Mac Salad

When I did the Aloha Kitchen cookbook redemption a few weeks ago, I had a really difficult time choosing between recipes. Do I do something with spam? Or something sweet? And how could I possibly pass up making a plate lunch?

While I ended up picking the ginger misoyaki butterfish for the redemption, I was still left with a whole list of other recipes I wanted to try from the cookbook – and a plate lunch was at the top of the list!

And what’s the best part of Hawaiian plate lunches? The mac salad, obviously. (Ya grill is a double-mac kinda gal.)

We’ll start with the most vital part of mac salad… the macaroni! Boil it in salted water, until tender – not just al dente. We want the macaroni soft, but not mushy.

Next, the secret to a good mac salad – a little bit of grated onion. If you can get a Maui onion or sweet onion, that would be ideal! But if not, a yellow onion will work fine here.

Once the macaroni has cooled a bit, mix in your grated onion.

Best Foods or Hellmann’s mayonnaise, depending on where you live. No Miracle Whip or Kewpie for this recipe.

Sweet pickle juice and sweet pickle relish for a bit of tang.

And finish it off with salt and fresh ground pepper.

Mix it all together, and then refrigerate. But we’re not done!

When you’re ready to serve the mac salad, mix in more mayonnaise to taste – you don’t want a dry mac salad! – and some grated carrot for texture.

Serve as a side to any sort of meat, fish, or veggie dish, with rice.

And stay tuned for the next recipe, where we’ll be making shoyu chicken to round out our plate lunch!

Mac Salad

from the Aloha Kitchen cookbook

  • 8 oz elbow macaroni
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp grated Maui or yellow onion (roughly 1/4 whole onion)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups Best Foods (or Hellmann’s) mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp sweet pickle juice
  • 3 tbsp sweet pickle relish
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup coarsely grated carrot (1/2 medium carrot)
Cooking Directions
  1. Cook the macaroni, salting the water with the kosher salt, accourding to the instructions on the package, until very tender, not al dente. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Let cool slightly for 10 minutes, then add the onion, 1/2 cup of the mayonnaise, the pickle juice, relish, and pepper to taste and toss until well coated. Taste and season as needed with salt and pepper. Chill for 1 hour.
  2. When ready to serve, stir in 1/2 cup of the mayonnaise and the carrot; add more mayonnaise if it looks dry. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve chilled.

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