- Start a day ahead: Make the pickles, cook the rice, steam the taro, prepare the smoked salmon, and cook and assemble the macaroni salad. If you like, you can also form the patties for the hamburger steak. In the evening, make the marinade for the ribs and allow them to marinate overnight.
- The morning of the cookout, start the chicken first, which needs five hours to marinate before frying. Then make the rolls, which need a couple of hours to rise, and the rumaki, which need to marinate for an hour. Leave the sesame cabbage salad for last, as it should be mixed immediately before serving.
- When Portuguese immigrants arrived in Hawaii in the late 1800s, they brought their pao doce, or sweet bread, with them; similar versions are popular in the Philippines and other areas with a heavy Portuguese influence. Our version, of Filipino origin, calls for topping the rolls with bread crumbs before baking; for a more Hawaiian version, you can omit the bread crumbs and brush the tops of the rolls with egg wash. If you're short on time, King's Hawaiian bread rolls, available in most grocery stores, make a fine substitute.
- In addition to fresh fruit for dessert, you can serve shaved ice—the feathery, snow-white fluff flavored with syrup that's a classic Hawaiian treat. Scrape a large block of ice with an ice shaver, paring knife, or chisel, then serve scoops of it drenched with fruity syrup and topped with vanilla or coconut ice cream.
- See our gallery of tropical cocktails for more drinks that warrant a paper umbrella, from mai tais to mango daiquiris.
- To learn more about Hawaii's pau hana tradition, read Shane Mitchell's story A Toast to Paradise.