. Kalua pork is that iconic dish that really centers around comfort food that families love to make over and over again. Normally done in an imu or pit for large hawaiian luau, modern day ovens are used to quickly make the pork from pork butt and served with cabbage, the typical sides along with poi, ulu as starch and rice.
If you are looking for a simple and basic Kalua pork recipe, check out the video below for more inspiration on how to make your own.
These are some of the classic Hawaiian style comfort food that you’ll come across the islands and there are so many other regional favorites that you’ll discover here.
Have any more local favorite Hawaiian dishes? Please share yours in the comments below.
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