Salt & Wind Travel

Shrimp Saimin Recipe

Saimin is like the Hawaiian cousin that ramen never knew it had. It dates back to plantation days when various immigrants worked and cooked together and saimin reflects on all those influences. It has a broth reminiscent of Japanese dashi, uses saimin noodles (egg and wheat noodles reminiscent of Chinese chow mein), and is garnished with an assortment of toppings hailing from Hawaiian, Portuguese, and Filipino cuisines like lumpia, fried shrimp tempura, fish cake, and Portuguese sausage.

Shrimp and Vegetable Saimin Noodle Soup Recipe

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

I first had saimin at the Hawaiian fast-food chain Zippys, and it was forgettable, to say the least. Fortunately, I’ve had better tasting saimin since at classic places like Hamura Saimin in Kauai, but my friends asked me to craft them modern, homemade, healthier versions. So, I poked through some cookbooks, talked to locals, asked my chef friends in the area, and experimented.

Here it is: a from-scratch saimin recipe that uses ingredients you can find in most grocery stores and requires just a bit of your time. The result is a healthy recipe for saimin that has no MSG, a ton less sodium than the original, and is all around much better for you. It is, however, missing out on some of my personal favorite condiments like char siu pork, wontons, and fish cake, so feel free to add them all if you have easy access to those ingredients. 

Recipe Ingredients

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this saimin recipe:

  • Shrimp
  • Seaweed
  • Mushrooms
  • Bonito Flakes
  • Soy Sauce
  • Saimin Noodles
  • Broccoli or Cabbage or Spinach
  • Soft-Boiled Eggs
  • Sweet Onion 
  • Scallions
  • Kamaboko

How To Make This Saimin Recipe

Here is how to make this saimin recipe:

  1. Make The Saimin Broth: The best thing about this dish is the broth, so don’t skimp on it. You’ll basically make a broth of dried shrimp or shrimp shells (if you can’t find dried shrimp), seaweed, dried mushrooms, bonito flakes, and ginger. After this sits, you’ll flavor it with soy sauce for a take on dashi broth.
  2. Cook The Noodles: You’ll cook the noodles in boiling water 
  3. Serve: Serve the soup with noodles and all the garnishes

More Of Our Best Soup Recipes

Do try this recipe but also? Make sure you give these delicious soup recipes a try:

Now, go stock up on all your cooking essentials, head into the kitchen, make this, and share it with us by tagging @saltandwind and #swsociety on social!

Shrimp and Vegetable Saimin Noodle Soup Recipe

Shrimp and Vegetable Saimin Recipe

This Shrimp and Vegetable Saimin recipe is a homemade version that's healthier than the original but just as Hawaiian as the original dish. 
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Steeping Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 352 kcal


For The Saimin Broth: 

  • 2 quarts cold water
  • 1 pound uncooked, unpeeled shrimp (about 20)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 (4 inch) piece kombu seaweed
  • 8 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup bonito flakes
  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce plus more for serving

For The Noodles And Broccolini:

  • 1/2 pound saimin, udon, or lo mein noodles
  • 1 bunch broccolini (or Chinese broccoli, or broccoli rabe), ends trimmed

For Serving:

  • 4 handfuls baby spinach or Napa cabbage or bok choy, thinly sliced
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms stems trimmed and caps thinly sliced
  • 4 large soft-boiled eggs
  • 1/2 sweet onion thinly sliced
  • 4 green onions (aka scallions) ends trimmed and rest thinly sliced
  • Chinese hot mustard for garnish (optional)
  • Kamaboko thinly sliced for garnish (optional)


  • Make The Saimin Broth: Bring water to a simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile, peel the shrimp reserving the shrimp meat and shells separately. Add salt and shrimp meat to simmering water and cook until shrimp are just pink, about 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove shrimp, spread out on a plate and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Return liquid to stove over low heat, and add shrimp peelings (shells and tails), kombu, shiitake, bonito, and ginger. Cover and gently simmer until shrimp shells are pink, kombu has expanded in size, shiitake are rehydrated, and bonito are darker in color, about for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add soy, and let the broth steep.
    Start tasting the broth after it has been steeping for 15 minutes — it should be salty enough that all the flavors are apparent but not so much that you taste the salt. The broth is done when it has a smoky note from the bonito, a slight ginger tone, and a good sea flavor but is not fishy.
    (I have let this mixture steep as little as 30 minutes and up to 2 1/2 hours.) Strain broth, discard solids, and store until ready to use. (Broth can be made up to 2 days ahead. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.)
  • Cook The Noodles: When ready to cook the noodles, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, fill a bowl halfway with ice water and set aside. Add broccolini and cook until bright green and knife tender, about 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove to the ice water bath and set aside.
    Add noodles and cook according to package instructions until tender. Drain and set aside. (Can be made up to 2 days ahead. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.)
  • Serve The Saimin: Heat the broth to a simmer over medium heat then divide noodles among four bowls. Top each bowl with a quarter of each broccolini, spinach, soft boiled egg, mushroom, Maui onion, green onion, and shrimp. Divide broth evenly among bowls and serve with soy sauce and hot mustard passed on the side.



Serving: 1 servingCalories: 352kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 45gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 124mgSodium: 2188mgPotassium: 663mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 2595IUVitamin C: 34mgCalcium: 103mgIron: 1mg
Keyword classic hawaiian food, shrimp noodles
Tried this recipe?Mention @saltandwind or tag #swsociety!

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