Plate Lunch Style Macaroni Salad Made Quicker
Alright, let me clear up a couple things from the get-go. Yes, it is called Hawaiian Macaroni Salad, but that does not mean that it has pineapple in it. There is NO pineapple in this, and simply adding pineapple to something does not make it Hawaiian. Also, this is in no way, shape or form intended to be a healthy dish, so please do not try to substitute Low Fat Mayo, skim milk or brown rice (or spelt, etc.) macaroni. Any of those changes will automatically render this dish Non-Hawaiian.
This dish is meant to emulate the creamy, decadent macaroni salad that is typically served with the Hawaiian Plate Lunch. If you have never had a plate lunch, it usually comes with one or two entrees such as Teriyaki Chicken or Kalua Pig, with two scoops of rice and a scoop of macaroni salad. It is definitely not “diet” food, but it is definitely delicious. I will admit, though, that I have used less mayo and milk than most recipes call for (believe it or not).
I have found that adding the vinegar to the water while cooking the pasta will permeate the macaroni with vinegar flavor, giving it the “tangy” quality that restaurant versions have. If you taste the macaroni by itself, you may find it kind of odd tasting, but once it is all mixed together you will have a tangy, tasty treat.
I made this in the electric pressure cooker, so that is how I wrote the recipe. You can easily use a stovetop model using the same timing. But make sure that you are cooking on LOW pressure, so as not to overcook the macaroni.
Start by dumping the macaroni into the pressure cooker pot.
Add 1/2 cup rice vinegar and about 2-1/2 cups water (liquid should just barely cover the macaroni, adjust as needed). Apple cider vinegar will also work, but I prefer the milder taste of Rice Vinegar.
Add a tablespoon of oil to help reduce foaming and salt the water liberally.
Place the top on the pressure cooker and set for LOW pressure.
Set the time for half the time that is listed on the macaroni package (mine said 9-11 minutes, I set the time for 5 minutes). You want the macaroni to be soft and fluffy, not al dente, so that it will easily absorb the dressing.
While the macaroni is cooking, get your dressing ready. In a bowl whisk together 1-1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1 cup milk, a tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce, a couple teaspoons prepared mustard, a tablespoon of brown sugar and one teaspoon of onion powder. This mixture will look thin, but once it is blended into the macaroni and some of it is absorbed it will be just right.
When time is up, do a quick release. Remove the top and let it sit for about a minute.
Transfer the macaroni to a colander and quickly rinse with cold water. Drain for a few minutes, then transfer macaroni to a large bowl.
Add about 1/4 cup grated carrot, 2 stalks finely chopped celery and 3 finely chopped scallions and mix together. I used the medium side of a box grater for the carrot.
Pour the mayo/milk mixture over macaroni and stir it all together.
Taste and add salt, if needed.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors meld.
Top with freshly ground black pepper and/or paprika, if desired.
For authentic plate lunch, serve with white rice and an entree, such as teriyaki chicken. It is also a great side for just abut anything, Hawaiian or not!
|Pressure Cooker Hawaiian Macaroni Salad|| |
- 1 pound large elbow macaroni
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- 2-1/2 cups water (approximately)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1-1/4 cups mayonnaise (not "Lite")
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 teaspoons prepared mustard
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ cup grated carrot
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 3 scallions, finely chopped
- Dump macaroni into pressure cooker pot
- Add the rice vinegar and about 2-1/2 cups water (liquid should just barely cover the macaroni, adjust as needed)
- Add the oil (to help reduce foaming) and salt the water liberally
- Place top on pressure cooker and set for LOW pressure
- Set time for half the time listed on macaroni package (mine said 9-11 minutes, I set time for 5 minutes. You want the macaroni to be soft and fluffy, not al dente)
- While macaroni is cooking, in a bowl whisk together mayonnaise, milk, Worcestershire Sauce, mustard, brown sugar and onion powder
- When time is up, do a quick release
- Transfer macaroni to colander and quickly rinse with cold water and drain for a few minutes
- In a large bowl mix together macaroni, carrot, celery and scallion
- Pour mayo/milk mixture over macaroni and stir it all together
- Taste and add salt, if needed
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
- Top with freshly ground black pepper and/or paprika, if desired