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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 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 cultural and agricultural influences that have made dishes like plate lunch and poke crave-worthy culinary sensations with locals and mainlanders alike. Interweaving regional history, local knowledge, and the aloha spirit, Kysar introduces local Hawaiʻi staples like saimin, loco moco, shave ice, and shoyu chicken, tracing their geographic origin and history on the islands. As a Maui native, Kysar's roots inform deep insights on Hawaiʻi's multiethnic culture and food history. In Aloha Kitchen, she shares recipes that Hawaiʻi locals have made their own, blending cultural influences to arrive at the rich tradition of local Hawaiʻi cuisine. With transporting photography, accessible recipes, and engaging writing, Kysar paints an intimate and enlightening portrait of Hawaiʻi and its cultural heritage.


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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 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 cultural and agricultural influences that have made dishes like plate lunch and poke crave-worthy culinary sensations with locals and mainlanders alike. Interweaving regional history, local knowledge, and the aloha spirit, Kysar introduces local Hawaiʻi staples like saimin, loco moco, shave ice, and shoyu chicken, tracing their geographic origin and history on the islands. As a Maui native, Kysar's roots inform deep insights on Hawaiʻi's multiethnic culture and food history. In Aloha Kitchen, she shares recipes that Hawaiʻi locals have made their own, blending cultural influences to arrive at the rich tradition of local Hawaiʻi cuisine. With transporting photography, accessible recipes, and engaging writing, Kysar paints an intimate and enlightening portrait of Hawaiʻi and its cultural heritage.

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

  1. 4 out of 5

    Velma Hayes

    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.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    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 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 the only state to have a language other than English (Hawaiian) as its official language (as set in 1978). According to the author, context and history are paramount to understanding the local food culture of today. Hawaii is strongly influenced by Polynesian wayfinders (today's Hawaiians), Westerners, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Koreans, and Filipinos. There are a lot of interesting (read delicious looking) recipes in this book! One thing that I found fascinating was the anatomy and background surrounding the "Plate Lunch." I hope to try one of these while I am on vacation! The only recipe that was a total turnoff was Squid Lu'au. I texted my cousin and said no to Octopus / Squid.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    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 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 visiting Hawaii. Mahalo Alana for writing a fantastic and accessible book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    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.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    "Hawaii is always a good idea"

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia D

    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 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 heavily Asian-focused as it is). I'll be trying out the katsu, and hope to try the butter mochi soon. Since I've been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I lost the ability to eat at any Hawaiian restaurants. I've wanted to remake a lot of the food I ate at these restaurants and from what I saw in Hawai'i, but didn't always know exactly what I wanted to try making... so I ended up not trying at all. Sad but true. The book itself is wonderfully done. I love that the author is another hapa (holler!!!) in California (represent!!!!!), and the bits and pieces of her background is so interesting to read. The pictures are BEAUTIFUL. Kudos to whomever did the design for the book because it is BEAUTIFUL. I am so happy my husband picked this out at the bookstore for me to cook from, because it's 100% my favorite cookbook ever. Not exaggerating.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    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 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, really interesting stories and you get a real sense of what Hawaiian food culture is like, its origins, and the memories the author associates with each dish.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kurt Fox

    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 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 or may not like the foods in the book, the recipes do deliver the authentic Hawaiian foods, and what it means to the islanders. And delivering recipes is what a recipe book is all about. Great photos, clear directions, a piece and place in history for each. Well done! If you like Hawaiian food, this is your book. Even if you don't, you still might learn a bit.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    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 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 local foods tasting. Thank you so much, Alana Kysar for this beautiful book!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    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 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 (probably all) of them from the recipes in this book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Spindrift

    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!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jared Musser

    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. 

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    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.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jacabaeus

    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.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Diera Musser

    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.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    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 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 kaula and butter Mochi (rice cake). Unfortunately, some recipes I can’t make because the ingredients are not readily available. Overall, this is a fun cookbook to incorporate some new recipes in your repertoire. Happy cooking and aloha!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kate Guinan

    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!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lissa

    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.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    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!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Judd

    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.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Delie Dell Chua

    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!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kerry Pickens

    My first book for 2020! I wanted to learn to make moco loco, but this cuisine has so many different influences. I know I will be making lumpia and Chicken Adobe soon. The Kindle version is available today on Amazon for 1.99.

  23. 4 out of 5

    TCampbell

    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!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jo Anna

    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.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Viriam

    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.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katy

    Made the local chicken, saving loco moco for a special occasion. So many delicious looking recipes but some harder to find ingredients.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Emily Joyce

    It’s not a cookbook I would cook from regularly, but it what I did cook was delicious and the book is beautiful.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jade Geary

    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.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Loren

    Loved the cultural and historical context in this book. Can't wait to dive into some of the recipes this winter.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Robin Case

    Good introduction to the food and culture of the Hawaiian Island.

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