'Hawaiian' on Serious Eats

Hot Hawaiian Burgers (Spam, Pineapple, Swiss, and Sriracha Mayo)

It's time to board a small charter flight to Polynesia, the land of Spam and pineapples. Why Spam and pineapple? Because it's a delicious combo that hits the rich/fresh/sweet flavors and the crisp/moist textures. Who wouldn't want that on a burger? Add a couple of slices of Swiss cheese along with a nice spoonful of sriracha-mayonnaise and the burger explodes with spice and goo—which is why a toasted English muffin and all its juice-catching nooks is such a great choice here (though regular burger buns would be mighty tasty too). More

American Classics: Haupia

In my experience, coconut is one of those love-it or hate-it foods. As a kid, my only real exposure to coconut had been in the context of cloyingly sweet confections which put me staunchly in the hate-it camp. It's dishes like haupia, a traditional Hawaiian luau staple, that have since made me reconsider. More

Bar Eats: From Homemade Spam to Poi Doughnuts at Lani Kai

If any place can make you forget about the frigid winter for a few hours, it's Lani Kai, the "modern tropical" bar recently opened by cocktail impresario Julie Reiner (Clover Club, Flatiron Lounge). Simply order up a Liquid Luau of Gold Coast Punch--aged rum, pineapple, lime, allspice and Champagne--for the group ($65) and embark on a nice long tour of the island-inspired menu by chef Craig Rivard. More

Hawaiian Plate Lunch Presentation 101

Don't know what a plate lunch is? Let Pomai of Hawaii-based food blog The Tasty Island show you the way with this comprehensive/insane round up of plate lunches spanning all kinds serving containers. You've got the paper plate in a cardboard box, wax paper in a cardboard box, white Styrofoam "clamshell" takeout containers, black Styrofoam "clamshell" takeout containers, clear plastic takeout containers, and more, all piled high with rice, noodles, Spam, fried meats, teriyaki, sushi, macaroni salad, and...more. Probably best if you don't read this on an empty stomach. More

How to Make Spam Musubi

In Hawaii, musubis are found at every convenience shop on the islands, 7-11 included. They're sold in school cafeterias and right alongside butter mochi at local bake sales. Picnic? Someone's mom is bound to make at least two dozen. Sleepover? Either dinner that night, or straight out of the fridge for breakfast. It's a ridiculously simple creation, yet its extremely high rating on the scale of tastiness cannot be denied. More

Snapshots From Hawaii: Spam Musubi

Leaving our parkas behind in the snowdrifts of western Massachusetts, eight of us descended onto Honolulu for Spring Break: Hawaii. Okay, so before you conjure up visions of wet t-shirts, body shots, and mortified mothers all over the country watching MTV, think again. Well, almost (sorry Mom!). But really, we surely did more eating than anything else. Lucky for us, our friend Tommy was born and raised in Honolulu, so not only was he so generous to house our raucous bunch at his mountainous bamboo forest abode, we were promised the best eats the island has to offer. Most importantly, he took us to the same spots he rushes to the moment he returns home from school. Our college... More

Photo of the Day: Spam Musubi Smackdown

What's the best meat to use in a Spam musubi? Pomai of Honolulu-based food blog The Tasty Island tested Treet, Tulip, and Spam brand luncheon meats to find out. After comparing and rating their flavors, textures, and levels of deliciousness in musubi form on a scale of one to three, he found that each one had its own individual qualities (good or bad depending on your preference), but deemed Spam the king of luncheon meats. If you've never had Spam musubi before, try making your own! Just make sure you have a Spam musubi press to get that perfect brick-shape.... More

Hawaiian Airlines Introducing Tasting Menu in First Class

Airline food sucks, and it's beginning to suck even harder because many airlines are either making you pay extra for a meal or eliminating them all together. Hawaiian Airlines is choosing to go in the other direction and is introducing onboard tasting menus in First Class, like the ones diners in many upscale restaurants are enjoying. For both lunch and dinner, passengers get their choice of three of five available entrees (out of the twenty in rotation) to create their meal.... More

Real Hawaiian Food

Forget seared ahi steaks, mango salsa, and Pacific Rim Cuisine; Kaui Philpotts grew up in a sugar plantation on Maui and knows what real Hawaiian food is: I ate impromptu picnics of fried shoyu (soy sauce) chicken neatly wrapped in waxed paper and musubi (perfect triangles of seaweed-wrapped white rice, like giant sushi) with my friend Lei on the steps of the VFW Hall in Wailuku after hula class. I ate tripe stew and day-old poi (the steamed and pounded corm of the taro plant), saimin noodles with bright pink fish cake, "plate lunches" of beef stew and chicken cutlets with sticky rice, and the Portuguese fried doughnuts called malasadas. I ate Spam, for heaven's sake, with musubi, eggs,... More

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