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Honolulu food is a blend of foods of various cuisines, which is evident by the history of Hawaii, a US state where Honolulu is situated. The cuisine of Honolulu is described as a combination of several cuisines brought in by various multi-ethnic immigrants specially that of Chinese, American, Korean, Japanese, Portuguese, Polynesian and Filipino. The city is also famous for various meat dishes and plant based dishes, where the sources of animal and plant foods are imported from several other regions of the world.

In Honolulu, a typical lunch usually consists of rice (Asian staple), macaroni salad (simple American salad consisting of mayonnaise and macaroni noodles), one fried egg, and one hamburger patty.

Food in Honolulu: Historical Influence

Honolulu food is highly influenced with various ethnic groups, where the largest group was considered to be that of the Japanese immigrants till 1959. However, due to more requirement of labor as a result of expansion of plantations, other immigrants from china, Filipino, Korea, and Portugal were hired, with each group bringing in its own native ingredients, spices, and herbs, thus having an impact on the regional cuisine of Hawaii and hence, Honolulu.

Popular Foreign Cuisine Recipes in Honolulu Cuisine

Chinese dishes- Dim sum dishes were brought in the city by the Chinese people, where small portions of different kinds of food items were arranged on a small sized plate or steamer basket and served. Also, the Chinese people substituted rice for poi (staple food of Polynesia prepared from taro plant’s corm), and used their native spices and herbs while preparing foods in Honolulu. Also, the stir fry method of cooking sour and sweet dishes was brought in by the Chinese immigrants in Hawaii. Most often, Honolulu food preparation is carried out using the stir frying technique, a method reminescent of the Chinese influence in the city’s local cuisine.

Korean dishes- the Koreans brought in kimchi to Honolulu which is a dish made up of various vegetables and seasonings. Also, the concept of cooking marinated meats through barbeque method was introduced into the city's cuisine by the Koreans. The popular Korean dish known as bibimbab, a mixed rice dish containing various kinds of seasoned vegetables, was also brought in by the Koreans, in Hawaii and hence, in Honolulu.

Japanese dishes- the Japanese people brought in sashimi (fresh and raw seafood cut into very thin pieces and served with dipping soy sauce) and bento (home packed complete meal consisting of meat or fish, rice, and one vegetable dish) in Honolulu, where the cooking methods usually consisted of frying, broiling and steaming due to non availability of oven in the Japanese homes.

Portuguese dishes- Pão Doce (portuguese sweet bread) and malasada (yeast based dough prepared of butter, eggs and milk), the favorites of Portugal cuisine were introduced in Hawaii by the Portuguese immigrants. Also, much emphasis was laid on making use of chili peppers, tomatoes and pork while making Honolulu food, as a result of Portuguese influence.