Category Archives: Really Ono Food

Back Home In Hawaii ~ May 2019 ~ Part 1

Geez, ya know what? It just dawned on me that we never talked about our trip back home to Oahu!  That was almost two years ago 

So let’s back this awfully strange train that we’ve been on ever since and start from the ending of our trip and work our way backwards. 

You’ll remember I posted that I had been absent for a time back then because my Dearest Husband had gotten injured, this was as we were dis-embarking our flight back to Arizona.

https://mykitcheninthemiddleofthedes…e-to-chat-but/

Yeah, so …  moving … backwards

Whenever we do fly back from Hawaii, we make our last stop before hitting the airport, ZIPPY’S!!!!

I need that last hit, because we won’t be having this again very soon

Sorry, I couldn’t wait to start eating!

I got us each a Zip Pac® for our on-board lunch (sorry Hawaiian Airlines, I don’t care for your free meals very much) and as the drink cart came past us I ordered a locally brewed Beer that our friend had introduced me to on this trip … Maui Brewing Co.’s Bikini Blonde
YUM!

That was ONO (that’s delicious in Hawaiian) !!!!
So that was the end of our trip, but do please stay tuned as I continue through, backwards

… and if you could, hit that ‘like’  button if you like what you’re reading, leave a comment below maybe just to say ALOHA and subscribe to my blog to get an email when a new post has been uploaded.

MAHALO!

Hawaii-Style Chopped Steak

This post is another one of those, ‘I don’t want to forget this recipe’ entries.  It’s so ONO (delicious in Hawaiian).

I found this recipe when I was searching the WWW for something different to make for dinner.
I clipped it from the Honolulu Star Bulletin, circa 2008.
I did put my own twist on it, you’ll find those differences
posted below in red ink.
It’s a different way to serve Beef Steak, whether it’s Flank, Tri Tip,
Sirloin or Skirt.

 

Chopped Steak

“Favorite Island Cookery Book IV” Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin (1985)

1 pound tender beef, thinly sliced (I used 1/2lb. NY Strip, `cuz that what I had)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (Peanut Oil)
2 onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick (I used about 1 C.)
+/- 1 C. Sweet Bell Pepper, sliced

1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon water
+/- 1/2 C. Chicken Broth

» Seasoning:
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 to 3 teaspoons sugar (I used 3 tsp.)
1 teaspoon vinegar (I used a scant tsp. of Rice Vinegar)
1-inch piece ginger, grated (this sounds like alot, but it works)
1 clove garlic, grated or minced (I used approx 1 Tbsp. larger mince)

 

 

Combine seasoning ingredients. Add beef and marinate 20 minutes.

Heat oil in pan (Wok on med-high); add onions and peppers, cook until barely soft. Remove. (We like crisp-tender Veg)

Place beef in pan with seasoning. Stir-fry until cooked through (cooked to Mid-rare). Remove, leaving seasoning liquid in pan.

Combine cornstarch and water; stir until smooth. Add to seasoning liquid and simmer until thickened. If the Sauce is too thick for your liking, add in the Broth and stir again. I wanted some gravy for the Rice. Return beef, peppers and onions to pan. Serves 4. (2 hungry adults, it was half the meat called for).

Remember, a recipe is simply someone else’s idea,
take it and make it your own. 

Cook for your family !

Never Have I Ever Made ~ #2 … Spam® Katsu

I saw this idea on Pinterest and it really struck a cord for me. Being from Hawaii, we do love our Spam® and I thought that we’d try it a different way.

 

Auntie Doni’s Spam® Katsu

serves 3-4

1 can Spam®, cut into 6 slices
1 Egg, beaten well
1/2 C. Flour (I used Rice Flour, just `cuz)
1/2 – 1 C. Panko Crumbs
Approx. 2 C. Vegetable Oil

Set up a “breading station” as you would for any other recipe:
2 plates, one for the Flour and 1 for the Panko (I use paper plates here);
a shallow bowl for the beaten Egg.
Bread as usual, Flour-Egg-Crumbs, I like to really press the Panko into the Spam® for a super crunch. Set a-side on a rimmed baking sheet with a rack inserted into it to firm up the crust.
Heat a large Fry Pan over medium-high heat (about 350°) with the Oil in it.
Set a-side another rimmed baking sheet with a rack inserted to drain the cooked Spam® Katsu.
Shallow fry each Spam® cutlet until GBD (golden brown and delicious ); place the finished product on that clean rack.

I served our Spam® Katsu along side some Fried Saimin and  since I had that pan of hot Oil, some Chicken Katsu as well.

If you want to, a final flourish of chopped Green Onions makes for a pretty presentation.

Some folks like to put a Katsu Sauce over their cutlets, we like ours naked
But if you like, try this …

Easy Katsu Sauce

makes about 1/2 Cup

1/4 C. Ketchup
1/4 C. Worcestershire Sauce
2 tsp. Soy Sauce
1 tsp. Sugar

Combine well and refrigerate in a covered container, like a Mason Jar. There’s so many ways to make this Sauce, you choose.

Remember, a recipe is simply someone else’s idea, take it and make it your own.

Cook for your Family!

 

… and if you could, hit that like button, leave a comment below maybe just to say ALOHA; subscribe to my blog if you like what you’re reading and get an email when a new post has been uploaded.

MAHALO!

Hawaii-Style Beef Stew, My Way

*** Before we get started, I just wanted to say TODAY
marks my blog’s 8th birthday 
I’m very excited as well that my blog also JUST
received it’s 100,000 hit!!! 

____________________________________________________________________________________

 

Once again, I’m posting this recipe mostly for myself. I don’t make this dish very often and can never remember how I did it the last time that came out so dang ONO !! 
I refer back to my blog often for not only inspiration, but the “how to” sometimes.

 

Hawaii-Style Beef Stew, My Way

6-8 servings

2 lbs. boneless Chuck Roast or Stew Meat, 1-1 1/2″ diced & patted dry (I buy Chuck Blade when it goes on sale, butcher it and freeze it for later use )
2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
1/2 large Sweet Onion, 1/2″ dice, divided (I use Maui or Vidalia Onions)
1 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
3 Tbsp. Flour
1 Bay Leaf
2-3 Qts. Beef Broth
1 1/2 C. Carrots, 1/2 ” dice
1 1/2 C. Celery, 1/2″ dice
1 15 oz. can Diced Tomatoes (I use Petite/No Salt Added)
1 large Russet Potato, 1/2 ” dice
S&P to taste
Approx. 2 Tbsp. Wondra Flour + Water for a thickening Slurry

In a large Dutch Oven over medium-high, heat the Oil and brown the Meat in batches. Set aside on a plate.
Add about 1/3 of your chopped Onions and sauté for about 2 minutes.
Add the Tomato Paste and stir for about 2 minutes.
Add the Flour and again, stir for about 2 minutes.
Add back in the Meat along with any accumulated juices and the Bay Leaf; about 2 quarts of broth, enough to just cover the Meat. Cover, bring to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer for 2 hours or until the Meat is just tender.
Add the Potatoes, Carrots and Celery and simmer until the Potato is fork-tender. You might need to add more Beef Broth, so keep an eye on it. You want a good ratio of goodies to gravy !!!

Taste for seasoning.
Thicken the now GORGEOUS broth with your Slurry to your desired consistency.

Stews (as well as Soups) taste better the next day.

In Hawaii, we like our Stew And Rice, and say it as one word 

Who doesn’t adore Gravy and Rice?   I always make lots of Gravy!

But you serve your Hawaii-Style Beef Stew how your family enjoys.

Cook For Your Family !!

Hawaii-Style Portuguese Bean Soup, My Way

I’m posting this recipe mostly for myself. I don’t make this Soup very often and can never remember how I did it! 

 

But now that I can find Linguica here In The Middle Of The Desert, I’ll be making this much more often … we really like this Soup.

Hawaii-Style Portuguese Bean Soup, My Way

6 servings

8oz. Portuguese Sausage, diced (I can find Silva Brand; use approx. 1 1/3 Sausage)
Approx. 1 C. cooked Ham Hock Meat
1 qt. Ham Stock + 2 C. Water (use the diced Tomato can)
1 Garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 C. Onion, diced
1 1/2 C. Carrots, 1/2″ diced
1 1/2 C. Celery, 1/2″ diced
1 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
1 15 oz. can diced Tomatoes
1 large Russet Potato, 1/2″ diced
1 15 oz. can Kidney Beans, liquid drained, but not rinsed (I used the Light Red Kidney Beans)
2 C. Cabbage, 1″ chopped – optional (I used Napa Cabbage, `cuz that’s what I had, it takes less time to cook and I think it’s sweeter too)
S&P to taste
1 C. Cooked Elbow Macaroni, set aside

*Note: it’s best to boil the heck out of 2 Smoked Ham Hocks, as you would make any Stock. Reserve the meat separately from the liquid.  You should get 2 quarts of Stock and enough Meat for 2 batches of this recipe.

1) Lightly fry the Sausage in a large Dutch Oven, reserve the rendered oil
2) Add to the pot the Garlic, Onions, Carrots and Celery, the Tomato Paste last and sauté everything for just a few minutes
3) Add the Ham Hock meat, diced Tomato, Stock and Water, bring to a boil, reduce to heat and simmer for 30 minutes, covered
4) Add the Potato and cook for about 10 minutes, until almost done
5) Add the can of Beans and cook for another 10 minutes. You might have to add more water if too much has evaporated
6) If using Cabbage, add after the Beans have cooked for 5 minutes, continue simmering for the remainder of the 5 minutes for the Beans.
7) Adjust the consistency as desired with a Wondra Flour Slurry (we prefer a thicker Soup)

Soup will always taste better the next day.

To serve, re-heat the Soup and add the Elbow Macaroni, or just add as much as you like to your Bowl and pour over the hot Soup.
Like the good local gal that I am, I always serve my Portuguese Bean Soup with Diamond Bakery Soda Crackers that I bring back from Hawaii in my suitcase.

Cook For Your Family !!

Spam® With Portuguese Sausage Seasoning Fried Rice

Yup, that’s what I said! Spam® with Portuguese Sausage Seasoning in our Fried Rice.

Back in 2015, Hormel introduced this variety of Spam® in Hawaii, at the annual Waikiki Spam Jam.

We were very fortunate to have been back home at that time, and I got to sample a few bites.

Sorry for the bad lighting, but that’s a Cupcake with Spam® in it!!!

The unfortunate thing was, Hawaii, at the time, was the only place you could find the stuff, and it was always sold out as soon as it hit the shelves. 

Fast forward to 2019 and there we were once again on Oahu. I brought back two cans of this treasure in my suitcase to My Kitchen In The Middle Of The Desert… I FINALLY broke out a can to make Fried Rice with 

Spam® with Portuguese Sausage Seasoning Fried Rice

1 can Spam® w/Portuguese Sausage Seasoning, diced
3-4 C. cooked Rice, leftover & dried out
2 Eggs, beaten
1/2 C. Sweet White Onion, minced
1 C. fresh Carrot, diced & blanched
2 C. frozen Peas
3-4 stalks Green Onion, sliced & divided-tops & bottoms
4 Tbsp. Peanut Oil (or Vegetable Oil is fine too, just it taste better w/Peanut Oil)
2-4 Tbsp. Soy Sauce (preferably Aloha Shoyu, we like lower salt)
1-2 tsp. Sesame Oil
A pinch of White Pepper
1 tsp. Sesame Seeds

Heat a large, high sided pan (you really don’t have to have a Wok) over medium-high flame.
Add 1 tablespoon of Oil; pour in the beaten Eggs, creating a flat Omelet. Remove to a cutting board and dice, set aside and wipe out the pan with a Paper Towel.
Fry the Spam® (you don’t need any Oil here) until it’s well crisped, set aside on a plate.
Wipe out your pan with another Paper Towel.
Add the remaining Oil and swirl it around in the pan.
Sauté the Sweet Onion until just translucent and then add the whites of the Green Onion and continue to cook for just a few minutes.
Pour in the Rice and combine well in the Oil, to coat the Rice.
Stirring occasionally, allow the Rice to get a just a bit crispy, this will take a few minutes.
Now add back in the Spam® along with the chopped up Egg, Peas and Carrots (yes, I did make an exception this time, this can be optional ).
Pour over as much Soy Sauce as we feel you need, not too much though, and that pinch of White Pepper.
Mix everything up really good; once the Peas and Carrot are heated through, off heat, pour the Sesame Oil over everything and combine well… you’re done.
Serve by topping with the reserved Green Onion tops and a sprinkle of Sesame Seeds.

 

 

That my friends, is perfect!

YUM!!

Fried Rice is wonderful anytime, breakfast is probably our favorite though.

Remember, a recipe is just someone else’s idea, you take it and make it your own.

ENJOY!

My Copycat Zippy’s Macaroni Salad

Originally, I posted this back on January 15, 2013 … WOW! More than seven years ago. “My Quest For Zippy’s Macaroni Salad”.
I’m changing the title to better describe what I’ve been trying to do, replicate a beloved dish from Hawaii.
Anyways, since then, I have fiddled with this recipe for my version of Zippy’s Restaurant Macaroni Salad. I’ve even gotten DH to finally try my Mac Salad and like it, just so long as I don’t add the second round of Mayo to his portion.

Here’s what I’ve discovered:
1) When using Barilla Brand of Elbow Macaroni, boil for at least 11 minutes.
2) Use only 1 1/2 tsp. of Mustard, much better actually.
3) Once everything has been mixed together and sat in the `fridge for at least an hour, go back and take a look at it. Is it a little dry looking? Has the Macaroni absorbed most of the Mayonnaise?
Stir in a tablespoon at a time to bring it back to where it should be, I added close to a 1/4 cup more Best Foods Mayo; then cover and refrigerate for another hour so that everything has mingled nicely. 

Something alot of local folks from Hawaii don’t share too often on the WWW, is that we like to add in stuff to our Mac Salad.

Try some canned Tuna and chopped Black Olives, OH MY! 

I’ll also add in more shredded Carrots and Celery for crunch extra crunch. This version is very tasty served on a bed of chopped greens of your choice. I usually have Romaine Lettuce in my crisper, this makes a lovely lunch.

So as I said, this is the re-boot of the original post from 2013 …

My Quest For Zippy’s Macaroni Salad

I have been trying to get the correct proportions of a recipe from a restaurant in Hawaii. Zippy’s is an institution on Oahu to be specific; they have many menu items at their fast food take-out locations as well as casual diners. One side dish that has been long coveted is their Macaroni Salad. Now, you may be thinking to yourself, yeah, so what?

Why don’t you try a Google search of Zippy’s Mac Salad and see how many hits you’ll get from us forlorn Islanders who have moved away to the Mainland.

I have been searching the internet for years trying to unearth the recipe, only to find others doing the same. At one spot, I found a letter that was sent to the Zippy’s Customer Service Manager, and the response was just a list of the ingredients, along with an invitation to the recipient to “experiment with it”.

Well, guess what I did, and I got it!

I meshed together different recipes, suggestions and some back and forth with other folks from Hawaii. The frugal homesick island gal that I am, I didn’t want to waste anything. So I made my first batch with a quarter of what I felt would make a full recipe. Seeing as my husband despises mayonnaise, I didn’t want to be eating Macaroni Salad for the next 5 days; though I do love my Mac Salad, not that much. You can try this smaller version or increase the quantities appropriately to your crowd.

Copycat Zippy’s Macaroni Salad

1/4 lb. Elbow Macaroni, cooked past al dente, so that they are fat and soft

1/2 C. Best Foods Mayonnaise (or Hellmann’s if you’re in the East, no substitution)

1 1/2 tsp. prepared Mustard (I used Dijon ’cause that’s what I had in the ‘fridge)

1 Tbsp. White Onion, finely grated, juice and pulp (I used a microplane)

2 Tbsp. Carrot, finely grated

2 Tbsp. Celery, finely diced

Salt and Pepper to taste (I used about 1/8 tsp of each)

Combine all ingredients but the Macaroni in a large mixing bowl.

Prepare the pasta as directed on the package. Test the pasta to make sure that it is past al dente, nice and soft but not falling apart. Drain well. While still warm, toss gently with the dressing and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. At this point, check to see if the Macaroni has absorbed too much of the Mayo, you may need to add more, possibly up to 1/4 cup. Combine well, cover and refrigerate for another hour before serving.

Enjoy this with your favorite Hawaiian-Style BBQ, steamed white rice or a tossed green salad and you’re now a local my friend! We call that a plate lunch in Hawaii. Gotta have my two scoops rice, mac salad and some kind of meat. It could be Beef, Pork, Chicken, Fish or for the vegetarians, Grilled Tofu.

 

My copycat Zippy’s Plate Lunch

ALOHA

Spam, Spam, Spam and Spam

I posted this article back in April of 2013.  Here we are, about the same time SEVEN years later in the middle of a SIP Mode, and I’ve been needing to come up with more meal ideas than usual 🙂

So, I’ve been using my blog as a resource for different dishes to make with what I have on hand.  I’ve always got at least one can of Spam® in my pantry!

 

Spam is a wonderful thing, I’m talking about the canned meat, not that junk in your email box. In Hawaii, we make something called Spam Musubi (moo-sue-bee), it’s something like sushi I guess you could say.

I knew that Spam became very popular there during World War II, as well as much of the Pacific. The USArmy found that it was the most effect way to get meat to the soldiers.

I did a Google search on Spam and was simply fascinated. I won’t do any lengthy copy&paste for you, I’ll just hyperlink the Wikipedia article for you to read. One fact I do want to point out to you though, in the United States, Hawaii residents consume the most Spam per capita. Do I still count?

Teriyaki Spam Musubi

5 ½ – 6 cups cooked medium grain white Rice

1 can Spam, sliced equally into 8 pieces

2 sheets of Musubi Nori

Sauce:

¼ cup Brown Sugar

½ cup Soy Sauce (I love low sodium Aloha Shoyu)

1 Garlic clove, smashed

Steam the rice and allow to cool down enough to handle, but still warm.

In a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients until the sugar dissolves, set aside.

In a dry skillet, brown the Spam well; set aside. Wipe out the pan, add in the sauce and bring to a bubble; add back in the spam, turning occasionally, until sauce thickens.

Time to assemble!

Place a piece a plastic wrap over a board. Cut each sheet of Nori in 4 equal pieces, there should be perforations to follow on the sheets. Place a piece of Nori shiny side down on the plastic and the Musubi form over the middle of it.

Fill the form with rice; press down very firmly with the top piece of the form that has been moistened with water.  While still holding down the handle of the top, carefully remove the form and top piece.

Place a slice of Spam over the rice; wrap the Nori tightly over the Spam and rice, damping the last edge with water to ensure it sticks to itself.

Wrap tightly in the plastic wrap and set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes, this softens the Nori a bit and makes much more pleasant to eat.

Unwrap and enjoy a little piece of Hawaii, preferable at the beach!  Back home, these yummy treats are enjoyed anytime of day or night.  They can be found just about anywhere, even at gas stations.

ALOHA!

A Taste of Home, Kalbi Rib Dinner

Oh my gravy all over my two scoop rice, that’s OMG!  in my world if you’re just joining in
Recently, I discovered our local Carniceria and what a find!  It’s a Butcher’s Shop and man oh man, am I a happy camper.
Back home in Hawaii, we would have take-out from this small Korean restaurant and they made the best Kalbi or Galbi Ribs. This particular dish requires a specific cut of Beef Short Rib, it’s called Flanken and I had yet to find that here! 

WELL!
Look what I found 

AND I just so happen to have brought back from Hawaii on this last trip, Noh Foods Korean Barbecue MixDOUBLE YAY!!
 

I got to work pretty quickly on this dish.

Super simple, I made a bag with my FoodSaver, chopped up a bunch of Green Onions, mixed the contents of that dry mix with Water and Vegetable Oil and some toasted Sesame Seeds, chucked everything into that bag and sealed it. I parked the Ribs in the `fridge on a rimmed baking sheet over night.

The next evening, I fired up my grill and it was almost time for grind!
Earlier that day, I went over to our favorite Sushi take-out joint and collected two trays of different Sushi to go with our local-style feast.

I also put together My Quick Cucumber Kim Chee and a fresh pot of Rice.

*BELCH*  excuse me 

THAT was ONO!!

Homemade Char Siu, Round Two

I’ve already shared with you all about my first go at making my own Char Siu and that I knew that I could do better; so now we come to Round Two.

We went to “The Big City” in search of some of my beloved local-style ingredients and I came across this

   

Hmmm!

This should work just fine.

I found a package of Country-Style Boneless Pork Ribs aka Pork Shoulder in my deep freeze and just knew that a fattier, smaller sized cut of Pork would make for wonderful Char Siu or Chinese Bar-B-Que Pork.

I cut the ribs a bit thinner so that we’d have more surface area for that yumminess to absorb.  I left them in the `fridge for 48 hours, turning and massaging the meat in the marinade in every so often.

I drained the now spent Noh Foods of Hawaii Char Siu Sauce & Marinade off of the meat, preheated the oven to 350° and arranged them on a foil lined sheet pan with a rack inserted.

After roasting for about 30-40 minutes; I checked the internal temperature for about 145° … we don’t want well done Char Siu.  Once cooled, I started slicing and taste-testing, of course.

Oh my gravy all over my two scoop rice (that’s OMG! in my world) THAT ^^^^ is a~maz~ing!

DH and I must have snarfed down a good half pound of the pound and a half of meat  that I cooked.

I had been looking for the powdered mix again,

… but ya know, I think this bottled sauce was far  superior.

Next time, I’m going to reserve some of the sauce for dipping AND  believe me, there will be a next time!!