You don't have to go to the islands to enjoy some good Hawaiian food. If you live somewhere with Hawaiian restaurant delivery, you can get a taste of the islands delivered to your front door.
When it comes to Hawaiian food, you need to start with poi. Poi is made from taro root, which has more starch in it but is similar to a yam or a potato. The taro root is either baked or steamed and then pounded up. As it is pounded up, water is added to the mixture.
This results in a dish that has an almost pudding-like consistency to it and a purple appearance. It has both a starchy and a slightly sour taste to it. It can be served as a side dish or a main dish. Many people enjoy eating a little salmon with it.
Huli Huli Chicken
Huli huli chicken is a type of grilled teriyaki chicken that is prepared using a very specific method. The marinated chicken is turned once one side is cooked to prevent the sugary and sweet glaze from burning. The sugar in the sauce caramelizes around the chicken, creating a crispy edge covering up the juice and sweet chicken. The word "huli" means to turn, referring to the chicken that is turned on the grill to create a perfectly crispy glaze masking a tender inside. It is often served with a side of rice.
Shrimp is plentiful on the islands, and one of the most popular ways to make it locally is with garlic. The shrimp are sauced with a generous amount of garlic that works its way into the shrimp as it is sautéed inside of a pan filled with butter. It is often served with a dipping sauce as well.
Another dish you should try is laulau. Laulau is made by taking pork and wrapping it up with taro leaves. The meat is then cooked in an underground rock over many hours. Although this dish is traditionally made with pork, you can also find versions made with chicken and fish as well.
One of the most famous Hawaiian dishes is Kalua pig. When prepared traditionally, the pork is roasted slowly inside of an underground oven. This makes the meat really soft and tender, allowing it to be easily pulled apart. With the traditional method of cooking, the pork takes on a smoky flavor as well. Many people find it akin to southern pulled pork but with a smokier flavor. It is often served alongside rice or with cabbage. This dish can also be prepared in a slow cooker, with a bit of liquid smoke flavoring added to make up for the loss of the smoke flavor that the traditional underground oven provides.
If you have a Hawaiian restaurant near you, order one of the above dishes to be delivered to your house for dinner tonight so that you can enjoy the islands from the comfort of your own home.