America's Classics: Alan Wong on Hamura’s Saimin Stand


Hamura’s Saimin Stand
Lihue, Kauai, HI


Noodles are one of my most favorite comfort foods, next to rice. Saimin is an iconic local dish in Hawaii—you can’t find saimin in any other part of the world. Where Japan has ramen, Hawaii has saimin. It’s a dish that all local kids grow up eating, and Hamura’s is one of the oldest and most famous saimin shops in Hawaii. It’s been around for generations, and it still has the same mom-and-pop feel that it had when it first opened. There’s really a feeling of going back in time to Old Hawaii, and it evokes a sense of nostalgia for a lot of people.


I first started going to Hamura Saimin when I moved to Kauai briefly in the late 1980s. When you go there, you feel like you’re going to an old diner or an old fountain parlor. You go up to the counter and sit on the stools. The ladies that take your order don’t write anything... Read more >

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Recipe: Goat Cheese Panna Cotta with Grand Marnier-Soaked Strawberries

Alan Wong's Goat Cheese Panna Cotta If you’ve never made panna cotta, which is a low-maintenance but crowd-pleasing dessert, here’s a version from Hawaiian chef Alan Wong that will inspire you to whip out those ramekins and get to work. Chef Wong adds tangy chèvre to cut the creaminess, then brightens the dessert with Grand Marnier–soaked strawberries and a sprinkling of shiso, a Japanese member of the mint family. Feel free to play around with the accompaniments: goat’s milk caramel, fruit coulis, or wildflower honey would also be delicious. Get the recipe here.

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