Being a sequence of islands Hawaii is in some ways very different than the rest of the U.S., and that includes the states favorite foods. Here are some must try foods the next time you get over there on vacation.


Poi is a paste that is made from mashing up the taro root, and it is thought to have come to the island with the earliest Polynesians around 200 to 500 A.D.. It is a low calorie food that has been a staple for a very long time. If you let it sit for a few days it will ferment and take on a more sour taste, which a lot of people recommend.

Lomi Salmon

Lomi salmon is a dish where cured raw salmon is chopped up and mixed with tomatoes, onions, and sometimes hot peppers. All of these ingredients were brought over in the 1700’s, and the dish is often served with poi.

Lau Lau

Lau Lau is a dish where layers of ti leaves are wrapped about fish and pork that is then slow cooked for hours until everything gets very tender.

The Purple Sweet Potato

The sweet potato was brought to the island by the ancient Polynesians, and at some points they grew over 200 different varieties. The purple one is still around today and is as beautiful as it is delicious.

Squid Luau

Squid luau is octopus that has been cooked in taro leaves and coconut milk until everything gets very tender. The result is a meal that’s both savory and sweet and often served alongside some white rice.

Chicken Longrice

Chicken longrice is a soup dish that is made with chicken and clear mung bean noodles (which are also called longrice), and a ginger tasting soup broth. The Polynesians brought chickens over to the island initially, and Chinese laborers brought over the noodles in the 1800’s.


Poke is reaching a new popularity on the mainland as well, but there’s nothing like having it in Hawaii. The dish is raw fish cut up into chunks and served with tasty add ons like onions, garlic, chili pepper, soy sauce, and sesame oil. It’s generally made with ahi but sometimes octopus or other fish.


The breadfruit grows on huge trees that grow 40 to 60 feet in height. The fruit can weigh up to ten pounds and grows in the shape of a ball. When it is opened and sliced up it is a slightly sweet treat that is starchy in a way that is similar to a potato. It can be cooked in a variety of ways including steamed, baked, boiled, marinated, stir-fried, or deep-fried, as well as mashed into a paste. The occasional person prefers it raw. The breadfruit was originally brought over to the island between 200 to 500 A.D. by the early Hawaiians who brought stuff over by canoe.

2 thoughts on “Must Try Foods When You Are in Hawaii

  1. I think everyone should be incorporating more fish into their diet whenever possible, so I’m all for the Hawaiian fare

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.