The food on the island of Kauai has a rich and varied history and is a mixture of many different ethnic cuisines. People from all over the world have made a home on Kauai, and they brought with them the traditional dishes of their homelands. Over time, these foods have blended with the traditional fare of Kauai, and today there are a number of unique and delicious foods available on the island that you simply can’t leave without trying.
Traditional Fare of Kauai
Poke is a raw fish dish that’s often served as an appetizer. Two of the most common types of poke are tuna (ahi) and octopus (tako). The fish is cubed, seasoned, and served as a salad.
Lomi lomi is another fish dish, but in this case it’s smoked salmon instead of raw tuna or octopus. It’s traditionally served with tomato, sweet onion, and green onion.
Poi is a dish made from mashed taro root, and has the consistency of runny mashed potatoes. It’s eaten on its own, made into desserts, baked into sweet breads, and sometimes even blended with hummus.
Local Favorites to Try
Loco moco consists of a hamburger topped with an egg cooked over easy. The whole thing is served on a bed of rice and smothered in brown gravy. This is a favorite for any and every meal of the day.
Saimin blends Japanese, Filipino, and Chinese traditions to create a soup and noodle dish that’s often accompanied by fishcakes, pork, spam, eggs, and onions.
Spam musubi is a Hawaiian take on sushi, but instead of raw fish, you can expect your rice to be topped with a piece of teriyaki fried Spam and wrapped in nori.
Kalua pig is something that you may get to experience if you attend an island luau because this delicacy is usually reserved for parties and special occasions. To make this dish, a whole pig is cooked in an imu, which is an underground oven.
Plate lunch is, as the name suggests, a local favorite for lunches. The dish is made up of separate portions of rice, meat, and macaroni salad.
Tasty Desserts to Finish the Meal
Malasadas were brought to Kauai from Portugal, and they are essentially deep fried dough balls rolled in sugar. Depending on where you go for these sweet treats, they may be made fresh to order or stuffed with tasty fillings.
Lilikoi is a type of passion fruit that’s used in a variety of desserts on Kauai, including crème Brulee, meringues, chiffon pies, and more.
Local Food Grown on the Island
Many different crops are grown on Kauai for both local consumption and exports. If you’re looking for a fresh food extravaganza, be sure to try the locally grown coffee, coconut, sugar, and pineapple.
A world of tasty delights awaits you on Kauai, and if you’ve got a taste for exotic cuisines, then you’re in for a special treat. Many of the local and traditional dishes on the island involve favorite ingredients like pork, spam, and fish, and pull inspiration from cuisines around the globe to create delicious and unique dishes. If you’ve got a trip planned to Kauai, make sure you try as much of the local fare as possible, including the sushi, burgers, pork dishes, and desserts.