Hawaiian cuisine

Food tips you can trust


Hawaiian cuisine
is special

Hawaiian cuisine is one of the best and oldest examples of fusion cuisine. Polynesian, Asian, European and mainland American culinary heritages have profoundly influenced it.

About Hawaiian cuisine

The four branches

Hawaiian cuisine has four distinct culinary personalities:

Traditional Polynesian  (see below)

Modern Luau  (see below)

Local Hawaiian  (next page)

Regional Hawaiian  (next page)

Traditional Polynesian

This is the cooking style most people associate with Hawaiian cuisine. The seafaring Polynesians first landed on uninhabited Hawaii about 700 A.D., bringing their plants, pigs and cooking techniques. Their most celebrated contribution was the luau, a communal feast that included these famous dishes:

Kalua Pig

The whole animal is slow-cooked in an imu (an underground pit oven).


Mashed cook taro root. Used as the starch staple.

Lau Lau Foods

Foods wrapped in Ti leaves and steamed in the imu.

Lomi Salmon

Seasoned diced raw fish.


Coconut cream pudding-like dessert.

Modern Luau

The luaus orchestrated today are popular with residents and (especially) tourists. They serve the above-mentioned Polynesian luau dishes. However, the cooks use many shortcuts. And, the events are more commercial than communal. But like in the old days, they can be fun.

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