All posts tagged: food

Fish on Top

This weekʻs Weekly Photo Challenge, Cherry On Top, came at a great time. Poke is sold at most local grocery stores in Hawaiʻi, with lots of different varieties to choose from. I usually buy a tiny bit, whether it’s ahi (tuna) or salmon, made spicy or with some delicious condiment like shoyu (soy sauce) or inamona. Some grocery stores here actually sell poke bowls, which are fresh raw fish, topping a bowl of rice for lunch or dinner. I prefer just buying the fish and making my own poke bowl, or making my own poke, like when I make mushroom poke. After eating a few pieces of my poke, I’m usually left with a few chunks that have passed the raw “expiration” date, so I flash fry it in a non-stick pan to give it new culinary purpose. Once it’s done, I transfer it into a small bowl and onto some rice and voila! We have a modified poke bowl. This week’s poke leftovers was also tossed with onions and fresh, local limu (seaweed). Absolutely delicious!

Weekly Small Pleasures (#11)

It was a full week, but there were a few things that made it extra special. 1) Family – Even though I spent Tuesday in Honolulu with my parents going to medical appointments, it was also spent with aunties and uncles. One couple lives in Mililani and it’s been nice getting to know them throughout my mom’s medical hardships, since they lived on the continent when I was growing up. The other couple, who I consider my third pair of parents, lives in Arizona. It’s been along time since I last saw them, but I was reminded that thanks to them, I have a need for creative expression. 2) Twinsters – If you haven’t watched this heartwarming documentary, I suggest you do. I’ve already watched it twice on Netflix. Pop! 3) Nail Polish – After 40 years and hundreds of horrible do-it-yourself manicures, I’ve finally learned how to paint my nails. I always feel a lot more girly and feminine with some new nail polish, so I’ve decided to paint my nails every week. Yay! 4) Terrace House – I’m …

Weekly Small Pleasures (#10)

1) Prince – While classmates were going crazy for Madonna and Mariah Carey, Prince was the one artist who was continuously present for the major milestones in my life. Even though his artistry was usually perceived as eccentric, his musical genius was undeniable. With his sudden passing, I dug out his CD’s this past week and relived my life, captured through his music. Mahalo, Prince. 2) Spending Time with the Parentals – I flew to Honolulu on Tuesday to go to doctor appointments with my mom and when we were done, we escaped to Pearlridge for lunch and a bit of shopping before heading over to the airport. Although I can be happy being with them anywhere, the hospital is becoming the norm, so getting out is always a good thing. 3) Friends – If you don’t know by now, I have the best friends. I don’t have a lot of them, but the ones that I do consider my closest friends, know everything about me and continue to stand by me and make me laugh. …

Weekly Small Pleasures (#8)

1. Unulau. I was honored to attend the debut of my hula brother’s new hālau, Unulau, yesterday. They performed at Kaʻauea in Volcanoes National Park, overlooking Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. It was a great day to witness the arrival of a new generation of dancers from our tradition. 2.  Redux. I dusted off my Dinosaur-SLR and started taking photos again. It’s a joy getting back behind the camera, especially since most of my photos have been taken on my iPhone. Nothing wrong with iPhoneography, but it’s comfortingly different behind a camera. I ended up visiting Uwēkahuna, a bluff overlooking Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, and snapped some beautiful shots. 3. Foodie Splurge. I have been packing home lunch for the past year and enjoy knowing how much money I save not eating out, but this past week, I bought lunch twice and it was amazing. The first was at Miyo’s, one of my all-time favorite restaurants, which I enjoyed with colleagues and ate my favorite sesame chicken. The second was lunch bought at the cafeteria on campus, consisting of sautéed veggies, fresh greens, and furikake salmon. 4. Reality Check. I’ve …

Weekly Small Pleasures (#5)

Diet Overhaul:  If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably seen those food videos from the likes of Tastemade and Cooking Panda that speed-up the prep and cooking of different dishes. The dish is shown from start to finish in a matter of a minute and only after my newsfeed was inundated with these videos was it confirmed for me, the amount of sugar and salt that’s in the American diet. Getting older means my body is evolving, so I can’t eat like I used to, not just because it’s not good for me, but because unhealthy food and large portions just don’t taste good or satisfying to me like it used to. Late last week, I decided to cut sugar, salt, pork, and beef from my diet for three months for a necessary detox. I’ve been told it’s commendable, but yesterday was day 3 of smaller portions, veggies, and tofu, and truth be told, I had a multi-sensory dream of eating wafu steak and a “traditional” loco moco the night before and it was not pretty. Being from Hawaiʻi, where food is so much a part of our local culture, it’s not surprising that …

Que se le ofrece, Caserita?

Outdoor markets in Lima, Peru, can always be interesting and rewarding, especially if you are looking for fresh products or tasty treats. As you pass by a stand the vendors will loudly greet you with “Que se le ofrece, Caserita?” (What can I offer you, lovely customer?) and it can get overwhelming seeing all that they have to sell, but this should not deter you from walking through an open market. Some of my most memorable experiences of living in Lima come from these open markets full of vibrant colors, bustling noises, rich conversations and intense smells. During a lunch outing with my cousins we decided to visit the neighborhood of Lince and eat at a small cevicheria stand at the local market where the fish being prepared for the customers was brought over from the adjacent stand. Seeing all the fish and seafood options was mind-boggling but soon realized I didn’t need to worry as I was going to be eating the catch of the day in my ceviche dish and wouldn’t have to …

Weekly Small Pleasures (#2)

Mokuola Honua I attended a symposium for the establishment of Mokuola Honua, the Global Center for Indigenous Language Excellence. It was powerful to learn about what’s happening in Scotland, New Zealand, and various indigenous communities around the world and I’m grateful to have been able to stand shoulder to shoulder with colleagues who are committed, not just to the revitalization of their languages, but also the cultural and overall well-being of their respective communities. Costco Finds  I love finding new products to try at home. Some are a hit, while others are miss. This time around, I lucked out. Aidell’s Teriyaki and Pineapple Chicken Meatballs. I’m not big on processed foods these days, but on my trip to Costco last Sunday, I found this item in the refrigerator section and thought to give it a try. In typical Costco fashion, these delicious, no-nitrate meatballs come in a monster two-pack that can be refrigerated or frozen for later use. Fully cooked, they’re great for a quick bite, after a thorough re-heat. LOOKA Frozen Macarons. Hilo is blessed with lovely bakeries that make delicious macarons, but sometimes, I’d like to …

Weekly Small Pleasures (#1)

I stumbled upon the Weekly Small Pleasures blog event on fellow blogger Mani’s A New Life Wandering. Although I’m late to the party, it’s exciting to have the opportunity to reflect upon and post about things that make every week special. Mauna Kea – I took a trip to Kona yesterday to pick up replacement contact lenses from Costco, after 2 months of being forced to use glasses. On the way home, I popped in a new pair and the first thing I saw was Mauna Kea. Beautiful. ʻŌlena Tea – My friend Miles gave me a box of ʻōlena (turmeric) he harvested from his garden and I’m so excited. Nothing wrong with the processed powder, but using fresh roots are way better, so after sharing my stash, I cleaned, grated, and froze the rest. Now, I have a cup of tea every night before bed. In addition to its long standing ayurvedic benefits, the root is also used in Hawaiʻi as a tea/tonic for maintaining overall health. Kainoa’s recipe: Add boiling water to a teaspoon of grated ʻōlena in a mug. After a minute, add a slice …

Makuʻu Farmers Market

Believe it or not, I had never been to the Makuʻu Farmers Market before this morning. Maybe it’s because it only opens on Sunday or because it’s all the way out in Pāhoa, but I’ve never had the pleasure of visiting this lovely little market and I’m glad I finally did. The market is open every Sunday, from 8:00a-2:00p and gets hopping during the mid-morning, so if you want to avoid the crowds, get there by 9:00. Be sure to have $1 ready to pay for parking in the little gravel parking spaces on the premises. People are always coming and going, so you won’t have to wait very long for a space. The first thing that’s different from the Hilo Farmers’ Market is that Makuʻu is much bigger, with space to roam without bumping into people. The next is that there are a lot more food vendors at Makuʻu, so many that it can get overwhelming. Indian, Thai, Filipino, Hawaiian, Mexican, and Samoan food vendors, as well as wood fired pizza, French crepes, and smoothies. I opted for takoyaki and …

Misadventures in Seoul

I had read about Dongdaemun being the mecca for traditional medicines in South Korea and being that I long divorced myself from over the counter pain relievers and embraced ancestral knowledge by opting for traditional medicines, like my preventative daily tonic of ʻōlena tea, I just knew I had to go there. After arriving in Dongdaemun, I walked briskly on the main drag, keeping up with people rushing off to work, but after a few moments, I realized I was lost. None of the names I saw on the signs looked vaguely familiar and to avoid looking like a pathetic tourist like I did yesterday, I ducked into Coffee Bay Coffee and Bakery, to let the foot traffic die down, check my metro map, and enjoy two lattes while I continued pecking away at my computer to bide my time. In the meantime, I enjoyed two coffees: a goguma (sweet potato) latte and a red velvet latte, each being 3300 won. I don’t know about you, but getting a less than $3 regular latte is …

678 Hawaii

I’ve been wanting to try Kang Ho Dong’s restaurant, 678 Hawaii, when it first opened its doors in 2012, but because I never spend more than 4 hours in O’ahu at a time, I’ve never had the pleasure, so I was tickled when a group of us went there for dinner on Wednesday night. We decided on the large Mixed Combo with pork belly, prime rib eye, and a marinated boneless short rib, and also came with 2 stews, so we ordered the kimchi and the seafood soft tofu stews. There was a nice variety of side dishes awaiting us on the table, along with a refreshing greens you can mix into a spicy salad, with what I could recognize included scallions, bean sprouts, lettuce, and gojuchang (pepper paste). For good measure, we ordered some melon soju. Everything was delicious, and even though we had pupus (finger food) prior to our reservation, we still threw back a considerable amount of food, then packed the rest. The service was exceptional and the patrons reflected a broad mix, from families, to college students, to visiting …

O is for Obon

Obon season in Hawaiʻi is special. Bon dances are so prevalent here that every summer, an exhaustive calendar advertising every single bon dance in the islands appears in newspapers and blogs. Local communities, regardless of religious affiliations, descend upon their neighborhood hongwanji to engage in fellowship, to enjoy the food, and to participate in honoring ancestors. It’s a pastime that’s been around since Japanese first immigrated to Hawaiʻi. Growing up on Kauaʻi, my family went to the neighborhood hongwanji and Jodo mission just for the food. Dinner consisted of teriyaki sticks, flying saucers, and saimin. Oh, the comfort foods of home and the season. Although bon dances are a tad different here in Hilo, the feeling of walking into a space, seeing the yagura, and people dancing around it, makes me feel at home. These days, I love dancing the night away to the beats of the live ensemble. I don’t know all the dances, but one day, I will. April is the start of the A to Z challenge. Check out other blogs participating in this challenge at: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com