Loving these local platesCover Story
April 18, 2021
Story By: Ginger Keller | Photos by: YOUNG’S FISH MARKET
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is the Young ohana’s unofficial saying and also the reason why its food has remained a staple for seven decades strong.
Current president and owner Daniel Young has been at the helm of Young’s Fish Market, along with his sister Andrea, for nearly 20 years, but it was his grandparents Wilfred and Charlotte, who began the legacy in 1951.
“We found a product that’s popular in the community and is a comfort food, and we stuck with it and haven’t changed the recipe,” shares Daniel.
Young’s Fish Market got its start on Liliha Street and was primarily a one-stop shop for fresh fish. As the years went on, the family biz incorporated Chinese-inspired items — like char siu and roast pork — and later introduced Hawaiian plate lunches.
Today, Young’s Fish Market’s menu serves as the perfect accumulation of its history. Its specialty lau laus, for example, are slated to debut in the coming months, and will highlight Korean-style short rib kalbi, char siu oxtail and salmon belly. Stay tuned by checking out its social media (Instagram, @youngsfishmarket; Facebook, facebook.com/yfmhonolulu).
“We’re taking what we grew up with — our comfort foods — and trying them out and melding them together with what we do now with the lau laus, while making it fun,” says Daniel.
Though the eatery keeps it fresh with these novel creations (some of which were brainstormed by local food-lover Lanai Tabura), its forever fan favorites can be hard to compete with.
The Combo Plate (price varies) gives customers a little taste of everything with a choice of pork, chicken, butterfish or beef lau lau, kalua pig, pipikaula (beef rope), sweet potato, and poi or rice. Meanwhile, the Beef Stew Plate ($12.75) combines the treasured local recipe with creamy mac salad and poi or rice on the side.
“Whenever it’s possible and viable, it’s very important for us to support local — that’s supporting our family and friends,” notes Daniel. “We’re pretty much all connected one way or another that you’re basically just supporting your friend, and who doesn’t want to do that?”
Tipping a hat to its roots, however, is the Hawaiian Poke Bowl. Patrons can choose between spicy, shoyu or limu kohu poke to compliment lomi lomi salmon, and a mini lau lau or kalua pig.
“Our family was always trying to honor our heritage and remember where we came from,” Daniel says. “And, these dishes are a great way for us to do that.”