This Potluck Plate Celebrates AAPI Month, Local Style

Hawai‘i potlucks are already AAPI mashups on a plate. Frolic’s smorgasbord goes a step beyond with palusami, lomi ‘ō‘io, polvoron and more.



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May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month and at Frolic, it goes without saying that we think the best way to explore a culture is through your palate. So from palusami and polvoron to taro chips and lomi poke, we compiled a range of ‘onolicious potluck dishes from Hawaii’s Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander cuisines to feast on this Memorial Day weekend. Here’s our ultimate AAPI potluck plate and where to find these tasty eats.


Lomi ‘Ō‘io

It would not be a potluck in Hawai‘i without poke. While not sliced, as most poke is, the lomi style of poke is created using raw fish—in this case, ‘ō‘io—that is massaged by hand with your favorite seasonings such as Hawaiian salt or ‘inamona. It’s a rare poke shop that carries this style. At Tamashiro Market in Kalihi, fresh lomi ‘ō‘io is available as a special most Fridays.


Tamashiro Market, 802 N. King St., (808) 841-8047,, @tamashiromarket 



Taro Chips

The perfect finger food, taro chips can be eaten on their own, paired with your favorite dipping sauce or—the way we like best—loaded with poke. This modern-day version of Hawai‘i’s most iconic canoe crop is relatively easy to find in stores.


Hawaiian Chip Co., 1928 Republican St., (808) 845-9868,, @hawaiianchipcompany 


SEE ALSO: Hawaiian Chip Co. Wants You to Dip Its Chips in Chocolate


Char Siu Su

Sing Cheong Yuan Char Siu Su potluck

Photo: Emily Smith


Pastries, we think of them as sweet and cream-filled. Char siu su is a savory Chinese pastry filled with char siu, a bright red barbecued pork. Bite in and the pastry gives way to a blast of flavor from the juicy, seasoned pork in the middle.


Sing Cheong Yuan Bakery, 1027 Maunakea St., (808) 531-6688, @singcheongyuanbakery




Tammys Market Palusami Potluck

Photo: Emily Smith


A delicacy in Samoa, Kiribati and Fiji, palusami is made by wrapping simmered beef, coconut and onion in taro leaves. The dish is considered culturally significant since it includes taro, a gift from the ancient gods.


Tammy’s Polynesian Market, 94-839 Farrington Hwy #102, (808) 671-3441




Getting your daily fix of veggies can be challenging, especially for picky eaters. But kimbap, a Korean dish of rice, vegetables and protein wrapped in seaweed, is so delicious that it can make you forget you’re eating carrots, spinach, cucumber and more. Not to be confused with sushi, kimbap’s hint of sesame oil gives it a sweet, umami flavor.


Palama Supermarket, multiple locations,, @palamasupermarket


SEE ALSO: Palama Supermarket Is Leveling Up Its Korean Sushi Roll Game


Sweet Potato

Boiled, baked or eaten with coconut milk, sweet potatoes are a versatile, nutrient-rich staple in Tonga and other Pacific island nations, where all kinds of varieties abound. You’ll find multiple dishes featuring sweet potato at Tammy’s Polynesian Market.


Tammy’s Polynesian Market, 94-839 Farrington Hwy #102, (808) 671-3441




Ever Chocolate Polvoron Pc Emily Smith

Photo: Emily Smith


Polvorones are delicate Filipino cookies made from toasted flour, powdered milk, butter and sugar. The texture is similar to that of shortbread cookies, soft and beautifully crumbly; flavors range from ube to peanut to strawberry. These are perfect bite-size desserts that will have sweet tooths coming back for seconds and thirds.


Ever Chocolate,,



Chichi Dango

Nisshodo Fruit Chichi Dango 2 Pc Emily Smith

Photo: Emily Smith


Chichi dango are a local take on Japanese mochi. Dango means dumpling in Japanese—in Hawai‘i they’re made with glutinous sweetened rice flour and typically cut into pillowy, chewy rectangles. Chichi dango most commonly come in pink and white, but recent spinoffs at Kapālama’s Nisshodo add colorful blueberry, orange and strawberry chichi dango to the mix.


Nisshodo Candy Store, 1095 Dillingham Blvd. Bldg I-5, (808) 847-1244,, @nisshodo_mochi


SEE ALSO: Did You Know Nisshodo Mochi Shop Has New Chichi Dango Flavors?



Golden Coin Lumpia Pc Emily Smith

Photo: Emily Smith


Who doesn’t love biting into a hot, crispy lumpia and letting the juicy filling erupt across your palate? The Philippines’ popular spring roll variation is often stuffed with a savory pork mince, but dessert versions include banana lumpia and at Salt Lake’s J&S Lumpia Spot, strawberry cheesecake.


Golden Coin, multiple locations,
J&S Lumpia Spot, 4369 Lawehana St., (808) 400-1855,, @jslumpiaspot


SEE ALSO: Sweet and Savory Lumpia From a New Spot Is Just What We Need


Emily Smith


In her free time, editorial intern Emily Smith loves to discover new cafès and matcha spots. Emily grew up in Japan and Malaysia and graduated this month from the University of Hawai‘i School of Communication. After a summer of honing her skills at HONOLULU, Frolic and Honolulu Family, she starts classes at the University of Southern California for her Masters in communication management.