All posts tagged: food

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

We walked along the shoreline of the Yongmeori Coast on Jeju-do, South Korea, and stopped at a make-shift station operated by two women selling fresh seafood. Large plastic basins were filled with cool water to keep loads of brown conch and bright orange sea squirts alive. Bottles of beer were also strategically and suggestively placed in the basins to entice visitors. We decided to indulge in the experience and as we waited, the women cracked open the conches and cut into the sea squirts, slicing them up for us to enjoy al fresco. It was the first time we tried these two foods and were all pleasantly surprised at how yummy they actually were. If we had been free of responsibilities after our little excursion, we might’ve indulged in ice cold beers as well. Oh well… There’s always a next time. Weekly Photo Challenge: Three

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Cook

The prompt from Across the Bored’s TCTC is: “How do you cook?” My dad is a Chinese cook who enjoys preparing a feast for every meal  Growing up, it was the norm to have a minimum of nine dishes on the table.  I thought everyone ate like this for every meal.  But, it wasn’t until I started to sleep over at a friend’s house that I saw that others didn’t eat the same way as I did at home.  My dad some how creates magic with his stainless steel wok.  Occasionally, when we have parties, even now in his late 80’s, he can still whip up 10 – 15 dishes in a couple of hours.  The time it takes to prepare all the ingredients is very time-consuming.  Once, I asked my dad why he does it, and he told me that he loves to feed others.  Every time I see my dad, even if it is for a quick visit, he always asks, “Have you eaten?”  When I was younger I thought it was so annoying …

The Big Five

Name five things inside your refrigerator right now and how you feel about them. Gochujang = Hungry I blame the K-drama, My Lovely Sam-Soon, for turning me on to gochujang, or Korean red pepper paste. On one of the episodes, Sam-Soon is eating a slab of tough beef for dinner, complaining that the cow must’ve been old, while her mother and sister are on the opposite side of the table, sharing a nice big bowl of bibimbap. Since she’s sworn off carbs, Sam-Soon is relegated to watching them chow down, only asking them if it’s any good, while they discuss whether the dish needs more gojuchang. Later on in that same episode, Sam-Soon snuck out of her room after her family went to bed to cheat on her diet and whip up a big bowl of bibimbap for herself. Maybe it was because the actresses were eating with such gusto that I started to get hungry myself, but after watching that episode, I decided to buy some at the local Asian market. Since then, I’ve incorporated …

Noodle Dependency

Daily Prompt: Food for the Soul (and the Stomach): Tell us about your favorite meal, either to eat or to prepare. Does it just taste great, or does it have other associations? Favorite foods come and go, but saimin has been with me from the beginning. When I was a kid, all I wanted to eat was saimin. It was the first food I learned how to make. In fact, Hamura’s was a little less than 10 miles away from my childhood home, so it was inevitable that saimin would become my comfort food. A melamine bowl filled with noodles and a hot yummy broth takes me back to that simpler time, so when one isn’t up to my liking because the dashi is too salty or the noodles are overcooked, I’m understandably disappointed. Saimin reminds me of my childhood, when everyone who meant the world to me was alive and well and lived within a 5-mile radius. Saimin is not meant to taste the same at every restaurant, but it needs to be well done and as perfect as its meant to …

Swiss Chocolate

I’m no chocolate snob. Chocolate is chocolate, to paraphrase Gertrude Stein, and is tasty in all its forms. You don’t have to be a chocolate snob to know that. Sure… BUT I do have to say that some of my favorite chocolates are from Switzerland. I remember the day I was first introduced to Swiss chocolates; it was my second year at UH Hilo, on a second date with a handsome international student from Switzerland. Towards the end of the evening he reached into a bag and pulled out a bar of Ragusa chocolate. He opened the packaging, unwrapped the foil and broke off a piece for me to try. I had never tasted such delicious chocolate before in my life. It was heavenly! From that point on, my sweet tooth (and my hips) would never be the same. In fact, that whole date changed my life; I ended up marrying the guy who swept me off my feet with Swiss chocolate.

Stuff We Love: Kimchi

My all time favorite side dish is kimchi.  It has to be prepared well, otherwise, not worth busting out the tall glass of water and bowl of steaming hot rice.  For several years, Kainoa and I, have been fascinated with Korean dramas, reality television shows, and just anything Korean.  Not necessarily for the story line, but mostly because of the food!  Granted not everything we watch on television is a true representation of a country’s culture, but you cannot go wrong with the food! I hardly would consider myself a great cook, but if I am determined to eat something, you will find me getting my hands dirty.  Finding the recipe that would be worth the trouble of making the yummy kimchi was the challenge.  Luckily, I have resourceful friends.  Kainoa turned me on to Maangchi, whom I had the pleasure of meeting in 2010.  Perusing through Maangchi’s website I found her kimchi recipe, that I have used to this day religiously.  When I met her in 2010 she told me the secret to the …

Stuff We Love: Mushroom Poke

Poke has gone mainstream. Most everyone knows that poke refers to cubes of raw fish. The origin of the word poke is Hawaiian and refers to fish being cross-cut. These days, youʻll find trays of different types of poke (tuna, marlin, salmon, octopus, etc.) in local grocery stores, tossed with a variety of condiments, like shoyu, limu (seaweed), onions, and even mayonnaise.  Poke bowls have also become lunch favorites. You can pick up poke bowls at Suisan (85 Lihiwai Street) or Poke to Taste (790 Leilani Street), as well as the big three local supermarkets, KTA, Safeway, and Sack and Save, where your bowl is made to your liking. Pick your poke and it will be served up on a bowl of sushi rice and packed to-go. Although fish is one of the healthier meats, I was looking for something different. Enter mushroom poke. Many vegetarians substitute mushrooms for meat due to their hearty texture. Theyʻre even called “the meat of the earth”. One night, I ordered an expensive, but tiny serving of delicious mushroom poke at the now-defunct Nihon Restaurant (it was transitioning to …

Hoʻiʻo Perfection

I don’t recall eating hoʻiʻo growing up on Kauaʻi, but since discovering it here on Hawaiʻi Island, it’s been a welcome addition to meals. Hoʻiʻo bunches begin making appearances at the local farmers’ markets during the wet season and go for about $2 a hefty bunch. Hoʻiʻo are fern shoots that grow and are gathered in wet areas here. They are made into salads or added to stir-fry. Hoʻiʻo is a regional term used here on Hawai’i Island. It’s Pohole in Maui. You’ll also hear the term warabi, which is derived from Japan. Despite not growing up with this yummy vegetable, over the past several years I’ve learned how to cook it. Friends and loved ones request my hoʻiʻo salad for parties and casual get-togethers. People wonder how I get the hoʻiʻo cooked, but still crunchy. The trick is blanching. Here are the steps to get your hoʻiʻo just right: In a big pot, bring water to a rolling boil. After cleaning and cutting the hoʻiʻo into bite-sized pieces, separate the thicker stems from the …