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April 2011

Letter of Aloha Spring 2011

Spring—a time of new beginnings, evenin the Hawaiian Islands where we have year-round growing, people are surprised that we actually have seasons.

The last of the whale migration ends in spring.  The waves start to calm down, the sun sets later, fragrant, flowering trees start to bud and fruits and vegetables that don’t grow in our cooler winter can now get started.

One of the other changes in spring is apparent in the menus of our favorite restaurants. Chefs around the state are starting to switch up their dishes with the new produce available locally.  This issue is celebrating chefs who do just that.  Enjoy their stories and most of all their delicious creations.

You asked for it, we did it! Many of you call or write wanting to know where to eat locally sourced food. This issue has the premier of our “Eat Local Dining Guide.” It is far from final, as it takes a while to get to everyone on all of our islands, so be sure to check it out.… Read More

Meli Melo of Ma’o Farm Vegetables


Meli Melo – “This recipe is a tribute to the diversity of organic vegetables from Ma’o Farms in Waianae. We treat each vegetable individually– we braise, steam, blanch, pickle, confit, bake them so that every single vegetable is cooked separately in the best way to enhance the specific flavor of each one – from shaving raw to baked in Hawaiian salt.”

Ingredients for Chickpea Fritters:

1 pound Cooked Chickpeas
1 ½ each Large Onion, diced
6 each Garlic Cloves
4 each Whole eggs
2 Tbsps Oregano, dried
1 ½ Tbsps Ground Cumin
1 ½ Tbsps Ground Coriander
1 tsp Dried Crushed Chiles, chopped
1 Tbsp Paprika
2 Tbsps Ground Fennel
4 Tbsps Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp Salt
1 cup Fine Bread Crumbs
To taste Fresh ground white pepper

Method for Chickpea Fritters:

Place all the ingredients in to a food processor.
Blend for 2 minutes.
Chill the mixture.
Form the mixture in to the size of a marble.… Read More

Confit Hamachi lomilomi salmon, Big Wave tomatoes, sour cream, salmon roe


(2 servings)

Confit hamachi lomi lomi – This is my interpretation of the lomilomi salmon recipe. The only addition is adding sour cream to the lomilomi to avoid the watery consistency of the original recipe, to add smoothness and a very interesting combination of acidity and tartness. The salmon is cured in house of course.”

Ingredients for the hamachi:

2 pieces Hamachi, medallions, 3 ounces each
2 cups Extra virgin olive oil
Salt pepper to taste

Ingredients for the lomilomi salmon:

3 ounces Salted salmon, de-salt the salmon in water all night, dice into 1/8” pieces
4 tablespoons Sour cream
1 medium Tomato, peeled, core removed, diced
1 medium Shallot, minced
1 tablespoons Green onions, sliced
4 tablespoons Vegetable broth
2 tablespoons Salmon roe
Salt pepper to taste


In a small sauce pan, bring the olive oil to 130 degrees. Poach the hamachi for 8 minutes (make sure the fish is totally submerged in the oil).… Read More

Big Island Goat Cheese Mousse with Li Hing Mui Apple Tart


10 portions

“The fresh goat cheese from the Hawaii Island Goat Dairy is one of the best fresh goat cheeses I know. The combination of goat cheese mousse, the apple and li hing mui tatin is a trilogy of flavors and a winning combination.”

Ingredients for goat cheese mousse:

8 oz. Big Island goat cheese
1/4 cup Heavy cream
1 teaspoon Chives, sliced
1 lemon Lemon zest
1 ea Gelatin sheets
to taste Sea salt
to taste Fresh ground white pepper

Method for goat cheese mousse:

Whip the goat cheese in an electric mixer with sea salt and fresh ground white pepper.

Whip for 5 minutes

Bloom the gelatin in ice water and dissolve in a table spoon of heavy cream

Add the dissolved gelatin, chives and lemon zest to the goat cheese.

Whip the heavy cream into a Chantilly consistency and fold into the goat cheese mixture

Place the mixture into dome molds or let it set in a container and scoop out with an ice cream scooper

Ingredients for tart:

3 each Granny Smith Apples, peeled and cut in half
¼ cup Brown sugar
¼ cup Granulated white sugar
1 ½ oz Butter
Lemon juice of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon Li Hing Mui powder
20 circles Brioche, cut into 1 ½ inch circles

Method for tart:

Melt the butter in a sauté pan

Add the brown and white sugar

Add the lemon juice and cook over low heat for 3 minutes

Add the li hing mui powder

Add the apples and place in a pre heated oven at 300°F for 10 minutes

Turn the apples over and baste and cook for another 10 minutes

Remove the apples from the oven and cool at room temperature

Reserve the remaining sauce

Toast one side of the brioche circles on a Teflon pan

Ingredients for salad:
3 bunches Hirabara baby lettuces
as needed Lemon vinaigrette
to taste Sea salt
to taste Fresh ground white pepper

Method for salad:
Season the baby lettuces with sea salt, fresh ground pepper and the lemon vinaigrette

Ingredients for candied walnuts:

Walnuts, cut into pieces 2 oz

Super fine sugar 1 tablespoon

Method for candied walnuts:

Place the walnuts and sugar in a sauté pan on low heat

Slowly caramelize the walnuts and cool on a sheet pan


Place one brioche circle on a plate

Place the apple on top

Top the apple with another brioche circle

On top of the brioche place the goat cheese mousse

Place the seasoned lettuces on side of the tart

With a spoon sauce the plate with the li hing mui syrup Sprinkle the chopped caramelized walnuts around the plate

Read More

Rice Flakes crusted Flounder with Tamarind Curry, Braised Green Papaya and Brocolini Florets


“The flounder is from sustainable aquaculture on Big Island in a recipe of Indian inspiration. The Poha rice flakes come direct from India. We make our own curry and spices from scratch. The tamarind curry and spices are all created in house from scratch. The advantage of the flakes is to protect the fiilet of flounder from being over cooked.”

Ingredient for rice flakes-crusted flounder:
¼ cup Cumin oil
As needed Indian rice flakes
5 each Skinless filets of flounder
As needed Sea salt
As needed Fresh ground white
As needed Clarified butter

Method for rice flakes-crusted flounder

Season the fish with salt.

Brush the flounder with cumin oil.

Crust one side with rice flakes

Saute crust side down with clarified butter

Ingredients for tamarind curry:
1 Tbsp Tamarind
1 Tbsp Grated ginger
1 Tbsp Chopped garlic
1 each Diced onion
1 tsp Tumeric
½ tsp Fenugreek
1 tsp Coriander seeds
1 tsp Fennel seeds
2 Tbsp Lime juice
2 cups Nage
¼ cups Coconut milk
As needed Sea salt
As needed Fresh ground white

Method for tamarind curry:

Saute the onion, garlic, ginger in oil.… Read More

Roasted Beet, Tomato and Avocado Salad with Li Hing Mui Dressing


The gorgeous Beet, Tomato and Avocado salad below—which, at Alan Wong’s Restaurant, is laid out like a haku (braided) lei on vertical plate—represents all that Alan Wong is as a chef.  Among his earliest creations—a brainstorm that came upon him when a young chef’s mother sent a homely gift to the kitchen staff—was a vinaigrette made with pickled mango, giving him the idea to pair the ingredients of his childhood with the techniques of his adult training. The ingredients in this salad speak of his commitment to local farmers. The simplicity and beauty illustrate his honesty and his unerring eye. 

Note: Ume, pronounced “ooo-may,” paste is the seedless ground flesh of the salty and tangy Japanese-style pickled “plum”—which is actually a type of apricot—found in Asian stores.

For the beets:

4 medium beets, 2 red and 2 yellow
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons water

For the salad:

2 small, ripe avocados
18 1/8-inch slices cucumber, halved
6 red cherry tomatoes
6 yellow cherry tomatoes
12 small endive tips

For the garnish and sauce:

Micro basil

1½ cups Li Hing Mui Dressing (recipe follows) Roast the beets: Preheat the oven to 350°.… Read More

Visiting With Pete Felipe


“From Pineapples to Greens”

“Don’t be afraid of weeds,” Lana’i master gardener Pete Felipe tells me as I interview him on the mechanics of gardening and his personal history.  “Weeds are a sign your soil is healthy and you can use them in your compost pile.”

We are seated on old salvaged metal chairs found at a garage sale, in the shade of ironwood pine trees bordering his garden on the island of Lana’i. Several cats lounge on the clutter surrounding us: old equipment parts, rolls of fencing material and piles of lumber. And, he says with his eyes twinkling, “Never throw anything away as you may need it later.”

Pete Felipe was the model for time/motion studies for the Dole Company’s Lana’i plantation. The engineering department needed a person who knew how to do all of the different tasks involved with picking and planting pineapples. “So they made me their guinea pig,” Pete laughed.… Read More

Bee Love Apiaries


Rescuing Bees

The blonde, petite woman proudly showing me her halfdozen beehives on a tree-covered section of this15-acre Big Island farm in Papa‘aloa guides me away from a buzzing beehive box full of worker bees, drones and a queen.

“We should stay away from that one,” says Jenny Bach, 29. “They get easily annoyed.”

I interpret that to mean the 10,000 German bees—also known as black bees—that make up each of the hives at Bee Love have a tendency to sting. I give the hive a wide berth.

Jenny, who lives on this nearly completely self-sustainable farm with her husband, South African Jio Rosenberg, directs me to a friendlier group. “Over here; these bees are very mellow,” said Jenny, who was born on O‘ahu and raised on the Big Island. Jenny then asks, “Are you afraid of bees? Are you allergic?” I reply, “Only the stinging variety,” joking, but I am the only one laughing.… Read More

Dining Guide Spring 2011


Restaurants are chosen for this dining guide because of their emphasis on using local, seasonal ingredients in their menus, creating a distinctly Hawaiian Islands Experience. — Let them know we sent you. Aloha!


12th Ave Grill An Award Winning Neighborhood Gem offering the Ripeness of the Season and the Best of Hawai`i’s farms and ranches. Wine list, unique microbrew beers and scratch bar cocktails are the perfect pairings for any palate. Warm service in a Bistro style complement this serious Contemporary American Cooking. Reservations 732.9469. Follow us on Twitter @12thavenuegrillnow

EAT Honolulu Chef David Passanisi serves up Hawaiian Regional Cuisine in his own fantastic Rustic Gourmet way. Our unique private dining concept includes EAT-ATE-TAE, a 24 course Seasonal Deconstruction and EATnPrivate, which seats up to 14 people, available by reservations only. We incorporate as much locally made and produced items as possible and work with all styles of cuisines.… Read More






I truly appreciate all that your publication does to promote and support locally grown/produced foods in Hawai‘i.

“While building TOWN almost six years ago, I recall wondering if people would ‘get it’. Would the community appreciate our mission to support local farmers, our simple ingredient-driven food, and our changed-daily menu that reflects only those ingredients that are at their peak? Today I relish in the reality that TOWN has been embraced by our guests as a leader in the local food movement and more importantly, as a vital member of the Kaimuki community. I’d like to express my appreciation to the informed readers of Edible Hawaiian Islands for voting for us.… Read More