Tagged: Local

Salt

I’m not a bad daughter. In fact, I fancy myself as quite the opposite. Despite the distance and years between us, my parents and family in Korea are constantly in my thoughts and everyday actions. I am, for lack of better way to put this, my father’s daughter. As a child, I cringed and pouted when people would tell me I either was or looked exactly like my dad. “I want to be like umma, not appa,” I’d repeatedly whine. With this, my younger sister followed in my footsteps and we’d compete to claim inheritance of mom’s svelte and gorgeous physical features. As we’ve grown older, however, we’ve come to realize that while my sister may look more like my dad than I do, she acts more like my mom. Me? I am exactly like my dad.
From our stubby toes and absent-mindedness to our love for foreign languages and moments of silence, we are one and alike. My dad similarly bestowed upon me an appreciation for food in all forms. At the young age of 4 or 5, I had my first taste of gourmet cheese. I will never forget my dad in the kitchen, gingerly cutting the wrapped lump of German Butter cheese (Butterk√§se) into generous slivers and placing each over slices of apple with his stumpy, callused hands. The first bite is one I will always remember, soft and buttery flawlessly paired with crisp and subtly-sweet. This flavor was only to be sharply, beautifully contrasted with the various salumi, or cured meats, he then allowed me to try. In addition to the more simplistic joys I grew up eating (instant mac & cheese, spaghetti with meat sauce, or spam, eggs, kimchi, and rice), the more complex and matured flavors of cheese and meats also have the ability to take me back to my not-so-distant, treasured childhood. And though it is always an honor and pleasure cooking for you, appa, if you were here for this upcoming Father’s Day, I wouldn’t think twice about taking you to Salt Kitchen & Tasting Bar. For memories sake. Continue reading

Town

There’s nothing like a good picnic, or a much needed visit to Town, to make an already gorgeous summer day all the more fabulous. Though there are an ample number of restaurants I love and frequent, and even more that I’m still yearning dying to try (I’m late, but Marukame Udon, Yakitori Yoshi, Sushi Sasabune, Nanzan GiroGiro, Le Bistro, Broadway, and Cream Pot, to name just a few), I must say Town is definitely one of my favorites.

A winsome little spot, quietly located in Kaimuki and unpresumptuous in its demeanor, Town exudes a rustic ambiance with modish flare. Their food focus is on locally-grown or locally-available produce, their slogan being “local first, organic whenever possible, with Aloha always.” With their seasonally updating menu, there are always fresh and magical choices to accentuate the best that bountiful Hawaii has to offer.
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Furikake Crusted Mahi Mahi

This post is going to be relatively short, ending with a recipe for a dish that I did not create myself. Actually, the idea was originally mine, but as soon as I mentioned my intentions to create the dish, Pat was on it. What about my intellectual property rights?! Little did I know that Pat was, in reality, a vicious maelstrom of sorts out to suck up each and every one of my culinary ideas! Well, not really. This is actually not even an original idea of mine, it is a common way to prepare fish here in Hawaii. It was just the first time that I had wanted to re-create the dish at home (and apparently, the first time the idea had ever even crossed Pat’s scheming mega-mind!). Furikake is a Japanese dry condiment that is typically sprinkled upon rice to add flavor and texture. Though there are many variations, furikake usually consists of chopped nori (dried seaweed), sesame seeds, bonito (dried fish) flakes, sugar, salt, and yes, MSG (monosodium glutamate – the infamous flavor enhancer and preservative). Considering the fact that Hawaii is so geographically close to and culturally influenced by Japan, it is only natural that what we deem “local” in terms of food and its preparation heavily integrates various aspects of Japanese Cuisine.

As most of you are all aware, a couple days ago (on March 11), a tragic earthquake and tsunami hit Japan and destroyed Sendai as well as many other areas. Many were injured, killed, and are still missing. Everyone in Hawaii has been affected by this natural disaster, be it due to the constant sirens of tsunami warnings or the countless number of family and friends that live in or are inextricably tied to Japan. Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to Japan in this time of great need.
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