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Home > Luau > Luau Food > Hawaiian Luau Side Dish

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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