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Aloha Kitchen: Recipes from Hawai'i [a Cookbook]

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  218 ratings  ·  38 reviews
From Maui native and popular food blogger Alana Kysar, this gorgeous cookbook of 85 fresh and sunny recipes reflects the major cultures that have influenced local Hawaiʻi food over time: Native Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Korean, Filipino, and Western.

In Aloha Kitchen, Alana Kysar takes you into the homes, restaurants, and farms of Hawaiʻi, exploring the cultu
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published March 26th 2019 by Ten Speed Press
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  218 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Velma  Hayes
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having grown up in Hawaii, I had forgotten a lot of the recipes I once ate with relish! I miss my home so much and am happy to get a little back in the form of food. Thank you for helping me bring my old home into my new one.
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food-recipes, culture
There is a lot of good solid information in here, not only with regards to the recipes, but for the Hawaiian food culture, as well.

I will be traveling to Hawaii in the near future and wanted to learn more about what types of food I might experience - even though Hawaii is part of the United States, by being [literally] a group of islands unto itself, it has been given the opportunity to really maintain a totally separate culture from the rest of the country. Also, a bit of trivia, but Hawaii is
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kitchen, my-books
I loved this book. The photography is beautiful, the history behind the food and the people who brought it to the islands and beyond is a thoughtful introduction to the subject. While some ingredients may be challenging for me to find in the Midwest, I look forward to exploring a new grocery store to do my best to find them. I appreciate that Kysar gave the original ingredients as well as acceptable substitutions where she could. I cannot wait to try and recreate some of my favorite dishes from ...more
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fic, food-drink
I'm instantly back to Kaua'i. (sigh). I wanted to eat everything in this book, cook everything, and take a nap on the beach. This book may not be other's jam, but it was mine. ...more
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, hawaii
I would give this one 10 stars if I could.
We've been looking for a true Hawaiian cookbook for decades.
We've skimmed many, perused a lot, purchased a few. But no one has been able to capture what we eat when we're on island.
The author has nailed it!
If you want to know what it's like to eat like a local in Hawaii, this is it!
We've smeared our way thru our copy and bought copies for friends. If you were to open a Hawaiian restaurant on the mainland (ok, outside of Las Vegas), this is what you would
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cooking
"Hawaii is always a good idea" ...more
Cynthia D
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: must-read, cookbooks
My rating: 5/5

Straight up my favorite cookbook so far ever. I have a really hard time finding cookbooks that really encompass what I'm looking for: a good multicultural book of recipes that mainly have an Asian background. If you look at my hardcopy of this cookbook, you'll find that I have more than HALF of the recipes tabbed to try out, and I'm seriously excited to give these a go! I already cooked the shoyu chicken and got the request to add this to our regular recipe rotation (which is heavi
Aug 29, 2019 added it
Shelves: cookbooks, 2019
Made the shoyu chicken--the sauce is really good especially!

However, the real strength of this book is in its headnotes, and honestly I found it to be a better resource for info on Hawaiian history and culture than many of the other books I picked up before I went to Oahu earlier this month. Although the editor in me was like, "How is she relating this whole detailed food history with NO ENDNOTES ARGH CITE SOURCE." And then, you know, I felt super ashamed of feeling like that. In any case, real
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Because Hawai'i is such an attractive tourist destination, there are many colourful cookbooks made to go home in a visitor's luggage. These tend to feature tourist food: things not so unfamiliar as to scare off haole palates, made to seem Hawai'ian by the addition of sweet ham and pineapple. The food eaten in the homes, farms and local restaurants is a fascinating mixture of native Hawai'ian foods with Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Filipino, Portuguese, pan-Asian and Mexican cultural influences. Th ...more
Kurt Fox
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking
I especially liked the introduction and the history (albeit short on the global scale of history) of the Hawaiian (food) culture. It really puts things in perspective given the history and dates and introductions and the cuisine in the book. The overall feel of the book is ohana, even in each recipe in the intro gives the feeling of oneness in the community, and kudos and callouts to friends, family, local restaurants, bars, where the entire island feels like a local neighborhood.

While you may o
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My husband's family is from Maui, and I lived on Oahu when my daughter was little, so Hawaii is one of my favorite places in the world. The author's descriptions of sight, smell and sounds took me there in 5 seconds-- it sounds weird, but reading it is like a mini trip to the islands. So beautifully designed and well-written. I have tried many recipes from the author's FixFeastFlair blog and they are amazing, so I know I can trust that the recipes in the book will be just how I remember the loca ...more
May 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aloha Kitchen feels like home

Beautifully done cookbook with all of the best recipes from Hawai’i, and then some! I learned a few of my favorite staples (Kalua pig, spam musubi) before moving back to the mainland, but never got to learn how to make some of the others because they were just easier to buy at any of the awesome places in the islands. Now that I’m landlocked in Texas, where Tex-Mex reigns supreme, I am missing so many of my Hawai’i faves and definitely looking forward to making many
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fabulous Resource for Hawaiian Favorites

I love this book! It has all the recipes for home-cooked Hawaiian staples, treats, and special-occasion foods. It includes a nice summary of the historical influence of immigration an incorporation on Hawaiian cuisine, and provides a good discussion and description of classic ingredients, including where to look for those that can be difficult to find on the mainland. I can’t wait to try the manapua and mochi butter cake!
Jared Musser
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
With close ties to Hawaii via Inlaws and having lived there for a number of years, I've shelved Hawaiian food as my all-time favorite, soul satiating cuisines. Finding good Hawaiian food is a challenge in Los Angeles, where my wife and I live today. Aloha Kitchen is a doorway into authentic Hawaiian culture through the mediums of thoughtful storytelling, history and of course, vibrant flavors. Thank you, Alana Kysar, for gifting this book to the world. It's much more than a cookbook.  ...more
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
As of 10/19 I have not actually made any of these, I will update my review if I get to them. I for sure want to get the mac salad made this weekend! It sounds like one of the simplest items.

It seems like a good variety, including in terms of cooking-ability the reader should have.

I'm pretty low on the good cook scale, so . . . fingers crossed.
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookery
Fantastic. Pictures are phenomenal, excellent mini dive in to Hawai'ian culture and history, and the recipes actually work! Except for the manapua buns, but I think that was user error. For the char siu pork I highly recommend smoking them instead of cooking in the oven - ended up absolutely stellar with the dry mein. ...more
Diera Musser
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
THE BEST COOKBOOK!! This book is so thoughtfully put together. The photos are beautiful, the recipes are so well written, and the food!! Don’t get me started on the cornbread. I could eat the entire pan. The shoyu chicken, chili, saimin, kalbi ribs...all amazing. These recipes are always on repeat and such a beautiful way to introduce friends to Hawaiian cuisine.
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Aloha Kitchen is a delightful cookbook. If you aren’t lucky enough to have Hawaiian plate meals near you, this collection of recipes will bring some sunshine to your plate. I’m lucky to have two Hawaiian joints within a mile of my Kansan home. That said, I’ve made the huli huli chicken several times. I love Hawaiian mac salad and although the recipe included isn’t my fave - it’s good. I made the kimchi (changed it some) and it’s delish! I can’t wait to make the char siu pork, pork lumpia, pipi k ...more
Kate Guinan
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
It's a lovely book. While I'm a fairly adventurous cook, so much of these recipes seem inaccessible to me. Perhaps, if I'd ever traveled to Hawai'i, I would be more familiar with some of the ingredients. I do know Spam though! ...more
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’ve purchased many cookbooks in my day and this is the first one where I would give every recipe I’ve tried so far five out of five stars. Some of the flavors take me right back to Hawaii and it’s also a beautiful book as well. It my favorite cookbook I’ve ever purchased.
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
The perfect cookbook. Beautiful photography, interesting graphics, just enough food history, engaging personal stories and introductions to each recipe...and recipes for foods I ate and/or saw on menus while in Hawaii!
Amanda Judd
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
A great read for the history of migration to Hawai'i and any recipes that you can find the ingredients for are just a bonus. Recipes are well-written and very clear. I tried the Butter Mochi and Sweet Bread Rolls - both were delicious and came out great just by following the instructions. ...more
Delie Dell Chua
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love how ms kysar explained and gave an overview of hawaii, why there is such diversity on its dishes. She described the background and origin of each dish and each dish looks simple and easy to make. Cant wait to try them!
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brings me back to the islands

I enjoyed reading through this cookbook. The anecdotes were engaging and made me nostalgic for Hawaii. I tried the Beef Jan recipe and it was delicious, relatively easy to follow. I am excited to try some of the others!
Jo Anna
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
One of our cookbook book club picks. We enjoyed this book and had a plate lunch with friends in the park (Mac salad, rice, Kuala pork, greens). Will definitely try to re-create that this summer! Also, the butter mochi and spam musubi were standouts.
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
The only Hawaiian cookbook i have read, I learned a lot from it. i was not aware of the waves of influence on the islands. There's a lot to like. ...more
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food, 2019
Made the local chicken, saving loco moco for a special occasion. So many delicious looking recipes but some harder to find ingredients.
Emily Joyce
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
It’s not a cookbook I would cook from regularly, but it what I did cook was delicious and the book is beautiful.
Jade Geary
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Not only is this book beautiful (from the pictures to the design) but it is full of delicious recipes that took me right back to Hawaii. I can’t wait to make some yummy good from this book.
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved the cultural and historical context in this book. Can't wait to dive into some of the recipes this winter. ...more
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