Li Hing Mui: Hawaii’s Favorite Snack



maui shave ice li hing mui1. SHAVE ICE

There are two ways you could enjoy li hing mui with shave ice. If you’re obsessed like me, you could order li hing mui flavor, then top it off with a few shakes of li hing mui powder. Or, you could do one or the other. For the best shave ice on Maui, check out the uber-popular (and award-winningUlulani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice. They even have complimentary bottles of li hing mui powder on the front counter.


My mom makes THE best prune mui. Her version is soooo good that it’s in the cookbook, “Hawaiian Country Tables: Vintage Recipes for Today’s Cook.” I admit, part of why it’s so ‘ono to me is the nostalgia factor. I remember her lovingly mixing the prunes, apricots and li hing mui in gigantic batches—enough to feed the neighborhood. Come Christimas, everyone would leave our house with their own portion of “Aunty Robbie’s Prune Mui.”

pickled mango li hing mui3. PICKLED MANGO

Li hing mui pickled mango is a boosted version of the classic pickled mango treat, which is basically green mangoes dunked in a watery mixture of vinegar, salt and sugar. It’s legendary among Hawaii folks, and talk of this snack is enough to make most locals mouth water. I have one rule: it has to be served ICE COLD.


I’m not much of a drinker, but one way to tempt me is with a blended li hing mui margarita—complete with a glass rimmed with li hing mui powder. I spent a solid hour blending these drinks for my mom and aunty folks during one family party. Those ladies couldn’t get enough of it! As a bonus, I threw an extra red li hing mui in the drink as a garnish. I also hear that Alan Wong’s Amasia has a killer version.



  1. With the lemons, we grew up doing it like this:

    Cut a hole on the top pointy side of the lemon just big enough to fit a li hing mui plum inside

    jam as many as you could in there, while squeezing and rolling the lemon in your hands to free up the juices

    Keep stuffing and rolling until you can’t anymore..

    Sip the juice, then puckah!!


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