Hawaiian Macaroni Salad Recipe

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Serve the Mac salad with grilled pork chops or grilled chicken marinated in a ginger-soy marinade, but don't forget a couple tablespoons of fluffy rice on the side to make it the real Hawaiian deal. You can't go wrong with a great pasta salad, so check out other recipes for your next party.

As you may have noticed, this particular pasta salad is not the standard "kitchen sink" recipe with a ton of ingredients mixed in with the noodles. In fact, most islanders have strong opinions on what is included or excluded from the Mac salad. Some might even argue that this recipe has ingredients. To argue the point, a version of the Hawaiian macaroni salad requires macaroni, mayonnaise, grated carrots, salt, and pepper. That is all. In other words, the Hawaiian Pineapple Macaroni Salad is not a thing. And spam is used in Mac's Hawaiian salad. (Although sometimes served separately.) Coconut? I'm not sorry. Mango? No. This salad is really as basic as it sounds. However, there is a culture and history behind the recipe, and those who know it absolutely adore it, and if done correctly, you will too. There are some tips for making this salad the right Hawaiian way, so read on!

What is a Hawaiian Dish Lunch?

A large, inexpensive meal consisting of three components. Based on the Japanese bento box, which keeps food compartmentalized, plate lunches were often served in a segmented paper box.

Plate lunches were first served in the late 19th century to feed immigrant workers on the sugar cane and pineapple plantations. Workers in Portugal, the Philippines, Japan, China, and Korea needed something cheap and abundant to eat. They brought their culture to Hawaii, making the lunch plate a true multicultural experience.

First, a main course of meat, which can be breaded Katsu pork, Kalua pork, an egg-covered hamburger, Chinese-style pork, or salmon teriyaki. There is a lot of variety here; It can be almost anything.

So the meat always comes with a couple of tablespoons of sticky rice. Traditionally, this would have been rice from a day the night before. Stuffed and cheap.

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Hawaiian macaroni salad appeared on the plate a little later, when food trucks and roadside stands began selling plate meals to the masses. Why? Because everyone loves a good macaroni salad, and it was also cheap.

Macaroni salad ingredients:

  • Macaroni. For the gluten-free Hawaiian macaroni salad, use macaroni and rice flour.
  • Mayonnaise. Because mayonnaise is featured prominently in the dressing, use the best quality you can find: the best mayonnaise from Kewpie, Hellman, or Japanese Foods.
  • Milk. Whole milk, please. A 1: 1 ratio of mayonnaise to milk sounds unusual, but it soaks up the pasta and gives the salad the flavor everyone expects.
  • Apple cider vinegar. Some Hawaiian restaurants add a little cider vinegar to cooked noodles to make them more absorbent and better maintain the flavor of the dressing. While some purists may disagree, a little bit of vinegar tastes great too. If you are not sure, use less or none.
  • Brown sugar. Only a little. Although a little Teriyaki sauce is what some people use.
  • Chives Optional, but the Hawaiian Mac salad tastes great with some kind of onion. A grated onion is commonly used, so it is mixed with the salad without being noticed.
  • Carrots Grated or grated carrots in an ingredient that most Hawaiians can agree on.
  • Celery. Completely optional, but a pair of finely chopped celery ribs adds a pretty delicious crunch.
  • Salt and pepper. However, some cooks use a little soy sauce.
  • Other wildly debated ingredients: Chopped green olives, chopped hard-boiled egg, finely chopped cooked potatoes, watercress, pickled seasonings, frozen peas, or canned tuna for something more filling.

How to make Hawaiian Macaroni Salad:

  1. First, cook the macaroni in a large pot of salted water. Try to cook the macaroni to the point. The noodles should be soft, fat, and ready to absorb a lot of sauce.
  2. Then drain the pasta, transfer it to a large bowl and pour it into the vinegar while it is still hot. This is so that the vinegar does not curdle the dressing. Let the pasta cool for at least 10 minutes.
  3. To make the Hawaiian salad dressing, mix together the mayonnaise, milk, brown sugar, and a little salt and pepper. Then pour the dressing over the macaroni noodles and gently fold until combined.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients (celery, chives, and carrots, or whatever you like) and mix to combine. If the salad seems too dry, add a tablespoon of warm water at a time, mixing between tablespoons, until it loosens.
  5. Finally, cover and store the macaroni salad in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.

Hawaiian Macaroni Healthy Salad:

You could probably try this salad with Greek yogurt, instead of some or all of the mayonnaise, but the end goal is that you love the recipe. Write it in the comments if you try! Otherwise, try the Greek pasta salad, with a vinaigrette instead of a mayonnaise-based dressing.

Type of American cuisine Preparation time: 15 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes Cook time: 1 hour Total time: 40 minutes Servings: 10 servings Calories: 444 kcal

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar (see notes)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 4 chives, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • In a large saucepan, bring 4 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of salt to a boil, add pasta and cook until very soft, about 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Drain well, transfer to a large bowl, and add the vinegar. Chill at least 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together milk, mayonnaise, brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 2 teaspoons of pepper. Pour over cooled noodles and stir until evenly covered.
  • Fold the chives, carrots, and celery, and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Recipe Notes

  1. I love the taste of vinegar in this recipe. I personally think it tastes great. BUT. If you think 1/2 cup of vinegar sounds too much, feel free to use less. Maybe add 1 tablespoon at a time. A couple of readers have suggested that this had too much vinegar and were disappointed. I want you to love the recipe!
  2. If the pasta salad seems dry, stir in warm water, one tablespoon at a time, to loosen.
  3. Adapted from the best Potluck recipes.


Calories :: 444kcal

Hawaiian salad macaroons Recipe

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