Friday, July 09, 2010

Home Cookin'

Once outfitted with their adorable training chopsticks, the kids requested a chopstick worthy meal. Months later, I still get a ton of visitors googling for the yatsumi zuke tsukemono (koko) recipe I posted. So, somebody out there is hungry for Hawaii food and I thought I'd share a little more.

First up, how to Hawaii-fy your leftover grilled (or in this case, roasted) chicken breast. I just slice it up, mince some ginger and sprinkle liberally, grind a little pepper and dab on a touch of soy sauce. That's a great way to Hawaii-fy anything, really. We like to cube extra firm tofu and give it the same treatment.

leftover chicken with ginger and soy sauce

Another super easy dish is not-really-pickled cucumbers. We like to use rokusuke salt which is rock salt infused with mushroom flavor by a big kahuna chef in Japan who no longer allows it to be sold outside his restaurant and therefore I have a bone to pick with him. But, any coarse salt will do. Add some rice vinegar, and let sit for about a half hour. So yum and super simple.

cucumbers in rokusuke salt and rice vinegar

On to a Hawaii staple, which you call soy sauce and we call shoyu. The Internet tells me shoyu is a specific kind of soy sauce. Huh. News to me. Anyhoo. I dearly miss my Aloha Brand Shoyu, which is so good that you can get it all over the place these days. Except apparently Stuttgart, Germany. So, to make the dreaded Kikkoman palatable, I've been resorting to an old Hawaii trick. Start with a little rice vinegar, add some minced garlic and ginger and then if you're lucky enough to be in Hawaii, slit the sides of a Hawaiian chili pepper and toss that in (thai peppers work pretty well, too). If you're out of reach of either, red pepper flakes work in a pinch.

You'll end up with something that looks like this, but you'll have to snag your own totally awesome Sailor Moon dish.

new and improved shoyu

And now for something my mainland and European readers will likely find totally disgusting. But, if you grew up chowing down on satojoyu at drive in movie theaters, you would be all natsukashi over this recipe, too.

For satojoyu, toss a can of vienna sausage (no, not ew!), liquid and all, and some chopped spam and cabbage into a pot. Cover with water, then add about 2 teaspoons of sugar and 3 tablespoons of soy sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. I didn't have any spam or cabbage on hand, so the picture I took just features bloated vienna sausage swimming in soy sauce and really it's not a pretty dish anyway but still leaving that one out.

In conclusion, well...not a dazzling spread. But, you can find recipes for things like chicken katsu and lomi lomi salmon all over. It's the little touches that round out a meal that are always a little tougher to hunt down. And here they are! Well, a few of them...


Alicia said...

I'd be very interested to come to your house for dinner, all of your dishes always look so foreign to me and unlike anything I usually eat. And if I tried to make it and then failed, I would have no idea what it was supposed to taste like.

Sylvia said...

A Chicken Katsu Recipe! OMG, yay!!!! :-) They have a few Hawaiian dishes at Skipper's here now, and Chicken Katsu is one of them. But that would be so awesome to be able to make it myself. :-) Thank you thank you thank you for posting that! :-) You don't happen to have a recipe/link to a recipe for orange chicken too do you?

Jennifer said...

You're welcome any time, Al! Quite the trip, though...

I can't believe they serve Chicken Katsu at Skipper's in ID, Sylvia! That's such a trip! I'm not a big orange chicken person so I've never hunted one down. But the recipes I've tried from AlohaWorld have come out pretty well, and they do have one for orange chicken. It sounds good!

Sylvia said...

Yeah, they have Chicken Katsu, Huli Huli Chicken, and Kalua Pork now. :-) So now I always get the Chicken Katsu. Already have a recipe for Kalua Pork myself. :-)

Thanks for finding the Orange Chicken link. I had looked on their website and totally missed it. Must have been blind again. Oops.

Jessica said...

I was completely craving those cucumbers a couple of weeks ago and all I could remember was that Grandma used to make them and it included when I made them they didn't taste as good as my memory thought they would. Looks like I should have just asked you!