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Top 5 favorite must-have Hawaii foods: HAWAII Magazine Facebook poll results


We’ve counted the votes from our latest HAWAII Magazine Facebook Ohana poll question: What’s your must-have Hawaii food (That nosh you crave immediately upon arrival in the Islands. The top five vote-getters are on the pages ahead.

Bonus picks — In addition to sharing favorite gotta-eat grinds, many members of our Facebook ohana mentioned beverages, too. The top drinks: a classic mai tai (pictured, above) and POG (sweet blend of passion fruit, orange and guava juices).

If you’d like to join in on our next poll and vote, click here then press the “like” button at the top of our Facebook page. Become part of our HAWAII Magazine Facebook ohana and you’ll get our “Hawaii favorite” poll questions as soon as we post them. You'll also get instant updates on your Facebook wall when we post our daily HawaiiMagazine.com stories and features.

We’ll be posting our next Ohana Poll question on HAWAII Magazine’s Facebook page in the days ahead, so join soon if you haven’t yet. OK, here we go. Here’s the top five countdown of our Facebook ohana’s favorite must-have Hawaii eats:


No. 5 (tie)

loco moco 

The least-disputed loco moco origin story dates service of the first plate of the high-calorie comfort-food creation to the late 1940s in Hilo on the Big Island at the now long-gone. Lincoln Grill. A group of hungry teenagers prompted the grill’s owner to serve up a filling concoction of white rice, topped with a beef patty and brown gravy. A fried egg would follow later — at the top of the loco moco. Today, there are countless variations of the loco moco, featuring everything from Spam on top to fried rice underneath. Even celebrity chefs pay homage to the humble dish. Nori’s Saimin & Snacks, a popular Hilo noodle shop, serves up a basic loco moco pictured above featuring a handmade hamburger.


plate lunch 

The quintessential Hawaii plate lunch consists of two scoops of rice, one scoop of island-style macaroni salad, and an entre made with Pan-Asian ingredients. Sometimes, a little green salad turns up on the plate, too. The plate lunch pictured above includes chicken katsu, a take on the popular Japanese restaurant dish tonkatsu (or pork cutlet). Chicken katsu is essentially a chicken cutlet taken to more crunchy extremes. The recipe is easy enough: Deboned chicken thighs, butterflied, battered in flour, egg and panko (Japanese bread crumbs) then fried to a crisp, golden brown. A small cup of tonkatsu sauce (sweeter and thicker than Worcestershire sauce) is usually served on the side for dipping. Use it.

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Check out these related HawaiiMagazine.com posts:
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Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods America” Hawaii episode spotlights unusual local eats
Cooking Channel show spotlights Oahu, Big Island food culture in episode airing tonight
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