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Fried Saimin

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There’s just something about fried saimin that makes it so delicious. Maybe it’s the chewy noodles, or the savory sauce. Whatever the reason, you just can’t get enough of this Hawaiian style dish!

fried saimin in a bowl with chopsticks

What is saimin?

Saimin is a Hawaiian dish that consists of fried noodles in a savory sauce. It is a popular dish among locals and tourists alike. There are many different versions of saimin, but the most common ingredients include: noodles, broth, vegetables, and protein (usually chicken or shrimp). This dish can be served as an appetizer or main course.

Saimin has been around for centuries and is believed to have originated in Hawai’i’s plantation era. The word saimin comes from a blend of two Chinese words, sai – meaning thin and min meaning noodle.

Classic saimin is served in a broth typically made with shrimp, kombu, ginger, and mushrooms and topped with various fixings like kamaboko, egg, green onions, and SPAM.

You can find it served at mom and pop shops as well as high end restaurants. And of course made in the comforts of your own home and perfect to eat on cold or rainy days.

A variation that I love is fried saimin. All the flavors you love with traditional saimin, but fried. It’s packed with umami and it fills you up faster than you can say “I’m hungry.”

There are so many ways to make it! Whatever version you like best, one thing is certain: fried saimin is delicious—and there’s no better way to experience all the different flavors of Hawaii than with this classic dish!

two bowls of fried saimin with chopsticks

Saimin vs ramen

Both saimin and ramen noodles are typically made from flour, salt, water, and kansui, which is an alkaline mineral that gives the noodles its classic chew. Saimin noodles are made with eggs and are more chewy and have a stronger flavor.

Ingredients to make this fried saimin recipe

  • Saimin noodles. Be sure to use a high quality brand, this is a saimin dish after all.
  • Eggs. I like mine fried, but you can cook them to your liking.
  • Oil. Use the cooking oil of your choice.
  • SPAM. Nothing more quintessential to Hawai’i than SPAM. You can swap this out for the protein of your choice.
  • Kamaboko. This is Japanese fish cake. It can be found in the refrigerator section of your local grocery store or Asian market.
  • Green onions. Add a little pop of color and flavor.
  • Shoyu. Japanese style soy sauce. It can be found in the Asian aisle at most grocery stores.
  • Oyster sauce. Gives the dish a little sweetness and umami.
  • Dashi. The secret the bold, delicious flavor in this dish. I would not suggest skipping this ingredient.

(Full recipe instructions and ingredient amounts are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post)

fried saimin ingredients

How to make fried samin

Just like any other noodle dish, start by making the noodles. Cook according to package directions and drain when finished.

While the noodles are cooking start on the toppings. I like to add SPAM, egg, kamaboko, and green onions to mine. Cook SPAM, egg, and kamaboko to desired doneness. Toss in the green onions and continue to heat through.

Now the secret to the delicious flavor of this dish, the sauce! To a small bowl, add shoyu, oyster sauce, and dashi or seasoning packet. Mix until well combined.

Add the noodles and sauce to the pan. Toss together and you’ve got yourself a deliciously satisfying meal.

chopsticks picking up fried saimin

Tips for the best fried saimin

  • Use a high quality saimin noodle for the best results.
  • Cook the noodles according to package directions and drain before adding to the pan.
  • Use your favorite protein in this dish. SPAM is a classic choice, but you can also use chicken, shrimp, or tofu.
  • The sauce is key to the flavor of this dish. Be sure to mix it well before adding it to the pan.

Frequently asked questions

What kind of noodle is saimin?

Saimin is a wheat and egg noodle.

Can I use any type of noodle to make fried saimin?

Traditionally, saimin noodles are used for making fried saimin. However if you have another noodle on hand you can still make this dish. Noodles like ramen, soba, or chow fun noodles can also work.

How to store fried samin?

Fried saimin can be placed in an air tight container and stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

How to reheat?

The easiest way to reheat saimin is to pour contents into a large pan and reheat on the stove top or in a bowl in the microwave.

Other great noodle dishes

fried saimin in a bowl with chopsticks

Fried Saimin

There's just something about fried saimin that makes it so delicious. Maybe it's the chewy noodles, or the savory sauce. Whatever the reason, you just can't get enough of this Hawaiian style dish!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Local
Servings 4 servings
Calories 138 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 packets saimin noodles cooked to package directions and drained
  • 2 eggs fried and sliced into strips
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 ounces spam thinly sliced
  • 3 ounces kamaboko thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup green onion thinly sliced, reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons shoyu
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 packet dashi the seasoning packet included with the noodles

Instructions
 

  • Add cooking oil of choice to a wok set over medium high heat. Add spam and cook for 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Next add eggs, kamaboko, and green onions, reserving some of the green onion for garnish . Stir fry for 1-2 minutes or until kamaboko has heated through.
  • Add the cooked saimin noodles to the wok and gently toss to combine.
  • To a small bowl add shoyu, oyster sauce, and dashi. Mix until well combined. 
  • Add sauce mixture to the noodles and toss to combine.
  • Cook noodles to desired crispness, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, garnish with green onion, and serve immediately!

Notes

  • Use a high quality saimin noodle for the best results.
  • Cook the noodles according to package directions and drain before adding to the pan.
  • Use your favorite protein in this dish. SPAM is a classic choice, but you can also use chicken, shrimp, or tofu.
  • The sauce is key to the flavor of this dish. Be sure to mix it well before adding it to the pan.

Nutrition

Serving: 4gCalories: 138kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 6gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 895mgPotassium: 172mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 0.3gVitamin A: 181IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1mg
Keyword 20 minute meals, fried saimin, Hawaii food, keeping it relle, local, local food, local recipes, noodles, pasta, saimin
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By on October 19th, 2022

About Relle

Aloha, my name is Relle and welcome to my little home on the internet where I like to share all my favorite Hawaiian recipes (and local ones too).

I am a wife, mom of two, and nurse practitioner here in the beautiful state of Hawai’i. I was born and raised in Hawai’i and I am of native Hawaiian descent. In my spare time I love to cook and bake and I have compiled many of my favorite recipes here for you to enjoy.

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