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Dinner ideas in Hawaii (for cooking in condo) - suggestions?

We're heading to Hawaii and will be staying in a condo with a kitchen. I'm looking for some inspiration for dinner ideas that won't take too long to prepare (I have standing over a hot stove in Hawaii's heat) or require too many ingredients and since I"m not sure what the state of the equipment will be in the condo nothing too complicated.

Previous trips I've done tacos, pasta, stir fry, eggs. Thanks for your ideas :)

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  1. We visited Hawaii a few years ago and loved having a condo and cooking nearly every night. The meals were mostly similar to the ones you already listed - quick and easy pasta, tacos and eggs. In addition, we tried to eat local as much as we could and to visit the market to buy fresh fish and produce. There were a lot of salads and grilled meats which was great. Sandwiches were also great especially if we would be out for much of the day and wanted a quick dinner when we got home. Other ideas which are easy and batch friendly included a seafood boil with steamed seafood, corn, and potatoes. You could also have "make your own" nights like pizza or baked potatoes. I'm quite jealous of your trip.

    You might also email the condo owner to inquire about what kind of equipment is available or get some general idea.

    1 Reply
    1. re: fldhkybnva

      Good idea re asking for info from owner. We've had great and not so.

    2. It's been years but we used to like the Hawaiian-style kalbi ribs at the grocery and grill them. Our condos had grills, does yours?

      BTW, I ALWAYS travel with some kitchen "tools" and spices. Always a chef's knife and microplane grater.

      1 Reply
      1. re: c oliver

        I'd love to be able to take a knife or even a wine opener or scissors along on holidays. But alas, have been traveling with only a carry-on bag for the last 2 years. Ended up purchasing a good knife on a 30 day Australia tour, and left it with a friend.

      2. When we last went (too long ago now!) the roadside produce stands were to die for- tropical fruits with yogurt and toast was always breakfast. There are a lot of asian groceries available, so stir fries, sesame noodles, and local fish with a simple soy marinade is great. We had a bbq so most nights it was an assortment of grilled veggies and fish with leftovers ontop of saladsthe next day for lunch. Salad nicoise is great with the fresh tuna. And you could always try the local favorite spam....!

        1. Which island? If you're on Hawai'i, head for the Hilo farmers' market for fruits and vegetables. The larger grocery stores should have marinated fish and meats: check if your condo has a grill available. We usually pick up rice, onions, ginger, and a few vegetables that can combine well with a variety of things on our first day: we have a little collapsible cooler that we can fill with ice and take with us in case we come across a good fishmonger.

          We bring a selection of our favorite herbs and spices (salt, pepper, crushed red chile, oregano, tarragon), along with sugar and teas in small vials. We've also taken to bringing a supply of ziploc bags: they're small and light, and can be used to carry sandwiches for a picnic, or bring that leftover jam back without getting it all over your luggage.

          Every place I've rented in the state came with a rice cooker - except for the place that had 3 of them!

          1 Reply
          1. re: tardigrade

            I sometimes stay in a condo in Hilo on business trips (it's not nearly as fun as you'd think, though).

            At the store, I'd buy a head of garlic, a chunk of ginger, some fresh lemons or limes, a small piece of butter, a small jar of good olive oil, a one-use pepper grinder, and some fresh herbs. Plus some tin foil for simplifying clean-up, and roasting stuff. That will give you a wide variety of seasonings without spending a ton of money. You could add red wine vinegar if you like salads a lot, or soy sauce if you want to do stir fries.

            Broiled fresh fish with butter and lemon is simple, delicious, and takes very little in the way of supplies. Or make a packet of fish with some mushrooms and green onions and toss that in the oven. Salads are good - either buy a small bottle of dressing, or go with a home-made vinaigrette. Get feta and olives from the deli section and make Greek salad.

            Roasted vegetables, roasted new potatoes done in foil in the oven are easy and again, don't need decent pans and don't require much time.

            Have good bread, good cheese, some salami, olives and deli salads for a simple summery meal. Or a container of poke instead of the salami and cheese.

          2. Baked chicken pieces with teriyaki glaze. Line the pan with foil for easy cleanup.

            1. All I know about Hawaii is if you leave a box of frosted flakes on the counter you end up with a block of frosted flakes.

              1. A bag of poi and a pound of poke.

                2 Replies
                1. re: pixelcat

                  How could I forget poke? We ate it at least once often twice a day-light, refreshing and versatile.

                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                    If you're there long enough, the KCC Farmer's Market is THE place to go for fresh produce and other island favorites. Steaks from Costco, fresh fish from Tamashiro market, poke from Foodland

                2. When we travel we rent a flat. I like the convenience of having a washer/dryer, fridge for ice etc. What I don't do is cook. I'm not going to London, Paris, Amsterdam etc. to eat my own cooking. I could do that and stay home. I want to search out restaurants and try new things. In London we discovered that we do like Indian cuisine, another trip we got heavily in to Middle Eastern. It is an essential part of the whole experience

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Candy

                    Well, this is probably better suited to another thread.... We almost always have house or apartment and I LOVE to cook! Love going to local markets - oh, yes, Barcelona, I LOVE you. Plus I loathe eating every meal out. Breakfast especially. But everyone's different.

                    1. re: Candy

                      We like to eat out too but with two kids under 5 that isn't always the culinary experience one would wish for!

                    2. I stayed on the Big Island in a condo for 5 days. I did almost all of the dinners at home. Here's what I did. To start, the condo had salt, pepper, steak seasoning, a few other spices I can't remember, canola oil, olive oil, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, red wine vinegar, flour and pancake mix. Unlike the rest of Hawaii, the Big Island has wonderfully inexpensive beef.

                      Dinner 1 - Smoked ahi spread on crackers. Broiled ono with store bought cilantro pesto and sauteed asparagus.

                      Dinner 2 - Chicken breaded with breadcrumbs and crushed macadamia nuts with sauteed sugar snap peas and green onion pancakes.

                      Dinner 3 - Beef sliders with soy glazed pineapple (you can find Hawaiian bread in buns!) and salad. Dessert was coconut fritters made with fresh shredded coconut and pancake mix (seeing a theme?) and strawberry sauce that was thinned down strawberry jam that I got some packets from lunch at Zippy's.

                      Dinner 4 - Pork Katsu with rice cooked in coconut milk and sauteed green beans. Dessert was grilled pineapple with chocolate sauce - chocolate with coconut milk along with halves of cherimoya (custard apples).