Hawaiian Plate Lunch

plate lunch
I am so glad that spring is finally here after the crazy winter that we have had this year.
It reminds me that Summer is right around the corner. And that means spending time with friends,outdoors, grilling.
One of my summertime favorites is Hawaiian BBQ. A friend of mine ( Julie) and her husband E.T.(Samoan/Hawaiian) have a BBQ every year and there is never a shortage of yummy Hawaiian fare. Pans are overflowing with grilled chicken, beef ribs and kalua pork, grilled vegetables, bowls filled with Macaroni salad and potato salad and a hot steaming rice cooker full of steamed rice. Someone always makes a big pot of Sapa Sui (Hawaiian Chop Suey) and Taro cooked in coconut milk.
 The guys bring their Guitars, Ukes, Drums  and other instruments and entertain us with the beautiful songs of the islands while we eat, drink and enjoy each others company sharing memories of times gone by and creating new ones. And laugh! ( there is never a shortage of laughter).

The first time I had ever had Hawaiian plate Lunch was with my friend Julie. We were at a Hawaiian restaurant watching her husband’s band that was playing there that night. My plate came to the table loaded with succulent grilled meats,  2 big scoops of rice and a scoop of creamy Macaroni salad. Once I tasted it I was hooked!

Plate Lunch basically consists of your choice of meat( grilled chicken, Kulua Pork, Portuguese sausage, Poki, etc..) 2 scoops of sticky rice and 1 scoop of macaroni salad. I have made this recipe with grilled teriyaki chicken. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Hawaiian Plate Lunch: Grilled Teriyaki Chicken

For the Chicken:

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sambal
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

Place chicken thighs in a gallon sized ziploc bag. In a bowl, wisk together remaining ingredients to create marinade. Pour marinade in the bag with the chicken and massage it around so that all of the chicken is in the marinade. seal bag and place in the refrigerator to marinate overnight. Remove chicken from marinade and cook on a hot grill turning as needed until chicken is cooked through. 165 degrees internal temperature on meat thermometer. Remove meat from the grill and cover  with foil. let meat rest 10 minutes before serving. Once meat has rested, slice and serve with rice and macaroni salad.

mac salad2

For the Macaroni Salad:

  • 1/2 of a 1 pound package ( 1/2 pound) of elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup scallions, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup real mayonnaise (best foods)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic ( not garlic salt)

Cook macaroni until soft (not al dente) . drain and place back into pot. stir apple cider into cooked macaroni and let cool about 15 minutes. In a bowl, add celery, scallion and carrots. in another bowl mix remaining ingredients to make dressing. Place cooled macaroni in the bowl with vegetables and stir to combine. Add dressing and stir to combine. Place in the refrigerator to cool. Once salad has chilled, stir and serve

For the Rice:

  •  2 cups dry short grain rice

Rinse rice under cold water. Cook rice according to package directions. I cook mine in a rice cooker.

4 thoughts on “Hawaiian Plate Lunch

  1. That looks so good. You have used an ingredient in the marinade that I am not familiar with – sambal. Could you enlighten me? Thanks. Looks like I’ll have to try this one on Max.

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    • Sambal is an Asian chile sauce. It adds a little zip to the recipe. Check the Asian section of the grocery store. The recipe can be made without it or you can add a pinch of dried chile flakes instead.

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