One of the most beloved comfort foods in Hawaii, saimin is a popular noodle dish often confused with ramen. The latter is a Japanese dish and one of the inspirations for saimin along with Filipino pancit and Chinese mein. Take a moment to learn about the differences between these two dishes before ordering your next meal at Sekiya’s Restaurant & Delicatessen, the Japanese restaurant that has kept Honolulu residents satiated for over 80 years.
What’s the Difference Between Saimin & Ramen?
Saimin noodles are typically made of eggs and wheat flour. They are served in hot dashi — or broth — with assorted garnishes, such as cured seafood, sliced scrambled eggs, bok choy, dried seaweed, Portuguese sausage, and dried onions. Spam is another garnish often served with this favorite dish. Combination meals are also available, such as saimin with Japanese pot stickers or Chinese wontons. The dish is available in Hawaii only and served fresh; however, you may purchase it dried to make at home.
Wheat is the only ingredient making up ramen noodles, which are served in a dark broth compared to saimin’s lighter, saltier dashi. The dish features any combination of vegetables and meats, such as dried seaweed and mushroom, chicken, or fish. Frozen and deep-fried dried noodles are available at most grocery and convenience stores in addition to the fresh meals served in Asian restaurants. Unlike its sister dish, ramen is available around the world. Deep-fried, instant versions found in packages typically include thinner noodles compared to what is found in Japanese restaurants.
With this knowledge, you can better understand what you’re ordering at a Japanese restaurant. Sekiya’s Restaurant serves some of the best Japanese food for lunch and dinner on the tropical island chain. Whether you are new to saimin or simply want to enjoy a hearty, tasty meal, this family-owned and -operated establishment has what you are looking for. Sushi vinegar and many of the menu items are made from scratch. Seniors receive 10% discounts every Monday. Call (808) 732-1656 with any questions or review the menu online. Like the Facebook page for the latest must-try meals.