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How to make Hawaii-style saimin broth (and mail order Hawaii noodles on the Mainland)

Undaunted, we tried to get some broth recipes anyway, placing calls to some of Hawaii’s most popular noodle shops. No surprise, we weren’t able to finagle a broth recipe from any of them.

We do, however, have a tasty homemade broth recipe—straight from the pages of the new Hawaii food tome, Kau Kau: Cuisine and Culture in the Hawaiian Islands. The book, by Hawaii writer Arnold Hiura, is stuffed with the histories, stories and recipes of our favorite Hawaii foods.

We’ve previously featured Kau Kau recipes for Hawaiian-style barbecue (teriyaki) sauce and plate-lunch-style macaroni salad.

Here's Kau Kau’s take on an Island-style saimin broth using dried ebi. Not a shrimp devotee? Try chicken bones or pork instead for a rich, flavorful broth.


Hawaii-Style Saimin Broth

(excerpted from "Kau Kau: Cuisine and Culture in the Hawaiian Islands," by Arnold Hiura, Watermark Publishing, 2009. Reprinted with permission.)

Makes 8 servings.

1 cup dried shrimp
5 dried shitake mushrooms
1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger
1 small sheet dashi konbu (dried kelp)
2 quarts water
1 tsp. Hawaiian salt, or more to taste
1 tsp. monosodium glutamate (MSG or Ajinomoto)

Bring all ingredients except Hawaiian salt and MSG to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered, about 2 hours. Add Hawaiian salt and MSG. To serve, add cooked saimin noodles and desired condiments, such as strips of scrambled egg or slices of roast pork or luncheon meat.

Photos: Wikipedia/Commons (pg. 1, top), Sun Noodle (pg. 1, bottom), Sherie Char (pg. 2)

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Check out these related HawaiiMagazine.com posts:
Char’s Chopsticks: Sam Sato’s, Inc.
Char's Chopsticks: Hamura's Saimin, Kauai’s mom-and-pop saimin restaurant
Where to find great saimin on Maui

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