Hawaiian sea salt, while similar, should not be confused with Himalayan sea salt. Hawaiian sea salt is a deep red color, while Himalayan sea salt is pink.
This color comes from red alaea volcanic clay found in Hawaii. This clay is then purified and infused with white Hawaiian sea salt to give it its distinctive color.
Pink Himalayan sea salt, black lava Hawaiian sea salt, kosher salt, coarse sea salt, and rock salt are all good Hawaiian sea salt substitutes.
Hawaiian sea salt is often used as a finishing spice or a rub for meats or fish. Since it enhances both bitter and sweet flavors, sprinkling Hawaiian sea salt on chocolate is also popular.
Types of Hawaiian Sea Salt Substitutions
Hawaiian sea salt is distinctive for its bright color, its containment of 80 minerals, and its coarse, hard texture. Depending on which characteristic you’re targeting, here are some Hawaiian sea salt substitutions.
1. Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
Pink Himalayan sea salt comes from a mine in Pakistan. It receives its pink color due to trace amounts of iron oxide.
It has a close mineral content, similar color and texture, and is frequently used in rubs. This makes it an excellent substitution for Hawaiian sea salt.
According to NPR, pink Himalayan sea salt has been rising in popularity. Like other common spice substitutions, this makes it widely accessible and easy to stock in your kitchen.
2. Black Lava Hawaiian Sea Salt
Black Hawaiian sea salt is also found in volcanic lava beds in Hawaii. However, instead of clay, it’s infused with lava rock and activated charcoal.
It has a similar texture to Hawaiian sea salt. However, it has a slightly more ocean taste as opposed to the clay flavor of Hawaiian sea salt. It is excellent as a finishing spice, especially on meats and vegetables.
In addition to the flavor, it also boasts detoxifying health benefits from the charcoal.
3. Kosher Salt
Kosher salt is a common household ingredient, which makes it an ideal Hawaiian sea salt substitution. While it lacks the flavor and health benefits of the previous two substitutions, it does remain true to the texture. The larger grains make it ideal for rubs and finishing, similar to the Hawaiian sea salt.
4. Coarse Sea Salt
Sea salt is made by allowing saltwater to evaporate into salt crystals. This process gives it a similar flavor to the Hawaiian sea salt.
If you choose coarse sea salt, you will also get a similar texture to the Hawaiian sea salt. Being able to use it in rubs and as a finishing spice, makes it a close substitution for Hawaiian sea salt.
Coarse sea salt is also fairly easy to purchase and can be found at most grocery stores.
5. Rock Salt
Similar to Himalayan sea salt, rock salt is also mined from salt range mountains. Like Hawaiian sea salt, it’s coarse and contains minerals making it an ideal substitution.
Hawaiian sea salt, though an uncommon ingredient in many homes, can be substituted for a variety of salts. This includes two of the most common types of salt stocked in kitchens, Kosher salt and sea salt.