Several traditional Hawaiian food dishes were originally introduced to Hawaii when the early Polynesians arrived between 200 and 500 AD. After the first contact with western explorers like Captain Cook, Hawaiian cuisine began changing dramatically. This was accelerated by the arrival of whalers and merchants, as well as laborers from various countries who came to work on the plantations.
Although the islands of Hawaii include a diversified mixture of ethnicities all adding their own flavors, there remains a dedicated following of traditional favorites. Here are some three traditional favorites you simply must taste.
Pronounced POH-keh, this is undoubtedly Hawaii’s favorite dish and has been around for centuries. It’s basically cubed raw fish, usually tuna but sometimes salmon or tofu that has been marinated in delicious, Japanese inspired condiments.
These tasty cubes of fish are served either on their own or with a bowl of sushi rice. It’s a tasty and healthy dish that captures all the heart, flavor and freshness of Hawaii. Thehawaiishop.com has a heavenly tasting Hawaiian style Poke Seasoning mix available, so you can treat your taste buds anytime.
Laulau is Hawaiian soul food at its finest. It’s traditionally prepared by wrapping pork in taro or laulau leaf, then pressure cooked in a steamer oven until it’s melt-in-your-mouth tender. It’s often accompanied by salted butterfish and sweet potato. The leaves work to seal in the flavors and moisture to create the most incredible and succulent pork you’ll ever dine on.
Poi was a vital source of nourishment for the early Polynesian settlers to Hawaii and it still retains a deeply spiritual meaning today. The taro plant which it’s made from is associated with Haloa, who is the original ancestor of all Hawaiian people. Although the taro plant grows in other places around the world, Hawaii is the only region you will find Poi. It’s a starch dish made by pounding boiled taro roots and mixing with water making it into a thick paste. Today, there are around 80 different varieties of poi grown and made across the Hawaiian Islands.
The Hawaii Shop has a diverse and delectable selection of traditional Hawaiian food available for purchase anywhere in the world. View their our selection at