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Off Track: Best saimin: Our Top 5

March 8, 2020

From the Frolic Hawaii website

In the pantheon of noodle dishes, saimin holds a special place in Hawaii. A lifelong companion, it can be a filling meal, a quick snack, a hangover cure.

In a culinary scene seemingly overrun by new ramen joints, a humble bowl of saimin reminds us of where we came from.

Saimin is every plantation immigrant story in one delicious bowl. Though there are Japanese and Chinese elements, no single ethnic group takes credit for its origins. Broth and noodles are its heart and soul. The broth usually starts with konbu dashi, dried shrimp and a little shoyu; from there it can go in a multitude of directions. The noodle isn’t a ramen noodle, a Chinese noodle or a pancit noodle. Saimin’s is usually a crooked noodle, irregular in shape. Toppings vary but typically you’ll see char siu, green onion and things like wonton, Spam, Portuguese sausage, choy sum, kim chee, kamaboko and finely sliced fried eggs.

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