Northern Mariana Islands Cuisine
The traditional foods of the Northern Mariana Islands consist of fresh fish and seafood, meat (chicken, pork), tropical fruit, and local vegetables. The staple food is hineska agaga ("red rice"), a side dish made from a combination of hineska (rice), suni (taro, a type of yam), lemmai (breadfruit, a potato-like food that grows on trees), and batatas (potatoes). Red rice is an everyday food that accompanies fish or meat dishes in traditional sauces like finadeni, a popular mixture of soy sauce, green onions, lemon juice, and crushed red pepper flakes. Finadeni sauce is also used to marinate beef, pork, chicken, and fish. The local dish eskabeche consists of fried fish and vegetables marinated in a vinegar sauce.
Chicken dishes include kelaguen, a mixture of mincemeat, lemons, shredded coconut, onions, and peppers; chicken estufao, stewed chicken served with rice and salad; and morcizas, a garlicky stuffed, stewed chicken neck. Seafood dishes include shrimp kelaguen; coconut crab; and kadon octopus, octopus stewed in sweet peppers and coconut milk. Beef is a rarity, but a popular dish is tinaktak, ground beef in coconut milk. Vegetable dishes include golai hagon suni, a dish made from spinach or taro leaves prepared in coconut milk, and steamed kabocha (a type of squash). Coconut and other fruits like mangos and papayas are used to make appetizers and desserts such as ahu, a mixture of boiled, grated coconut and sugar. Mango and papaya juices also make popular beverages. Marianans favor yuba wine made from coconut tree sap.
-World Trade Press