Kau Kau Kitchen
by Leilehua Yuen

Traditional Hawaiian Food

Table of Contents
Recipe Index
Hawaiian Foods
Local Foods
Special Occasions

In This Section

Kanu and Canoe
Fruits and Roots
Game and Fowl


Damon Tucker and Rocky Mountain Oysters

Seafood &Shellfish

Seafood was abundant in ancient Hawaiʻi. Many species of fish, shellfish, and invertebrates were harvested for food. Limu, seaweed, also was an important part of the Hawaiian diet, providing vegetable food rich in nutirents not easily found in plants grown in the young volcanic soil.

Hawaiʻi developed the largest system of aquaculture our world has known. Vast loko iʻa (fishponds) were built on the coastlines for the rearing of food fish and seaweeds. The massive stonework construction is an impressive achievement, and would take great skill, even with modern machinery.

Deep sea fishing also was important, though not as reliable.

Fish of all kinds, crustacians, echinoderms, cephalopods, gastropods, and bivalves were harvested and eaten raw, cooked, or dried.

Fish and shellfish also were harvested from the rivers and streams. Ancient chants sho a deep understanding of the importance of the riverine systems to the health of near-shore waters.

Even today, the ocean is critical in supplying food for people, not only in Hawaiʻi, but around the world. Maintaining the health of the ocean and reefs is critical for our own survival.

How do coral reefs protect lives and property?

Health of the Ocean


Links to come!