Unusual Foods in Hawaii

One of the unusual foods in Hawaii.

Poi, one of the unusual foods in Hawaii.

Trying Unusual Foods in Hawaii

There are many types of fine foods in Hawaii that you should definitely try. But on the other hand, there may be foods in Hawaii that may not be so appealing to the uninitiated. Here are examples of some unusual foods in Hawaii that you may not want to try.


Many have heard of poi before. But for the most part, most visitors are indifferent to it when they eat it. Poi is the fermented mash of the taro root. To some, it has the consistency of paste and comes with little or no taste. On the other hand, many locals cannot enjoy Hawaiian food without having poi. To others, poi, like most of the foods described here, is something you have to acquire a taste for.


Natto is a dish from Japan. Many local residents whose ancestors came from that country enjoy eating it. People make natto from fermented soy beans. It becomes bound together with a translucent gooey substance during the fermentation process. To some, this gooey substance may look like something out of a science fiction thriller. It sometimes has a pungent odor. If you can get past the appearance and smell, you might be able to enjoy this dish.

Thousand Year Old Egg

This egg really isn’t a thousand years old, even though it looks like it. It’s a somewhat popular Chinese dish in Hawaii. People make it by preserving eggs in a mix of ash, salt and lye. This causes the egg, usually duck, to congeal and turn into a dark brownish black jelly like substance. After it’s hard-boiled, it’s usually eaten with congee, a traditional Chinese rice porridge.


This is another egg dish. But this one comes from the Philippines with a surprise in it. The eggs come with the developing embryo of a duck. If you can stomach eating a whole unhatched duck fetus with feathers on it, you may get to like it. Many resident of Filipino heritage in Hawaii swear by this dish. While others in the islands may swear at it.

Bitter Melon

This fruit comes from the vine Momordica charantia. People widely eat it throughout Asia as well as in the Aloha State. The fruit looks like a shriveled-up cucumber with lumpy ridges on it. You can often find it in Chinese and other Asian stir fried dishes. This is what makes bitter melon unique and what makes people like or hate it. It’s really, really bitter tasting. And this is the reason for its name, bitter melon.