If you can’t make it to the islands for vacation, then bring the island vacation home and make a Hawaiian breakfast. While there’s only one “local” Hawaiian breakfast dish, there are plenty of foods that Hawaiians regularly incorporate at breakfast. Mix and match your favorites to make a Hawaiian breakfast – and make your island dreams so sweet you can taste them!
To make a Hawaiian breakfast, you’ll need some combination of:
- Hawaiian coffee
- Fresh fruit (guava, mango, passion fruit, papaya and pineapple are Hawaiian favorites)
- Portuguese sweetbread (also called Hawaiian sweetbread)
- Portuguese sausage
- The only way to start a Hawaiian breakfast is with a freshly brewed pot of Hawaiian coffee. Coffee is one of Hawaii’s major agricultural exports, and Kona coffee is highly lauded by coffee connoisseurs for its distinctive taste. The neighboring district of Ka’u also produces beans and has won awards for producing high-elevation coffee with a smooth finish. Whichever you prefer, make sure a pot is brewing to serve with breakfast.
- No Hawaiian breakfast is complete without fresh fruit. Hawaii is lucky to have an abundance of fruits. The ubiquitous guava tree grows naturally all over the islands, and mangoes and lilikoi, a type of passion fruit, are also island natives and local favorites. Papayas have become popular since their introduction and are usually served with a splash of lime juice, and of course, Hawaii is famous for its pineapples. Any or all of these tropical treats can be used when making a Hawaiian breakfast. Simply slice the fruit and enjoy.
- Portugal has had a strong influence on Hawaii, so it makes sense that several Portuguese foods are popular Hawaiian breakfast choices. Portuguese sweetbread has become so commonly associated with Hawaii that it’s often labeled as Hawaiian sweetbread. You should be able to find it in the grocery store, and you can serve it lightly toasted or use it to make French toast. Portuguese malasadas are also popular and can be purchased in most major U.S. cities. These puffed doughnut-like confections are fried and rolled in sugar, so they’re crunchy on the outside and light and fluffy inside. Portuguese sausage, made from pork, onions, garlic and paprika, is another Hawaiian breakfast favorite, served with rice and eggs. It can be hard to locate on the mainland, but you can easily order it online.
- For a truly authentic Hawaiian breakfast, don’t forget the Spam. Spam is so popular that both McDonalds and Burger King restaurants in Hawaii offer Spam breakfast items on their menus. While it can be used at any meal, a Hawaiian breakfast often includes Spam, served with eggs and rice or featured in a sandwich.
- The only real traditional Hawaiian breakfast dish, Loco Moco is widely available in local restaurants. Hawaiian legend has it that this dish was created in the 1940s when a group of guys asked the owner of their favorite restaurant to make a cheap breakfast. What they ordered was so crazy, they described it as “loco,” and the rhyming “moco” somehow stuck. To make Loco Moco, place a prepared hamburger patty on of a bed of cooked white rice. Then, cover the whole thing in gravy, and top it with a fried egg. Just remember to enjoy this Hawaiian breakfast in moderation, or you may not be in beach-worthy condition when you finally do make your trip to the islands!
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