Hawaiian Saimin

I’ve posted several similar, Asian-themed soups here (like this one and this one), but somehow I needed to make this Hawaiian fast food staple on my own. In Hawaii, this is available all over the place. I’m told even the Hawaiian McDonald’s locations have it on the menu! Andy had a bowl of this soup for lunch and it included fish cake and tofu. We also found a kids’ version at this local restaurant and the boys devoured it. There are a couple things to note here. First, a full-bodied, flavorful broth is essential. This ginger chicken broth would work beautifully. My older son actually drank the broth with a straw before he even finished the noodles and vegetables. Secondly, the version I’ve written here is missing protein. I intentionally left it out since I served the soup as a starter, but if you are looking for a complete meal consider adding some diced cooked chicken, shrimp or tofu.

  • 8 oz. udon, soba or other long Asian noodle (see tips)
  • 4 cups homemade chicken broth (see tips)
  • 1 small bunch broccolini, trimmed and steamed until crisp-tender
  • 4 oz. green beans, trimmed and steamed until crisp-tender
  • 8 oz. fresh spinach, steamed
  • 4 small radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
  • Soy sauce
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish

  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the noodles according to package directions (I went with the low end of the range to retain a little chewiness), then drain and set aside.
  • Using the same saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a simmer.
  • To assemble the soup, place 2 oz. of noodles in each bowl, then add broccolini, beans, spinach, radishes, green onions and any protein you’ve chosen to add. Pour the broth over each serving. Season with soy sauce to taste, drizzle with a few drops of sesame oil and finish with sesame seeds.
  • Quick Tips
  • 1. In Hawaii, this soup was served with a slightly chewy, long egg based noodle. It had terrific texture and just a little bit of curl to it. I couldn’t find anything that approximated it, so I used brown rice udon instead and undercooked it by a minute to make sure it was just a little chewy. If I even find those noodles, I will update the post.
  • 2. If you don’t have homemade chicken broth on hand and no time to make it, you can gussy up store-bought chicken broth in a pinch. Heat the broth in a saucepan. When it reaches a boil, drop in a few thinly sliced garlic cloves and a 2-inch chunk of ginger root that has been peeled and thinly sliced. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, then strain and set aside. I really recommend homemade since the broth is at the heart of the dish, but if you can’t you just can’t!

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

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