Hawaii’s “local food” is influenced by many different cuisines, combined with a lot of love. We would like to showcase some local favorites from time to time on our blog. This recipe is from Kapy, one of our Customer Support team members. She was born and raised in Hawaii, and likes to recreate some of her local favorites for her family. One of her kids’ favorite meals is her Fried Saimin. Her recipe utilizes packaged ramen and Spam. Spam is a huge favorite in Hawaii, we even have an annual Spam Festival, more on that in a future blog post. Fried Saimin is very popular at local diners in Hawaii, but one of the best places to get them is from the Manapua Man – men who sell local goodies like fried saimin, pork hash and, of course, manapua out of nondescript vans around the island. I remember the Manapua Man in the old blue van who parked under a tree in front of my high school. No matter how little money I had, I always seemed to have enough for a paper boat of salty, umami noodles, and a couple sticky pork hash. Boy, that was good eating! These days, the manapua vans are harder to find, so in the words of Kapy, “When there’s no Manapua Man, you make your own Fried Saimin!”. I agree Kapy, I agree.
*Most of these ingredients should be available at your local grocery store, however some may need to be found at an Asian market. Amazon is also a great place to find specialty ingredients. Kapy recommends the Sapporo Ichiban (Original flavor) ramen, however you can substitute a different brand and flavor. Feel free to experiment with different meats and vegetables, there is no wrong way to make Fried Saimin!
Spam or Luncheon Meat (Approx ½ cup, cut into bite size strips or pieces)
Portuguese Sausage (Approx ½ cup, cut into bite size strips or pieces)
White Onion (1 small, chopped)
Green Onion (2-3, sliced)
Packaged Ramen (4 packages)
Soy Sauce (Approx 1 TBSP or to taste – Aloha brand best)
Oil (Approx 2 – 3 TBSP)
Eggs (2-3, cooked and cut into strips) (optional)
Kamaboko Fishcake (Approx 8 slices) (optional)
In a large pot, bring enough water to cover all the noodles to boil. Cook ramen noodles (reserve seasoning packets) according to package directions. Once they are done, drain and set aside. In a nonstick fry or saute pan, heat one tablespoon oil and cook your meat until done and nicely browned. Remove meat and set aside. In the same pan, add remaining oil and cook your veggies until soft. Once done, add cooked noodles and seasoning packets. Make sure all noodles are coated evenly. Cook over medium heat until noodles are heated through. Add meat back into pan. Add soy sauce to taste. Remove from heat and plate. Garnish with egg, fishcake, additional green onions and sriracha. Enjoy!