The McDonald's Soup That's Only Available In Hawaii

International locations of the fast food juggernaut McDonald's are frequent tourist stops for those looking to try unique dishes available only in far-fledged locales, from Greek pita-wrapped hamburgers to Indonesian congee cups to spicy Indian paneer burgers (per Insider).

While there are many McDonald's dishes you can't get in the US, the chain also offers certain specialty dishes that can only be purchased in single American states or regions like biscuits and gravy in the South. For the latest discovery, chances are you'll need a boat or plane to get there because Hawaiian locations of the worldwide chain offer a unique menu item beloved by locals and visitors alike: Saimin. 

Saimin (pronounced sigh-min) is a popular Hawaiian soup that draws inspiration from a number of international cuisines attributed to different immigrant groups around the state. Found only in the islands of Hawaii, the ramen-like dish gets its name from two Chinese words: sai (meaning thin) and min (meaning noodle).

According to Hawaii Magazine, this light and satisfying noodle soup can be traced back to the late 1800s, when immigrant plantation workers from a variety of ethnic backgrounds would gather for meals, sharing ingredients and recipes from their homelands.

Traditionally, Saimin consists of wheat egg noodles in a hot dashi broth — typically made with shrimp, ginger, mushrooms, and kombu — and topped with green onion, kamaboko (cured fish cakes recognizable by their signature pink swirl), nori (seaweed), and occasionally char siu (barbecued pork), Spam, or sliced egg.

How to order Saimin, and other specialty Hawaiian items

The McDonald's version of Saimin includes most of the traditional ingredients — with exception of green onion — and is topped with char siu, egg, seaweed, and a fish cake.

According to Hack the Menu, although Saimin may not be listed on the official menus at most Hawaiian McDonald's, all of the state's locations should carry the soup; customers need only to ask for it when ordering. In addition to the specialty dish, those visiting McDonald's Hawaii locations have the opportunity to sample a variety of other menu items unique to the islands.

Other specialty options available at Hawaiian McDonald's locations include fried haupia pies (coconut pudding), taro pies, and a Portuguese sausage and egg McMuffin. Customers can also feast on variations of the traditional McDonald's breakfast platter, including an option with egg, steamed white rice, and Portuguese sausage, or a Spam and rice platter with egg. If you're really hungry, you can order the "Local Deluxe Platter," which comes with two portions of white rice, egg, Spam, and Portuguese sausage (via Onolicious Hawaii).

While a cup of McDonald's Saimin will only put you back $4.99, the cost of the voyage to get to one of the chain's island locations is another story altogether — though, in our opinion, it may be worth it.