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Oct 14, 2008 11:57 AM

Saimin anyone?

check out the discussion about saimin in the general chowhounding topics. does anyone have recommendations for where to get great saimin?

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  1. Just the usual places for me, Palace Saimin, Boulevard Saimin, Shige's in Waihiawa, Sekiya's and Like Like Drive In. There is a small hole in the wall on Kinau Street in back of the furniture stores that front Beretania Street, the name escapes me at the moment, haven't been there for years but I know it's still there.

    I always thought saimin was a combination of Japanese soup base and Chinese mien, maybe a plantation fusion from way back. Sai can mean small in Chinese, so I also thought it could mean small or plain noodles, unlike wor won ton mien with its dumplings, meats and vegetables, since saimin is usually just noodles, soup and some garnishes. Maybe some food historian has the answer and can share it with us.

    1 Reply
    1. re: curiousgeo

      Great to see an old thread dug up.
      Even though I am no food historian, I would still like to chime in a little.
      My grandpa loved Saimin, but it wasn't until he's in his fifties he discovered that he loved Won Ton Mien even more. He was a man of Japanese decent and made his first trip to Hong Kong in the 80's, had his first bowl of genuine Won Ton Mien and instantly felt in love. If he was still alive today he would probably call us crazy for liking Tonkotsu or spicy miso soup based ramen so much nowadays or god foribid, shoyu butter, because for him, Won Ton Mien with them ping-pong sized wontons was where it's at, just straight-up umami.
      I've done a fair bit of googling in his honor to try and make an authentic Won Ton soup, but where can one find some dried flounders?

    2. Thanks KM.... the Saimin described on that thread sounds so much better than the McDonald's stuff... I am very excited to try a superior version!

      4 Replies
      1. re: Eat_Nopal

        I'm sure you will enjoy it. I was really surprised how good the one at 49er fountain was. Shiros is a trip, 101 varieties or some such thing, ranging from the plainest most traditional to the most outrageous. Look forward to reports on your explorations. Is there a "traditional" noodle soup in Mexican cooking?

        1. re: KaimukiMan

          Yes... that would be the various Fideos dishes... I actually just made the "Dry" version using bundled Vermicelli that I purchased at Don Quijote... and about the write it up in the Cooking in Mexican in Hawaii thread.

          There are a few very interesting Mexican noodle dishes that I know of. One comes from my dad's podunk town.... Tomato based Broth, toasted vermicelli, topped with fried bananas.... I kid you not. The other interesting variation from my dad's town is a dessert dish... noodles fried in butter, simmered with fresh cow milk, ceylon cinammon, and dark sugar.

          1. re: Eat_Nopal

            Very interesting. I only knew of the word "fideos" from Spanish noodles. It would have never occured to me that there are "traditional" Mexican noodle dishes, which, in hindsight, seems kind of silly.

            I am so envious of you all who get to eat at these yummy saimin joints. I'll have to wait until next summer when I get back to HI.

      2. Get the Special Saimin at Hamura's, Lihue Kauai. Finish your meal with a slice of Lillikoi pie.

        1. went to Jane's fountain earlier this week. enjoyed it. posted about it here:

          saimin for dummies

          2 Replies
            1. re: indelibledotink

              very much my experience except that not everyone in there had grey hair. LOL. Is it great? No. Is it going to win an award? No. Was it a true example of an old fashioned saimin stand? Pretty Much.

          1. New favorite at Shiros- Won ton saimen with lau lau.