Bring your appetite and get ready for a buffet feast like no other. Lomilomi salmon. Chicken long rice. Kalua pork and all the sweet potatoes you could eat. Many of the dishes at a traditional Hawaiian luau offer a blend of Hawaiian, Polynesian and Asian-influenced flavors. So when planning for your own luau, try to include traditional favorites to give your guests an authentic luau dining experience. Whatever you settle with, one thingʼs for sure – everyoneʼs taste buds are in for a real treat.
Teriyaki Beef or Chicken
Huli Huli Chicken
Chicken Long Rice
Baked Sweet Potato
|SALADS & BREADS
HAWAIIAN LUAU MAIN FOODS
Main dishes at a Hawaiian luau, and more particularly the Polynesian Cultural Center's Alii Luau, include:
- Kalua pua'a , or roast pork, as its prepared in the Hawaiian imu or underground steam oven. Kalua pig is traditionally seasoned with sea salt and sometimes green onions. Some people prefer the crispy skin from a whole roasted pig.
- While the ancient Polynesians brought moa, or chickens, with them from the South Pacific a thousand years ago or more, more modern Asian influences have livened up the taste with teriyaki chicken.
- Filets of tasty, flakey white meat island fish that is deep-fried.
- For those willing to try anything once, we offer poke, or raw fish marinated in lemon or lime juice with other condiments and a little coconut cream. Normally offered in the Hawaiian-style of raw fish with sea salt, seaweed and onions, we've chosen the more pleasing Tahitan preparation (poisson cru) to introduce you to this island favorite. If you want the more Hawaiian-style version, you need to go a local food store, backyard luau or small Hawaiian restaurant to get a taste.
- Lomilomi salmon. In Hawaiian, lomilomi means to massage, or in this case to break the salmon into small pieces, which are then mixed with tomatoes, onions, and other small condiments, giving it a delicious tangy taste that goes great with poi. This style of fish preparation was actually introduced to Hawaiians by early western sailors.
- Other main dishes might include barbecued shrimp, crab claws on ice, barbecued steak (pulehu).
HAWAIIAN LUAU SIDE DISHES
Side dishes at a Hawaiian luau, and more particularly the Polynesian Cultural Center's Alii Luau, include:
- Poi , the traditional Hawaiian staple. It is a starch dish made by pounding boiled taro roots and mixing with water until it reaches a smooth consistency. "Taro is one of the most nutritious starches on the planet," says Ambassador of Aloha Cousin Benny. Some Hawaiians eat their poi with salt, some with sugar, even soy sauce. Some like it thicker or thinner. Others like it several days old for a little extra tang; and malahini, or newcomers, might find it more to their liking at first if they eat it with a bite of the other meat dishes.
- Pipi kaula , literally "beef rope" or seasoned beef jerky, harks back to the earliest days of western sailors who brought their salt beef aboard ship in barrels. In fact, on some of the South Pacific islands, you can still buy a barrel of salt beef.
- Chicken long rice. Sometimes also called thread or bean noodles, they are boiled (often in a chicken base) and served hot with pieces of chicken. Add salt and garnish with green onions. If the texture seems a little strange at first, try it over a little white rice.
- Dark purple Hawaiian sweet potatoes that have been mixed into a cold salad.
- Taro rolls that have a distinctive purple color, derived from the taro flour used in the recipe. They are baked fresh daily at the Polynesian Cultural Center.
- A variety of salads: tossed greens with carrots and cherry tomatoes, spinach salad, sweet potato salad, ambrosia, and cucumber-carrot salad...with ranch, papaya seed, and thousand island dressings.
- Cold fruits: ripe pineapple spears, of course; watermelon (in season) and other fruits.
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