Each of Hawaii’s main islands has their own unique preferences in food. For instance, on Kauai, folks like a glob mayonnaise on their bowl of chili and rice. I was brought up on Oahu and for me the best place to eat, well at least if it’s Hawaiian Food, is Young’s Fish Market.
My DH is from the East Coast and little did I know when I first met him, that he enjoyed the local foods as much as I did. One of the first times that he offered to bring me lunch at work, he asks, “Do you like the Laulau, Kalua pig or combo plate from Young’s”, are you kidding me? The combo of course! I like this guy, a lot!
I know that you’ve probably heard of that other place down on Kapahulu Avenue, but buddy-boy, they do not come even close to Young’s. Each time that we’ve gone home over the past 5+ years, we must make a pilgrimage to Kalihi. They’ve moved since we left, but we knew that; we go to their website to drool every so often, here in the middle of the desert.
So let’s have some lunch!
This is DH’s plate, the Laulau plate, Pork if you please. It comes in your choice of Beef, Chicken or Fish. Along with, Lomi Salmon or Mac Salad (remember the Zippy’s Macaroni Salad? YUM!), Pipikaula (Hawaiian Beef Jerky, delish, moist and tender not tough and chewy), Sweet Potato and Poi or Rice. DH doesn’t like Poi.
This Is Mines One! (really, that’s how we say it)
I opted for the Mini #2 Plate. Kalua Pig (pork), Lomi Salmon or Mac Salad and Poi or Rice. I think you can figure out what I chose.
Then we need to have a couple of sides to round out the table. This my friends is Opihi. These are sea limpets that taste just like the sea. (Isn’t that funny, I don’t care for escargot)
The perfect bite in the World for me! Take a spoonful of Poi and then place a single Opihi on top. I couldn’t show this photo to my sister, this her perfect bite too, but she lives in Los Angeles.
The other side that we ordered was Squid Luau. Oh MY!! It’s quite simple, squid, taro leaves and a bit of coconut milk all braised together in perfect harmony.
The Pork Laulau was so juicy with the right proportioning of taro leaves wrapped around that massive nugget of piggy, then it’s bundled up in a Ti leaf and steamed. You don’t eat the Ti leaf. Think of it as a Hawaiian Tamale.
The Sweet Potato is really an Okinawan Sweet Potato or what I found here in the middle of the desert is called the Hawaiian Purple Sweet Potato. That’s right, the color on your monitor isn’t going nuts, it’s PURPLE. If you can find this type of sweet potato in your neck of the woods, get it. It’s nothing like you’ve ever tasted.
POI! Yup, love it! I must have this with a sprinkle of Hawaiian Sea Salt, and yes there is difference from other salts. It’s one bite Poi to each bite of whatever else on your plate.
Now you may be saying to yourself about now, why did we order so much food?
1) We’ve only been back home three times in 5+ years
2) We share everything on the table
3) The leftovers can always go home with you
4) I’d order more, but then …
HMM, if they only had their liquor license. I’d be REALLY happy with an ice cold beer in one hand and my spoon in the other. (SSSHHHH, don’t tell anyone, but we did that one time. We got our food to go, had a six pack stashed in the cooler in the car and headed to the beach at sunset, PERFECT!)