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Tag Archives: From Kau Kau to Cuisine

  • Mom & Pop Stores

    Like movie sets from a bygone era, small mom-and-pop stores still dot the local landscape, from quiet country roads to busy city streets on every Hawaiian island. The “newer” ones—simple cinder block structures—are themselves mid-century relics. The original plantation-era stores are truly vintage wooden buildings, well worn with age. …People fondly remember patronizing these stores as children entering a dream world filled with cold sodas, ice cakes, candies, pastries and ice cream. Popular snacks included: Tomoe Ame, milk candy, button candy, rock candy, dried abalone, Bazooka bubble gum, dried ika (squid), sour lemon and ginger chunks. Some stores specialized in shave ice or various types of “crack seed” stored in large glass jars. One’s purchase was placed into a small brown paper bag that old-timers would always lick to enjoy the last bit of salty goodness off of the insides of the bags. Some stores even had wooden porches and benches out front where customers could sit and enjoy a cold soda, ice cream or shave ice, and talk story.

    —Arnold Hiura, From Kau Kau to Cuisine: An Island Cookbook, Then and Now

    Photo: Paauilo Store, Highway 19, Hilo by Dawn Sakamoto Paiva Photo: Paauilo Store, Highway 19, Hilo by Dawn Sakamoto Paiva
  • Holiday Book Gift Guide 2014

    Need a little help with your holiday shopping this year? Well, first, let’s just say: Books make great gifts! (Especially for our keiki who could use a break from their screen time.)

    Here’s our gift checklist to give you a speedy way to cross at least a few folks off your list — and it’s all available on our newly redesigned online store for home delivery by Christmas! (Just be sure to place your order by December 18.)

    For the Perry & Price Posse Member

    Chances are good there’s at least one in your household—after all, this dynamic duo couldn’t have dominated Hawai‘i radio for more than three decades without their loyal listener posse. Perry on the Left, Price on the Right: Thirty Years with the Odd Couple of Island Radio, a brand-new large-format book, shares the behind-the-scenes stories of this unlikely pairing with of photos and KSSK memorabilia.

    $19.95, hardcover

    GET IT AUTOGRAPHED! Perry & Price will be at Barnes & Noble, Ala Moana, from 11AM – 1PM on Saturday, Dec. 13.

    For the Outdoors Enthusiast

    Experienced hikers probably know most of what’s contained in this fun, yet informative, handbook from lifelong outdoorsman (and award-winning musician!) Brother Noland, but they’ll still appreciate the whimsical line drawings and matter-of-fact approach. For those who have less experience, The Hawaiian Survival Handbook offers a crash-course in vital commonsense tips to take in before heading into the bush.

    $16.95, hardcover

    For the Aspiring Writer

    With the ‘ohana coming together for the holiday season, maybe now’s the time to get the best writer in the family motivated to chronicle your history! From nationally bestselling author Darien Gee (aka Mia King), Writing the Hawai‘i Memoir is a guide that goes beyond “how to” and gets you to completion through exercises and encouragement. Includes writing tips and inspiration from more than 20 of Hawai‘i’s best known writers, teachers, and storytellers.

    $14.95, softcover

    For the Keiki

    ‘Tis the season to give a gift that encourages your favorite child to use their imagination and appreciate our natural surroundings. In Wordsworth! Stop the Bulldozer! Wordsworth the Mouse’s best friend Emily has moved away, a new girl from Japan named Akiko is sitting in Emily’s chair at school and, worst of all, a bulldozer has invaded Wordsworth’s special koa grove where he thinks up new poems. What should Wordsworth do? Special gift set includes a tree-growing kit with three milo seeds (a type of tree in the hibiscus family, similar to hau, that came to Hawaii with the Polynesian settlers), a peat soil pod and instructions.

    $14.00, gift set including tree seeds and book

    $10.95, hardcover book alone

    For the Homesick Kama'aina

    Know someone who needs a taste of home? Send them this ‘ono gift pack with everything they’ll need to make their own SPAM® musubi (even directions on making them without a musubi mold!)—Jus’ Add Rice! Each set includes a copy of the award-winning From Kau Kau to Cuisine: An Island Cookbook, Then and Now by Arnold Hiura, featuring 60+ recipes from Chef Jason Takemura and KTA Super Stores’ Derek Kurisu; a Cane Haul Road dish towel, 8 packets of shoyu, a 10-sheet pack of nori and one can SPAM®.

    $45, complete gift set

    $29.95, hardcover book alone

  • FOOD FRIDAY: A Porky Pair from From Kau Kau to Cuisine

    From Kau Kau to Cuisine: An Island Cookbook, Then and NowFrom Kau Kau to Cuisine: An Island Cookbook, Then and Now by Arnold Hiura, featuring Derek Kurisu of KTA SuperStores and Jason Takemura of Pagoda Floating Restaurant and Hukilau Honolulu, is a unique culinary guide drawing out the connections between old, plantation-era favorites and new, innovative modern cuisine. While food historian Arnold provides a background to what, why and how we eat in Hawaii, Derek and Jason team up to present 30 pairs of recipes. Each pair matches a “Then” dish from Derek—a classic plantation or traditional local-style favorite—with a “Now” dish from Jason—a reinterpretation of Derek’s version or a new creation drawn from the same ingredients or cooking style.

    On this Food Friday, we present a pork-tastic pair: Classic Shoyu Pork from Derek and a modern spin on the manapua from Jason.

    From Kau Kau to Cuisine: Shoyu Pork and Pork Belly Bao Bun Sliders

    Shoyu Pork by George Yoshida and Derek Kurisu

    I remember my family receiving pork from the “buta kau kau man” who would come to neighborhood homes and pick up slop once or twice a week (see page 30). In return, he would periodically bring everybody a piece of pork as a way of saying thanks. That pork was so goodI really looked forward to it! To this day, I love local pork, which is leaner and more flavorful than Mainland pork. This is another recipe I learned from my buddy, George Yoshida. Here on the Big Island, a lot of our plantations grew sugar. But on the other islands, they grew a lot of pineapple. The flavor goes well with pork, so we often use it for cooking with ham or spare ribs. I like to use it for shoyu pork—with the shoyu, it makes a unique flavor and the juice helps tenderize the pork. -DK

    • 5 pounds pork belly (or boneless pork shoulder roast, cut in half)
    • 1 cup shoyu
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cup pineapple juice
    • 5 slices fresh ginger

    In a deep pot, cover pork with water and boil for 1 hour. Discard water and rinse pork. Slice pork into 2-inch pieces and, in the same pot, combine with remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and continue to simmer, about 45 minutes, until tender.

    Serves 8 to 10.


    Braised Pork Belly Bao Bun “Sliders” by Jason Takemura

    Growing up in Hawai‘i, everybody loves to eat manapua. They’re sort of like SPAM® musubi—the kind of grab-and-go food perfect for a snack or quick meal. Instead of serving plain manapua in the restaurant, we put this spin on the classic Island favorite. We started with some of the Asian ingredients and flavors that I learned at Chai’s and adapted them to our needs and tastes. The secret is our braised pork, which goes really well with the bao buns. Sliders are really popular these days—no need to cut them in half or anything, they’re all individual servings. -JT

    • 2 pounds pork belly, skin removed
    • Pork Marinade (recipe follows)
    • 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
    • 2 teaspoons sriracha (or other hot sauce )
    • ½ cup Kim Chee, chopped (see recipe, page 154)
    • 1 cup thinly sliced won bok
    • ½ cup finely julienned Fuji apple
    • ½ cup julienned green onions (reserve bottoms and stems for marinade)
    • 12 fresh bao buns, steamed and warmed

    Pork Marinade

    • 1½ cups shoyu
    • 1 cup sugar
    • ½ cup water
    • 2 pieces star anise
    • 1 3-inch piece ginger
    • 4 stalks green onion, white part only
    • 5 cloves garlic, whole
    • Pinch crushed red chili flakes

    Cut pork belly into a 2-inch by 2-inch by 8-inch block. Combine marinade ingredients and marinate pork overnight (8 to 12 hours), turning the pork over every 4 hours.

    Preheat oven to 325˚F. Transfer pork and marinade into an oven-safe pan. Cover pan with foil. Place in the oven and braise for 3 hours. Remove from oven, remove foil and allow to cool, with the braising liquid, before refrigerating until ready to use. Remove cold pork from the liquid and slice crosswise ¼-inch thick. Reserve braising liquid.

    In a sauce pan, heat sliced pork belly in the reserved braising liquid. Mix hoisin and sriracha together and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix won bok, apples and chopped kim chee together. Spread 1 teaspoon of hoisin-sriracha sauce in each warm, softened bao bun. Place 2 to 3 slices of pork per bun, topped with the kim chee slaw. Garnish with green onions.

    Makes 12 sliders.

    For more delicious pairings like this one, pick up a copy of From Kau Kau to Cuisine at our online store or your local bookshop. Go grind!

    From Kau Kau to Cuisine: An Island Cookbook, Then and Now
    by Arnold Hiura, featuring Derek Kurisu and Jason Takemura
    Hardcover, 196 pages


  • SPAM® Musubi...Can?

    spammusubiIn honor of the Waikiki SPAM® Jam taking place this weekend, we're sharing this fun how-to and recipe for SPAM® musubi a la Derek Kurisu from the award-winning cookbook From Kau Kau to Cuisine: An Island Cookbook, Then and Now. You'll find this same step-by-step guide and recipe in the book, along with 59 more ono-licious local dishes.

    What sets this version of SPAM® musubi apart is that Derek makes it in an empty SPAM® can. “This is important,” he says, “because I want everyone to know that no matter where you are in the world, if you have a can of SPAM®, you can make musubi. You don’t need a special press. Save the can! Clean it out and make it one of the implements in your kitchen along with your knives and things.” It certainly is an easy way to make musubi when you’re camping or traveling away from home and hungry for a taste of Hawai‘i.

    DK_SPAM8This is a winner. You can try substituting different kinds of luncheon meat, but somehow Hawai‘i folks can always tell the true SPAM® from everything else. Although the ingredients are basically the same, SPAM® fries up nice and crispy with just the right texture and taste. But you can substitute foods like tonkatsu or teriyaki meat as the musubi filling, instead of SPAM®. The combination of teri beef and kim chee is a winner. There’s no limit, really. Just use your imagination. -DK

    1 can SPAM® (save the can)
    Furikake (seasoned seaweed flakes), optional
    4 nori (seaweed) sheets, halved
    Cooked Calrose (medium-grain) rice

    Cut the SPAM® block into 8 slices (the slices should fit perfectly back into the can). Fry SPAM® until brown and crisp on the outside. (Avoid overcooking, as this results in rubbery SPAM®.) In the SPAM® can, add a ½-inch thick layer of rice. Pack rice down with a spoon. Sprinkle furikake (about ½ teaspoon) over the rice. Layer a slice of SPAM® over the furikake, topped by another layer of rice. The SPAM® and rice layers should not reach higher than halfway up the can. Pack down firmly with a spoon. Invert the can over a half-sheet of nori (it should fit exactly); the stack of SPAM®, rice and furikake should slide right out. Tightly wrap the musubi with the nori. Wet the blade of a knife and slice into 3 pieces. (See below for step-by-step photo instructions.)

    Makes 8 whole musubi or 24 pieces.

    Stop by our booth at this weekend's Hawaii Book & Music Festival before you head to the SPAM® Jam on Saturday evening. Pick up a copy of From Kau Kau to Cuisine and whet your appetite for all the spamalicous food you can eat! We'll even have special Kau Kau gift packs that include a Cane Haul Road "Kau Kau" dish towel—so you can take care of Mom's Mother's Day gift, too!

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