Friday’s 5 at 5: Childhood Foods

I grew up on the island of O’ahu, Hawaii. Best childhood ever. Some foods I enjoyed as a child in Hawaii that normal kids don’t eat…

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  1. Musubi. Ahh, spam, a basic food group in Hawaii. They sold musubi in front of the gym every morning in middle school. My husband, who has never been to Hawaii, doesn’t appreciate spam. However, Kaye loves it. That’s my girl.
  2. Shaved ice. Not just any shaved ice, but Matsumoto shaved ice. With the red beans (yes, red beans, but it’s not what you think) and the bright colored flavorings. You haven’t been to Hawaii until you tried Matsumoto shaved ice.
  3. Li hing mui. Wiki describes it as salty dried plum. Usually comes in the form of powder and added to just about anything. My childhood favorite would be gummy bears.
  4. Pani po po. Samoan coconut rolls. Coconut milk, sugar, and rolls. What’s not to love about it?
  5. Saimin. Or what mainlanders call Ramen noodles. But we didn’t cook it. We broke it up into little pieces and sprinkled the flavoring packet to it raw. Shook it up and ate it.

Here’s an idea. Introduce your children to childhood in Hawaii by making some of these.

6 Responses to “Friday’s 5 at 5: Childhood Foods”

  • thetallgrl

    Woo hoo! So glad to see these yummies. I’ve tried to explain to my husband the difference between shaved ice and REAL shaved ice! Glad to know I’m not the only one. I like li hing mui on dried cranberries and apricots. Have you ever tried licorice lemon peel? And what about butter mocchi? You are making me very hungry and homesick. :o)

  • Emily

    Eeeewwww!!! Spam!!

    However I have seen on a Food Network show about the shaved ice. That is something that I would try.

  • Renee

    Yum! Red Beans! I haven’t had them in shaved ice though. Are those spam sushi or spam rice balls? My daughter like raw ramen but I didn’t know that it was an actual dish.

    • Tiffany

      The spam and rice thing is called musubi, a bit like sushi. It’s just spam, rice, and a seaweed wrap. Pretty good if you like spam.

  • kelly

    just found your blog, as this is an old post you might not see this but i thought it was so great. we live on oahu and i laughed at the saimin crushed in the package, i don’t think you get it if you don’t live in hawaii:) and you have to have ice cream in your shave ice too!

  • Rhonda

    I just found your blog after your guest post at ‘make and takes’ and I love Project 52 – haven’t started it yet, but hope to. Then I saw a few of your 5 at 5 posts and had to comment on this one. I grew up on Guam and also spent some time in India. On Guam we had Li Hing Mui (that I recently rediscovered when we visited Hawaii last year) but just called it Sweet and Sour. LOVE that stuff. Makes my mouth water thinking about its soury sweetness. I only had it in the dried plum form, not the powder on other things. We also ate spam there and I’m a fan. I didn’t end up trying musubi in Hawaii, but I really should have. Two other island favorites of mine were shrimp chips and coconut candy. Yum. And in India we ate plain dried noodles called Wai Wai. Ah memories!


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