Words + photos: Vina Cristobal
Those who were born and raised in Hawaii have grown up with the musubi, a time-honored tradition. Spam, egg, hot dog, you name it – it’s probably been smothered between two flat-shaped blocks of rice wrapped in nori (edible seaweed).
But one company decided to take the beloved delicacy to the next level.
Musukawas, which is one of the food trucks located at Makers & Tasters on Ala Moana Boulevard, has garnered a quick following partially due to its sister company, Tea on Fleek.
Those who have savored all common variations of the musubi will immediately be wowed at Musukawas’ menu. Salmon chazuke, chicken katsu and mochiko chicken are some of the most popular toppings. Tea on Fleek serves some of its specialty teas as side beverages.
The menu items may be similar to musubi, but instead it is called ‘onigirazu’ — a rice sandwich that has become a popular snack in Japan. Each onigirazu is packed with rice, seaweed and the customer’s choice of meat or seafood. Since they all come in a group, they are perfect to share with co-workers or to eat later on in the day.
The salmon chazuke contains furikake, salmon chunks and steamed rice; the dish roots from ochazuke, a Japanese meal that fuses green tea, steamed rice and a mix of ingredients. Its mix of flavors leave a satisfying, lingering taste on your tongue, as if eating a bundled-up poke bowl.
The chicken katsu is a local favorite (and a personal favorite). Two small strips of chicken katsu are carefully layered beneath a large steamed rice block, while the nori tucks the rice and katsu together. This onigirazu brings a classic plate lunch in a delicious handheld form.
The menu rotates from Mondays through Fridays during lunch hours and special events, so that customers can enjoy the food truck’s variety. Those who are fans of local dishes can expect a portable version of their favorites from Musukawas.
Musukawas is open from Mondays through Fridays from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Makers & Tasters. The food truck accepts both walk-in orders or phone orders at (808) 391-1256.
You can also find Musukawas at special events, but check its Instagram page for more updated information.