Maui Dining

From fresh seafood to exotic fruits, Maui’s flavors always delight.

Maui’s dining options are as varied as the colors of the tropical flowers blooming throughout the island. While cuisines from around the world can be easily found, chefs love to add local flavor with some of the fresh ingredients for which Hawaii is known. Farm to table menus are not just a trend here; it’s simply the way many Hawaiian chefs cook.

From the Source

465769381Visiting a local farm is a great way to get introduced to the ingredients you might find in restaurants on the island. Maui’s rich soil and tropical climate is ideal for growing pineapple, sugar cane, sweet Maui or Kula onions, designer vegetables and exotic fruits. It has also become a recent trend to grow herbs native to Asia and Europe, with the belief that they have a more intense flavor when grown in Hawaii. Tours are offered at many of the farms in the upcountry for an educational look at the origin of Maui’s favorite flavors.

Visiting a farmers market is another way to meet local farmers, food purveyors and artisans who sell baked goods, botanical products, crafts and collectibles. Ingredients that make great gifts or souvenirs (or snacks if you just can’t wait to dig in) include Maui potato chips, goat cheese, preserves, vinegar, wine, coffee, specialty sugars and lavender.

146061260Hawaii Regional Cuisine

The use of local ingredients paired with the influence of international flavors and techniques has culminated in a movement known as Hawaii Regional Cuisine. A blend of the culinary techniques of East and West, the use of fresh island vegetables, fruit and seafood in multicultural techniques results in award-winning dishes that have attracted nationwide attention. Hawaii Regional Cuisine can be found throughout Maui, alongside traditional Hawaiian and Polynesian cuisine and flavors from around the world in both casual and fine dining settings, and everything in between.

Signature Dishes

177282990Saimin: This Asian-style noodle soup is the ultimate comfort food for many Hawaiians. A large bowl of homemade broth and wheat-flour noodles is topped with strips of egg, green onions, fish cake and roasted pork or SPAM, another local favorite.

Poi: This staple and traditional filler starch dish is a thick paste made from taro root (similar to a yam or potato) that is either steamed or baked and pounded. While pounding, water is added to the mixture to create a pudding like consistency.

Plate Lunch: One of the most beloved dishes in the state, the plate lunch typically includes white steamed rice, a side of macaroni or macaroni-potato salad (heavy on the mayo) and perhaps kimchi. The protein could be chicken katsu, fried mahi mahi, pork or beef.

516590297Poke: The Hawaiian version of Japanese sashimi (raw fish) is served in bite-sized cubes. The most common fish used in poke is ahi (tuna), and it may be seasoned with a splash of soy sauce, Hawaiian sea salt or sweet Maui onions and served over a bed of rice.

Kalua Pork: This famous pork dish is traditionally slow cooked in an underground oven (or imu) so that the pork becomes extremely tender and retains a remarkable smoky flavor. Kalua pig is similar to southern American pulled pork, and just as popular.

Lomi Lomi Salmon: Originally brought over from other Pacific islands, this dish is now part of most traditional Hawaiian meals. Raw salmon is cured with salt and diced up along with tomatoes, onions, and chili peppers, almost like a savory salsa.

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