Enjoy Mini Nori Maki

Mixed Arare (Fried Rice Paste) and Other Local Snacks

Published in: Daily Photo

Enjoy Mini Nori Maki

Have you ever had mixed arare? In Hawaii they also call it kakimochi or mochi crunch. It’s a really popular local snack. Every grocery store or Long’s Drugs on all of the islands has at least one entire aisle dedicated to local snacks, including arare (usually with nori/seaweed flakes, or the pieces are wrapped in nori), and there are dozens of snack-licious varieties — small bags of dried cuttlefish, red coconut balls (YUM!), shoyu peanuts (roasted peanuts covered with fried rice paste and a soy sauce glaze), red ginger (salted, candied ginger that’s very hot/spicy), li hing mui (salty dried plums), lemon peel (salted dried lemon peels, which are actually surprisingly delish), shredded ika (dried squid, also known as cuttlefish), and the list goes on and on…


El Hub grew up in Hawaii, so he loves it all. Since the islands are home to so many different people from all over the world, there are lots of different influences in their cuisine. Some of the snacks I mentioned above have Japanese roots, others Chinese, and others…well, I don’t even know.

The mixed arare is super crunchy, like crunchier than pure crunch, so they’re dangerously addictive, and like popcorn or potato chips, you can’t eat just one. No way. It’s impossible. It’s easy to go through an entire bag in one sitting.


They’re lower in calories than potato chips, but not by much. One of the 8-ounce bags in the top pic has about 900 calories, pure carbs, zero fat (since they’re mostly just rice and soy sauce).

If you ever visit the islands, make a mental note to grab a bag, and give it a try. I bet you’ll like it.

Kauai coffee

They even grow coffee on Kauai. I haven’t had any yet… I can’t wait to find out if it’s as tasty as Kona coffee!

Taro chips

These are so dang delicious! I finished an entire bag in one sitting…

Hawaiian Sun Lilikoi Jelly

Hawaiian Sun Lilikoi Jelly, and Hawaiian Kukui brand Guava Strawberry Jam in the background

Ooh! I love bringing back a few small jars of guava and other fruit-flavored jellies from Hawaii. It takes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to the next level.

Hawaii snacks

Chimes brand Ginger Mango Chews

Tabs wants to open the ginger mango chews first…


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So far, 25 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Emme says:

    Are those butterscotch almonds I see?…YUM!

  2. hanna says:

    I had never even heard of these!
    hanna recently posted … Annoying things at School for a Freshman

  3. Lizzy says:

    Oh, man, I love crack seed! Makes me miss the islands.

  4. nai says:

    KAREN. mix the kakimochi w/your popcorn. for serious. though I expect you’ve probably tried that already.

  5. Bessie says:

    Freaken LOVE Mauna Loa Macadamia nuts! Especially the chocolate covered ones xD

  6. Gowthami says:

    Looks Yum Yum!! 😛

  7. Rachel says:

    Yum! I’m on board with Tabs, ginger mango sounds like my cup of tea! I’m surprised they didn’t have Hawaiian coffee in your hotel room, when I went to Jamaica coffee and rum were their claim to fame so it was everywheres!

  8. Kim says:

    Hawaii is at the top of my “next vacation” list and thank you for letting me know which aisle to avoid. I’d have to be greased and rolled back onto the plane because I’d be eating entire bags of all these delish sounding, salted snacks (well, except the squid/cuttlefish). 🙂

    • Karen says:

      From what El Hub tells me the squid and cuttlefish is pretty good! Just really salty. I don’t eat either of them (it’s a texture thing). I lurves the sweet stuff!

  9. Kris says:

    I love Kauai, and really enjoyed your travelogue! You hit most of the places that I loved the few times I was there. Sadly, Kauai coffee doesn’t stand up to Kona, though. I’ll have to make another trip just to try the snacks – yum!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kris,

      Thank you so much! Yes, next time you go, stock up on treats at Long’s or at the Farmers’ Market. 🙂

      BTW, did you ever go to the Secret Lava Pools? I really wanted too but didn’t have time.

  10. Paige says:

    Awww my heart hurts!! :'( i miss living on North Shore
    Hope your trip was fabulous!

  11. I love munching on crunchy salty stuff! Would love to try li hing mui and shoyu peanuts!
    Ankita@corallista recently posted … 5 Runway Beauty Secrets!

  12. Karen says:

    You’d love the Shoyu peanuts, Ankita!

  13. Rachel says:

    Mauna Loa mac nuts and Chimes candies are the two things I always make sure end up in my suitcase when I come home from Maui (my family lives there).

  14. Jennifer says:

    I miss Long’s Drugs. And Hawaiian Sun juices. Just seeing their label makes me happy. I see you got some Kauai Cookies – I love them!!

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