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43 Things Every Local Must Do


(page 3 of 6)

Photo: David Croxford



Cook local.

How are you going to cook something if you don’t stock the right ingredients in your fridge? Soy sauce, sriracha, mirin, hoisin, rice vinegar, chili-pepper water and more—the multi-ethnic tastes of Hawaii.




No ifs, ands or buts:  To be a self-respecting local, you have to enjoy a tailgate party at least once. Savor the food, bask in the sun, talk story with the gang, down a few of your favorite beverages and soak in the atmosphere of a University of Hawaii football game at Aloha Stadium. Tailgating is so popular in Hawaii that some folks don’t even bother going to the game itself—they just show up at the stadium, party with their friends and head home when the game starts.

You can be as simple or elaborate as you like. The menu? Throw some steaks on a hibachi or just bring Spam musubi and fried chicken. You can grind from the comfort of your vehicle or sit outside under a tent. The main objective here is to relax.


Be known for one broke-da-mouth potluck item.

From family picnics  and church socials to tailgate parties and baby luau, locals love to celebrate with food, and lots of it. You don’t need to own a restaurant to earn recognition as a culinary master; you know you’ve “made it” when you get requests for that dish you brought to the last potluck.

If you still haven’t found that recipe, here’s a suggestion courtesy of the Women’s Ministry at Bethany Assembly of God in Aiea, from their cookbook, Favorite Recipes.

Chicken Broccoli Casserole

• 5 medium pieces of boneless chicken breasts
• 2 cans (10.75 oz.) cream of mushroom soup (undiluted)
• ⅓ cup mayonnaise
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1 pkg. (1 lb.) frozen broccoli cuts
• 1 pkg. (8 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese
• ½ cup (1 block) butter
• 1 pkg. (4 oz.) panko flakes

Cook chicken by simmering in salted water (about 30 minutes). Cool and shred into bite-size pieces. In large bowl, mix soup, mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Add chicken. Mix and set aside. Melt butter in medium sauce pan. Add panko flakes and stir until butter is absorbed. Layer evenly in 9-by-13-inch pan: frozen broccoli cuts on bottom; chicken mixture in middle; then shredded cheese with panko-flake mixture on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until flakes are light brown. Serves 6.


Photo: David Croxford

Be able to string a lei on a moment’s notice.

It’s a late Sunday afternoon, your company’s executives are in town for a reception, and the boss says, “Oh, I forgot to ask you: Can you make sure they each get a flower lei tonight?” The lei shops are closed and Longs Drugs is all out of their garlands. What do you do? Well, you’re local. Making four flower lei? No problem! That’s right, every local should be able to fashion a lei on a moment’s notice.

Here’s a step-by-step “how to” for creating a simple, yet beautiful fresh Dendrobium orchid lei:

Photo: David Croxford

1. You’ll need a large needle, a thin fishing line or dental floss, and about 50 loose, de-stemmed orchid flowers.
2. Cut a piece of fishing line or floss about 90 inches long. Insert through the head of the needle, and fold the line in half. Tie a large knot near the end of the line to form a “stopper.” Leave a few inches below the knot. You’ll use the extra inches to tie your finished lei together.
3. Holding the needle, stick it through the orchid flower’s “through” and insert through the end. Pull the flower through the needle. Carefully slide the orchids down the string as you add them.
4. When you have only two to three inches of string left on each side, tie the ends together. You may want to add a ribbon by the knot to complete the look.
5. Present lei with a warm hug full of aloha. Muahhh!


Complain about the “cold” when it’s 72 degrees out—and really mean it!

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Honolulu Magazine May 2019
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