Category Archives: Back Home In Hawaii

The Honolulu Fish Auction

This seems an appropriate post for Aloha Friday!

One of the most exciting things that my husband and I did while home in the Islands back in 2012, was to go to the Honolulu Fish Auction.  I was really looking forward to this!

Honolulu Fish Auction

I had known about it, but I had no idea that anyone could just walk in off the street not only to watch the action, but participate and purchase any fish that you like, for the right price of course. Prior to leaving to go back home to Hawaii, we had seen brochures offering day trips available through tour companies to the Auction.

We figured we knew our way around our own hometown, why pay to be led by the hand down to Pier 38 or The Honolulu Fishing Village.

The opening bell at the Honolulu Fish Auction

We set our alarm clock for EARLY AM and gulped down very strong coffee; we were off.  I wanted to get down there long before the opening bell and be able to look freely at the days catch as well as chat up the crews.

The Crew at the Honolulu Fish Auction

I was impressed that the Hawaii Seafood Council had representatives there, handing out printed information not only about the Auction, but also sustainability.

Only a small portion of what is caught commercially in Hawaii actually stays in Hawaii.  There are many different countries buying fish and then shipping the product out.

Why?  

Because of the quality and seafood safety.

I watched as a load after load were brought in from the boats and inspected, some fish had to be rejected.

I was fascinated; to be able to interact with the guys and ask a boat load (pardon the pun) of probably stupid question in their eyes.

Not so great fish at the Honolulu Fish Auction

A small catch of Tombo or Albacore Tuna didn’t sell because there was no call for this fish on the market that day; it didn’t look too nice either, not that the fish was bad, “just not worthy” as the guys put it to me.

Let's GO! at the Honolulu Fish Auction

*Please take notice as to how everyone is dressed, it’s dang cold in there!!

So the bell rings and we’re off to the races! It was nothing like I thought, it’s very subdued. There’s no yelling, no shouting, but then folks in Hawaii aren’t like that.

"Markers" at the Honolulu Fish Auction

It was mostly nods of heads, guys throwing down their markers, slips of paper with their company or just their names on it.  I was looking at some of them after the crowd moved over to the next row of fish, and who’s standing next to me? Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa.

What a nice guy!

He asks me where I’m from, if I had been to the Auction before, explaining what he was looking for in the fish that he wanted for that night’s catch of the day at his restaurant.  WOW! No really, WOW!  I’m just a little girl from Kaneohe who’s now living in the middle of the desert…

Beautiful fish the the Honolulu Fish Auction

I had read that as the fish are prepared, a small portion is cut away so that perspective buyers can inspect the meat quality.  As the group of perspective buyers moves on, behind them is a small army of worker bees.  Two guys have handheld receipt type machines is the best way that I can explain it.  They’re tagging each fish that was purchased with the buyer’s name, and all of the particulars, total cost, weight etc.

After them, is this nice man with a bucket, collecting those bits of tail meat.

I asked him what he was going to do with all of that; he tells me he makes Poke or Raw Fish Salad and sell it at the local markets.

No waste Braddah, right on!

Opah or Moon Fish at the Honolulu Fish Auction

Some types of fish I had never seen, other than on my plate.

Above is Opah or Moonfish.  What a beautiful fish, not to mention delicious too.

Can you read the tag? 138 pounds!

That’s my shoe next to it, I wear a size 5 ½ US !!

Monsters,  some of these fish.

And you know there was no fishy smell, well of course not.

These beauties are kept on ice from the time they are landed just a few short hours prior to the Auction, up until they are carted away.

It’s spotless in there too!  As you walk in the door, you have to wash your shoes in a shallow trough filled with some type of disinfectant.  There’s a big handwritten sign, “NO SLIPPERS” (flip flops) over the doorway.  Well YEAH, it was too dang cold for those!

Pallet upon pallet of the Oceans bounty at the Honolulu Fish Auction

As one row of fish was sold, processed for the customer and taken off the floor, it was back filled by handcarts and small forklifts of more pallets of fish.  We were already a couple of hours into it, and it was clear that they were no where near to being done for the day.

My husband had given up long ago and went to take a nap in the car;  I hadn’t even noticed he was gone. HA!

I was starting to get cold though, so I stepped outside to watch the buyers make off with their bounty from the Sea.  One local family had bought an Ahi or Big Eye Tuna for the Graduation Party they were having at their home.  They invited us to join them, but we regretfully declined.

This was really a treat!

This was in my old backyard, there it was and I had never known it, because I was too busy with my own wrapped up world.  There’s so much more to life, so don’t let it pass you by.  

Get out there and explore your culinary backyard.

Happy Aloha Friday, Have A Great Weekend!

 

My Obsession Lives On

I’m sure you remember that I have “OCD by Association” that I acquired from my husband, HA!

My obsession is collecting aprons from places that we visit, amongst other things, but that’s another story altogether.  When I’m cooking or baking or even cleaning the house, I wear an apron.  Yes, you can say that it’s a bit old fashion, but I don’t want my clothes to get all mussed up by the end of the day.  One day I didn’t  wear an apron and was working with bleach, I don’t recall why but I was and of course I got some on me, ARGH!!  That ruined one of my favorite shirts AND pair of shorts, they were so cute.

another Hawaiian apron

While we were in Hawaii, we went to Hilo Hattie’s and I found this adorable apron on sale, YAY!  It has a fabric “lei” stitched around the neck; I just had to have it.  My husband naturally rolled his eyes when he saw what I had in my basket as we went to check out.  I brought back loads more stuff, but I’ll tell you about that later, until then,

ALOHA!

Our Souvenirs From Hawaii

Oh Boy!  I’m so glad that I had the foresight to pack an extra soft-foldable suitcase when we went to Hawaii.  I was able to bring back a herd of stuff, unfortunately we ate a lot of it before I could get photos!  Here’s a few of the goodies that I packed.

Diamond Bakery Soda Crackers

Any good local can’t have enough Diamond Bakery Soda Crackers to go with your Portuguese Bean Soup, right?

Coral Tuna

Coral Tuna.  Something you’ll only find in Hawaii.  Very different, very ONO!

I cockaroached these

I  “cock-a-roached” these from a bar that we went to.

Miko Scottish Bangers

Miko Scottish Bangers, MMM!

Oh my gravy all over my two scoops rice (that’s OMG! In my world), I found this at Foodland Kaneohe, my ole stompin’ grounds.

Hinode Rice, GONE!

Hinode Rice, do you know hard it is to find this on the mainland?

Malasadas

This came with us on our flight back to Phoenix, but didn’t last very long …

ALOHA!

Zippy’s Restaurants

Oh my gravy all over my two scoop rice!  That’s OMG! in my world…

One just MUST go to any Zippy’s on Oahu while there.  We had one just up the block from where we were staying in Honolulu.

We could have eaten here every day, for every meal, but we didn’t.  These photos are of some of our favorite dishes, taken on multiple visits.  Gotta say though, hands down, our fav is the Chili & Chicken Plate!  Both DH and I had been sooooo  waiting for that.  There are so many choices of local yumminess at any Zippy’s location.

I’ll stop now.

ALOHA!

 

Another Happy Aloha Friday

Happy Aloha Friday from Waikiki

 

Grab yourselves an adult beverage and put your feet up, it’s the weekend.

ALOHA!

Grocery Shopping In Honolulu

Before you decide that you want to live full time the 50th State, think about what it’s going to cost you to eat.  When we lived in Kaneohe, I would just cringe every time I went shopping for food.

On our first expedition while on our month long stay back home, we sought out Walmart.  Now I know some folks are dead set against that brand, but when you can save a buck here and a few coins there, you do it.

Fresh eggs in Honolulu, FROM ARIZONA!

Here’s what floored me on this trip, EGGS!  Most fresh eggs are shipped in from the mainland.  Can you see the farm name?  Hickman’s Family Farm, and do you know where that is?  ARIZONA!  YEP!

You can find all sorts of treats in the supermarkets, like one of my favorite candies, Sesame Seed Candy, MMM!  Usually these goodies are made with peanuts, but these are the bomb-diggity  with Macadamia nuts.  Note to self: need to figure out how to makes these.  They’re ooey-gooey-chewy (watch your dental work) with that crunch from the sesame seeds and nuts.  AND, can you see where these are made?  My hometown.

Some other finds that I can’t get in the middle of the desert:  Miko brand Scottish Bangers, Diamond Bakery Crackers and Cookies and Hinode Rice (no meal is complete without rice in Hawaii).  I must admit, in less  than 3 weeks, we blew through that 5 pound bag of rice.

ALOHA!

Two Farmers Markets, All Local

Over 90% of goods in Hawaii are brought in from elsewhere, so I made it a point before we left for Honolulu to investigate where I could buy locally grown produce.  The two closest Farmers Markets that I found to where we were staying was on the Kapiolani Community College campus and at Jefferson Elementary School.  Maybe it’s just me, but I say that all of the local fruits and vegetables that we bought tasted so much better than the other stuff.

The KCC Farmers Market is held on Saturday mornings and on Tuesday evenings, a small group of vendors there.  Saturday mornings are a zoo, I suggest if you go, go early, they start at 730am and wrap it up by 11am.  It gets really crowded with tour buses and trolleys dropping off tourists from Waikiki and then there’s the local folk with their reusable grocery bags, jockeying for a parking spot.   I would also recommend you bring cash, it’s just easier.

KCC Farmers Market, prepared foods

Oh, and go before you eat breakfast too, because there are herds of prepared foods, very ONO!  The Kahuku corn was already sold out by the time we got there, dangit!

Tuesday evenings are so much more calm and relaxed, but only a handful of folks selling their wares; mostly prepared foods for your dinner selection, we had Ice Cream, MMM!

The Farmers Market at Jefferson Elementary School on the corner of Kuhio and Kapahulu avenues is small, but fun; I loved the nice man playing Hawaiian music and the tent with tables and chairs to sit and grind your plate lunch.  They operate on Saturdays as well.

At each of these locations, you can find not only local produce and prepared foods, but how about some fresh tropical flowers to brighten up your vacation rental, it made a lovely addition to ours.  There were different salts, spice rubs, honey, baked goods, coffee, handmade quilts, clothing, oh my gosh, I can’t even remember it all, but ALL LOCAL.  I didn’t take many photos because it was so crowded, but I will be back!

ALOHA