The plate lunch is a staple in Hawaiian food. It consists of a protein element (chicken katsu, mahi mahi, breaded teriyaki beef, shoyu chicken, and the like), 2 scoops of rice, and mac salad. This is not like the macaroni salad you probably make for your summer BBQ. It has a unique flavor all its own. It may not be a health food, but I feel it is important to expose my children to food from various parts of the world.
One of the secrets to make this dish is overcooking the noodles. Sounds crazy, right? But that is how they get that Hawaiian texture. It isn't soggy, but it is not al dente. It is quintessential Hawaiian mac salad! It is a huge hit with the entire family and makes our plate lunches a true taste of the islands.
8 oz macaroni
1 C whole milk
1 C mayo
1 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 C cider vinegar
3 scallions, very thinly sliced
1 large carrot, finely grated
1 celery rib, chopped very fine
- Make dressing: whisk together 3/4 C milk, 1/2 C mayo, sugar, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
- Cook pasta: Bring a pot of water to a boil and add pasta. Cook for 15 minutes until very soft. Drain pasta and return it to the pot. Add vinegar and stir until absorbed. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for 10 minutes. Add dressing and stir to coat. Allow to cool completely.
- Assemble the salad: Add scallions, celery, carrot, remaining milk and remaining mayo. Stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Adapted from rickleadem