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food kitchen menu restaurant ethnic hawaii hawaiian saimin bowl noodles soup

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Mmm a Fresh Bowl of Hamura Saimin!
Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii, USA

Here is a close up look at the dish folks who live in Hawaii call Saimin. The origination of the dish is attributed to the "Plantation Days" of Hawaii when folks of different ethnicities were thrown together to be the labor force for sugar cane production. Just like "Pidgin English" is the language mixing from the various ethnic backgrounds that made up the sugar workers, Saimin reflects this multicultural heritage. The noodles are Asian in origin, most likely Chinese. The soup base is Japanese, usually having bonito (salt/fish flakes) in it. The green onions probably Fillipino. The Bok Choy (cabbage) likely Korean. There are often other things that swim in the saimin such as slices of linguisa (Portugese Sausage), eggs scrabled or boiled (various in origin), and fishcake Japanese (in this bowl that bright-pink stuff this is "kamaboko" style). Over time other things have made their way into the saimin bowl including ham, spam, wonton, carrots, snow peas, and other vegetables. I believe Hamura's Saimin noodles are made fresh each day from wheat flour and eggs. Depending on what size/style of bowl you order I think you get more stuff but I just ordered the medium here so it was pretty basic: noodles, soup, ham, and fishcake but there were a great variety of interesting condiments I had a choice of adding (that's the next picture I'll post). Yum!

A good description of saimin can be found here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saimin

And a good bowl of the dish can be had at the legendary Hamura's Saimin (as was this one) in Kauai (see the description of Hamura's in the last photo).
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Comments on this photo:

Apr 11 2005 23:58 GMT CMitchell317
mmmm, looks tasty.
Apr 12 2005 00:13 GMT PennyLane PRO
*drool*
Apr 12 2005 02:07 GMT jef PRO
I've always wondered in what ways saimin differed from ramen.
Apr 12 2005 03:15 GMT Maryg
Always nice to learn about other cultures...
Apr 12 2005 03:35 GMT jabber PRO
sounds and looks very good
Apr 12 2005 04:26 GMT fhelsing PRO
looks like a satisfying bowl of soup
Apr 12 2005 05:56 GMT Pueo PRO
the main difference between Saimin and Ramen in the noodles (as far as my experience has been) is that Saimin is generally not packed as a dried noodle. Saimin noodles are either made fresh and cooked fresh or the noodles are packed and frozen. On the other hand, ramen is often packaged dry... and I haven't had fresh made ramen as far as I know but I suppose it may exist in an expensive japanese restaurant somewhere around here ;).

Otherwise they're pretty much the same. Just the soup base and the toppings may differ.
Apr 12 2005 11:49 GMT curves PRO
Worthy of seconds...mmmmmmmmmmm
Apr 12 2005 14:01 GMT HMBPA PRO
Very appetizing!!
Apr 15 2005 22:28 GMT Pueo PRO
yup it was gone in like 5 minutes.
Feb 12 2006 02:37 GMT gijoolee
This was one of the best photos I found on the net of saimin, and I couldn't believe it was HAMURA'S saimin! I wanted to show my friends why it's so good because if you've never had it you will never know! This is also the photo that got me hooked on fotothing - without your saimin picture I don't know if I ever would have discovered this awesome photo blog site. THANKS!
Feb 12 2006 03:35 GMT Pueo PRO
Glad I could help you. Hamura's is a classic. Fotothing is a great site with a good community. Welcome!

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