What Makes Hawaiian Barbecue Unique?

What Makes Hawaiian Barbecue Unique?

Macaroni salad might seem like an ordinary barbecue side dish, but you may not typically find it next to chicken done teriyaki-style (per The Manual). Called huli huli chicken, this dish is a staple of Hawaiian barbecue. It’s a whole chicken doused in a sweet and salty marinade of soy sauce, ginger, garlic, pineapple juice, and brown sugar. “Hawaiian BBQ to us is basically a pāʻina, or party,” says Hawaiian BBQ restaurant owner and native Hawaiian Tryzen Patricio. “It’s a time where everyone comes over, brings over food to share with everyone whether it’s something to grill or even something you possibly bought and just grind!”

The classic way for the food to be served is as part of what’s known as a “plate lunch,” which Patricio says is meant to cover, “all the amazing needs for food in one plate.” Plates are generally served with rice, macaroni salad, and a meat. He adds that it makes for a complete meal if you just add a Hawaiian Sun, canned tropical fruit drinks — not to be confused with Hawaiian Punch.

And the protein in question? While it’s often luau staple kalua pork, chicken katsu is also popular, as well as lomi lomi salmon (per Hawaii Ocean Project and Onolicious Hawaii). So if you want to explore cooking this cuisine at home, you have a few choices at your fingertips.

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Avi Adkins

Avi Adkins is a seasoned journalist with a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail. With years of experience in the field, Adkins has established himself as a respected figure in journalism.

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