Maui Food and Dining

Traditional Maui Foods to get to Know

December 3, 2010, 9:32 AM HST
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If you live in Maui, you probably already know that many of the foods and recipes served are quite uncommon. However, because there are several types of island foods and many different words for describing these dishes, you may have found yourself more than bit confused when it comes to Maui and Hawaii foods.

Here is a breakdown of some of the most popular Maui foods to get to know:

Luau Foods

  • Chicken Luau – Chicken that is prepared in coconut milk and taro leaves
  • Haupia – A coconut custard dessert that is rich and creamy
  • Kalua Pig – A pork dish that is cooked by placing hot rocks inside the pig and putting the pig inside an imu, or an underground oven. Salt is often added to the imu to bring out the taste in the pig.
  • Lomi Salmon – A cold salad made with raw, salted salmon, onions and tomatoes. It is common to use several different types of onions in a lomi salmon recipe.
  • Poi – A paste made from taro root

Fish and Seafood

  • Ahi – Tuna that is often found raw in dishes such as Sashimi and Poke. Ahi is also often seared, blackened, grilled or baked.
  • Mahimahi – Deep ocean fish that is often served at luaus. Mahimahi is also considered dolphinfish.
  • Monchong – Deep water fish commonly marinated and grilled
  • Onaga – Ruby snapper served in a number of ways, including grilled, baked and steamed
  • Opah – Moonfish served in a number of ways, including grilled, baked and steamed
  • Opakapaka – Crimson snapper served in a number of ways, including grilled, baked and steamed; often available from October through February
  • Shutome – Swordfish that is often served from March through July
  • Huli Huli – Chicken served in a Hawaiian barbecue style. Sure, there’s no real difference in this Hawaiian barbecue chicken except for its name!

Other Island Foods

  • Loco Moco – Consists of an egg, meat patty, rice and gravy. This is considered a healthy food and is often eaten because of its healthy qualities.
  • Manapua – A bun that is filled with meat and either baked or steamed
  • Musubi – Rice that has been steamed and then chilled. It is often rolled with Spam in black seaweed. It is most common to see musubi in many types of sushi.
  • Pipi Kaula – Hawaiian beef jerky. A popular snack of the islands!
  • Breadfruit – Fruit that is about the size of a melon and is served either baked, steamed, deep fried or boiled. Banana-Apple fruit is also a common fruit eaten in Hawaii, and is often found in both cold and hot dishes.
  • Kulolo – Steamed taro pudding
  • Manju – A cookie with a sweet center

Make the most of your Maui vacation with these top-rated activities: Maui Top 20: Maui Visitor & Tourism Information
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