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Libby Manapua Shop


Pork Manapua, Halfmoon (both split in half), Porkhash and White Rice Cake, with Coleman’s mustard & Shoyu dipping sauce

When it comes to Manapua, several famous Oahu institutions (yes, these are indeed institutions) immediately come to mind: Char Hung Sut, Chun Wah Kam and Libby’s. Of these three, Libby’s is the “back-to-basics” winner, in my opinion.


Libby Manapua Shop – 410 Kalihi St. (just a few blocks mauka of Nimitz Hwy.)

Located in lower Kalihi’s industrial corridor just off of Nimitz, make a turn mauka (towards the mountain) on Kalihi st. and drive a few blocks up. On the ewa corner at address 410 you’ll find one of Oahu’s truly hidden gems.

If you’re a visitor to Oahu, this is the perfect last stop to make on your way to the airport to buy a wonderful fresh food gift for folks back home, or simply to enjoy while you wait for your flight to depart.


Libby’s famous pink box

Don’t be surprised if you find a line coming out the door. A limited amount of parking space is available in back. The entrance is on the street corner. Upon entering, you’ll find a customer counter in a somewhat cramped space with one person doing cashier duty, several ladies taking orders and folks in back quickly serving it up. The full menu board spans the back wall, along with multiple stacks empty pink boxes of various sizes. Behind is a hot mustard dispenser, plastic containers, shoyu packets and napkins to complete your dim sum take-out.


Charsiu Pork Manapua, 1 dozen

Now don’t go looking for baked manapua or fancy fillings at Libby’s . They stick with the basic, yet with that they do it right! Choose either Charsiu Pork, Chicken or Blacksugar in steamed white bun. That’s it. No more, no less. In my opinion, Charsiu Pork is THE Manapua for all others to honor. As you can see in the photo above, that’s ALL I chose for our luncheon on this order. With that, Libby’s Charsiu Pork Manapua is PERFECT. The steamed bun is soft and supple, not soggy, overbaked, or dry. It has just enough pliability to allow the sometimes conservative, sometimes generous Charsiu Pork filling. Speaking of which, the filling has a nice balance of Charsiu flavor, without being too sweet, under/over-powering or “unfamiliar”, as I’ve tasted in others. It’s shredded texture and moisture level is also just right. At 95¢ each, this meal-in-itself is indeed one of Hawaii’s perfect comfort foods.


(clockwise from left) White Rice Cake – 45¢ ea., Halfmoon- 45¢ ea. & Porkhash – 45¢ ea.

Reiterating once again, Libby’s is all about the basics, and with that, my Manapua orders always also include a side of Porkhash, Halfmoon and White Rice Cake. There are a few other items to choose as you’ll see in the menu below, but the selections here are what I’d recommend. To be honest, I could actually just order 2 dozen Porkhash, along with a few containers of mustard and shoyu dipping sauce, wolf that all down and call it a day. I love this stuff! lol. Sometimes we also like to order a side of Chow Fun noodles, which gives the meal a little more body. Otherwise, this dim sum spread works just perfectly.


Gotta’ love their hand-drawn logo… classic

For your convenience, I’ll provide you the full menu here, which is current as of this posting:

Libby Manapua Shop
410 Kalihi St., Honolulu, HI
(808)841-2253

MENU (all take-out)
Charsiu pork manapua – 95¢
Blacksugar manapua – 90¢
Chicken manapua – $1.00
Porkhash – 45¢
Halfmoon – 45¢
Pepeyau – 45¢
Rice cake (white or brown layered) – 45¢
Cookies (almond or tea) – 50¢
Coconut custard mochi – 75¢
Coconut custard mochi w/ chocolate chips – 80¢
Spring rolls (vegetarian) – 65¢
Spring rolls (shrimp paste w/curry sauce) – 60¢
Pot Stickers – 55¢
Pillows (like a turnover or pocket) – $1.20
-Azuki bean, chicken curry, chicken teriyaki, sesame chicken, hamburger curry, pizza or bbq hamburger
Chow fun, large (quart size) – $3.90
Chow fun, small (pint size) – $2.85
Gon lau mein, large (quart size) – $4.00
– small (pint size) – $2.90


66 thoughts on “Libby Manapua Shop

  • November 29, 2009 at 6:40 am
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    Debbie, check out allrecipes for Hawaiian pork hash recipe just leave out the shrimp and see it just like Chinatown dim sum style. Manapua check grouprecipes for their manapua it great too. Hawaii Chinese dim sum are different due to it date back to field workers using simple ingredient in making it. I have people from mainland try it and did not like it but our dim sum have history it not like the Hong Kong style of dim sum.

    Reply
  • September 22, 2010 at 7:23 am
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    Oh puh-leeze! Can you ship 2 dozen to me in Fairfield, CA (near Travis AFB)?

    Reply
  • November 16, 2011 at 11:26 pm
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    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 at 3:04 pm
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    Do you guys do overnight shipment of Manapua to the States? I love me some ono manapua & have been craving em fo quite some time.

    Reply
    • July 28, 2012 at 2:45 pm
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      Ama, as I replied to someone a while back in this thread, when I checked at the time, they arrange shipping, but not surprisingly it ends up being quite expensive, coming out over $60 when all’s said and done for a dozen Libby’s Manapua. I’m not sure if they’ll process credit cards now, but back then it was strictly cash, so you had to mail them a physical check before anything even happens. Not worth it.

      I’ll try calling them tomorrow morning (they close very early) to see what the latest scoops is on mail orders from Libby’s. I’m curious, too!

      Reply
  • November 20, 2012 at 5:48 pm
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    do you folks do mail order? I live on Maui and I long for your manapua and rice cake and pork hash. please assist.

    Reply
    • November 20, 2012 at 7:37 pm
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      Liz, I don’t know what it is about this post that so many folks assume I’m the owner of Libby’s. I wish though, as they’re probably makin’ big time BANK! Please call Libby’s at the phone number provided for the latest scoops on mail orders.

      Reply
  • February 12, 2013 at 12:01 pm
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    I been loving Libby Manapua ever since Patrick introduce me to it back in 1972 after our return from Vietnam.

    So Good!!!!

    Reply
  • February 21, 2013 at 1:49 pm
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    I gave up and started making my own . Find yourself a copy of Gail wong chinese cook book it has been out of print long time but can find online used she ha manapua and harw go sui mai and many other grear receipes from hawaii
    But still no half moon i can figure out filling but need receipe for dough caue can only find won ton pi

    Reply
    • February 22, 2013 at 3:52 am
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      manette,

      I have a Dim Sum cook book stashed away, whom I got from my sister as a Christmas gift several years ago. It looked like it was published fairly recently. In it is an excellent step-by-step (including photos) method in making dim sum charsiu bau, a.k.a. “Manapua”, along with also how to make Half Moon, plus much more! I’ll try and dig it up.

      Reply
  • March 27, 2013 at 7:07 pm
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    Customer Service sucks.. Don’t go to LIBBY’s.

    Reply
    • March 27, 2013 at 7:33 pm
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      Justin,

      You made the same comment here way back in 2009. Is Libby’s customer service still that bad? I do know they were skimping on Charsiu filling at one time, where we renamed it “Manapua Buns”, because that’s pretty much all it was. Check it out…

      Manapua Buns

      Reply
  • August 19, 2014 at 3:33 pm
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    I sure miss going to Libbys on Saturdays to buy chow fun, manapua, pork hash and halfmoons – Grandpa took us there when it was just a small business with a grumpy barber shop next door who yelled at us if we parked in front of his shop- parking was a premium back then, but it was worth getting yelled at to rush in and place an order. Seeing Grandpa show up with one of those heavy laden pink boxes was always a special occasion as Libbys always sold out quickly – often before noon. Back then the manapua was 50 cents, Grandpa said they were a quarter when he was a young father living there in Kalihi. Sure miss him as well as those wonderful meat filled bun – and don’t forget the rice cake – so onno! I’ll bet the owners still get a kick out of seeing my grown children now coming in with their kids as this is the fourth generation enjoying those wonderful steamed buns! bet they remember grandpa ‘Oh’ who owned the car junkyard nearby on Sand Island.

    Reply

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