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Luau Food and Recipes

Hawaiian Food Glossary

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Pink Mai Tai

Pink Mai Tai as Served at the Mai Tai Bar at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki, Hawaii

Photo Courtesy of Starwood Hawaii
Chicken Adobo

Chicken Adobo

Dane Sigua/Getty Images
Desserts at the Old Lahaina Luau

Desserts at the Old Lahaina Luau

Photo Courtesy of the Old Lahaina Luau

When visiting Hawaii, you'll encounter many foods that may seem foreign to you. This is because Hawaii is a melting pot of cultures from around the world, with influences from the Chinese, Filipino, native Hawaiian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Puerto Rican, Samoan, Thai, Vietnamese and others.

In this part of our series on Hawaiian food, we look at the foods that you'll find at many luaus in Hawaii. While you won't each of these at every luau, we've covered the foods that you're likely to find at most.

In case you'd like to try to cook some of these foods yourself, we've included links to recipes for most of the dishes listed.

Please take a minute to take our poll at the end of the recipes and share with us your favorite Hawaiian luau food.

Luau Food

Cocktails & Tropical Drinks
Check out our recipes for such great tropical favorites as Mai Tai's, Piña Colada's, Blue Hawaii's, Lava Flow's and many more.

Baked Mahi Mahi as served at the Polynesian Cultural Center
White fish fillets with mild or sweet flavor. This recipe is courtesy of the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu.

Banana Bread
This favorite made with mashed ripe bananas is often offered at luaus.

Banana/Coconut/Guava Cake
You'll probably find one of these tropical flavored cakes at almost any luau that you attend in Hawaii.

Beef or Chicken Teriyaki as served at the Polynesian Cultural Center
Beef or chicken slices grilled or broiled in a sweet teriyaki marinade. This recipe is courtesy of the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu.

Char Siu
These delicious rich, red spareribs are a favorite thanks to the Chinese immigrants to Hawaii.

Chicken Adobo (recipe from Hawaii's own Governor Ben Cayatano)
This national dish of the Philippines is a favorite at luaus. It is a stew with chicken and pork (or beef, shellfish) in a sauce of white vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and peppercorns.

Chicken Katsu
Japanese style fried chicken most often served with Tonkatsu sauce.

Chicken Long Rice as served at the Polynesian Cultural Center
Sometimes called thread or bean noodles, they are boiled and served hot with pieces of chicken. You may also want to try this over a little white rice, with soy sauce. This recipe is courtesy of the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu.

Chicken Long Rice - alternate recipe
Another staple at most luaus, this Chinese side-dish is made with chicken and long rice, oriental vermicelli, or saifun (bean strands).

Chicken Lu`au
A Hawaiian favorite made with chicken cooked with taro leaves (or spinach) and coconut milk.

Corn Chowder
A modern Hawaiian favorite made with chicken stock, potatoes, onion, celery and creamed corn.

Fried Rice
A standard of Chinese cuisine, fried rice can be made with meat or seafood and a wide assortment of vegetables.

Haupia
A traditional Hawaiian coconut flavored dessert that is best described as a "stiff pudding".

Hawaiian Lau Lau as served at the Polynesian Cultural Center
Steamed boneless pork, chicken or beef salted and wrapped in taro or ti leaves. This recipe is courtesy of the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu.

Hawaiian Lau Lau - alternate recipe
Salt butterfish, beef, chicken or pork wrapped in taro or ti leaves and then steamed.

Hawaiian Purple Sweet Potatoes
A delicious side-dish found at almost every luau in Hawaii. This recipe is courtesy of the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu. These potatoes are served at their Ali'i Luau.

Huli Huli Chicken as served at the Polynesian Cultural Center
Grilled chicken halves flavored with soy sauce, pineapple juice, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and wine. This recipe is courtesy of the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu.

Huli-Huli Chicken - alternate recipe
Hawaii's own version of barbecued chicken is cooked with Huli-Huli Sauce (made with pure Hawaiian brown sugar cane along with soy sauce, fresh ginger and more).

Next Page > Kalua Pig and Many More Recipes Plus Our Luau Food Poll

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