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Archive for August, 2010

Sometimes traveling with no destination in mind is a good thing. A chance to experience new places and sensations and meet new people. Okay, enough with the philosophy, on with the food!

Awhile back, my cousins P & B asked if I knew any good ramen shops.  I recommended here: http://maps.google.com/places/us/hi/honolulu/kapahulu-ave/617/-tenkaippin-hawaii?hl=en&gl=us. We made arrangements to try it on Friday for lunch. This place is known for their rich broths. One friend claims that the Kotteri broth was so rich, his lips stuck together.

Although it’s not on the menu, B ordered her ramen with “Kosseri” broth, a combination of Kotteri and Assari broths. The combination is supposed to be not as thick as the Kotteri broth with the addition of shoyu flavor. This combination was mentioned here: http://tastyislandhawaii.com/blog/2010/05/31/tenkaippins-assari-ramen/.

P and I ordered the Local Special Set consisting of fried rice and fried chicken. The thinking was that P & B could share each others dishes. I didn’t get a picture of B’s ramen (they already think I’m weird).  Here’s a picture of the fried rice:

Tenkaippin Fried Rice

and of the fried chicken:

Tenkaippin Fried Chicken

B enjoyed her ramen down to the last drop of broth. P liked his selection. Both really liked the garlic and chili condiment that sits on all the tables.

Garlic and Chili "Paste"

B put it in her ramen, P added it to his fried rice and made a dip for his chicken. The raw garlic and chili complement all the dishes. P and B were happy.

Although the fried rice was good, the fried rice from our local choy suey (Kin Wah) restaurant is still the best.

Afterwards we walked around to take a look at the new Side Street In On Da Strip and the music store next to the ramen shop.

I forget how the subject came up, but the topic of malasadas came up. P’s favorite place here is here: http://www.agnesbakeshop.com/. So, after lunch we took a drive over the Pali to eat malasadas. Here’s the location: http://maps.google.com/places/us/hi/kailua/hoolai-st/46/-agnes-portuguese-bake-shop?hl=en&gl=us.

The malasadas are fried to order and looks like it was dropped into the frying oil by hand (as compared to by machine or gadget).

Malasadas

This was my first time here and first time trying these malasadas (I’m so embarrassed). The taste and texture were different from the other bakeries that make malasadas.  It was very good. The bakery also makes pastries and breads.

Chocolate Covered Cake Nuggets

German Chocolate Cups

Potato Bread Rolls

Breads

If I wasn’t so full after lunch I would have taken home some of their pastries. That’s okay, another reason to revisit the bakery. :-)

Here’s a Wikipedia article for more information about malasadas: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malasada.

They also told me about this place that makes chicharrón: http://maps.google.com/places/us/hi/honolulu/n-hotel-st/131/-jimmy’s-produce-&-filipino?hl=en&gl=us. Which I visited after leaving them.

Chicharrón is deep fried pork rinds or meats. A better description is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicharr%C3%B3n.

The chicharrón here is deep fried pork belly. Talk about decadent!

Chicharrón

Chicharrón, Sliced

The was very good. Imagine the end slice of a perfectly roasted prime rib, you know the one that has the salt crust on the whole surface with crunchy, almost burnt, bits? The texture was crispy on all surface areas. I ate it with vinegar (one of the recommended condiments). The vinegar helped to cut the greasiness of it. It was a bit over the top for me (The Cat seems to agree). For me, I prefer the Chinese roast pork. The chicharrón was a bit too greasy for my taste. Some of the fat in Chinese roast pork seems to be rendered out during the roasting process. The deep frying of the pork belly seems to seal in the fat. Just my opinion.

All in all a good afternoon. Good food, new food, good conversation, fun times. One of my uncles is known for saying if you can’t have fun with your family, who can you have fun with?

Enjoy.

The Mouse

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Tokyo Negi

While browsing the clearance rack in the produce section the other day, I came across a package of Tokyo negi for $1.99. I’ve never tried Tokyo negi but the price has always been prohibitive for me to experiment with (usually about six dollars per pound). The package was at least a pound. There was not a whole lot of visible damage or yellowing of the vegetable except that the stalks and green portions were separated. I was curious for a while about Tokyo negi. Was is like a leek (which I’ve hadn’t had the opportunity to try yet either), or like a giant green onion (which I would know what to do with). In any case, $1.99 is an acceptable price for me even if the dishes were an epic fail.

Tokyo Negi

In scanning through the internet, I came across this article: http://www.honolulumagazine.com/Honolulu-Magazine/September-2004/Savoring-the-negi/. Since Tokyo negi could be used similarly to onions and green onions, I decided to eat it with sardines. I used the oil that came with the sardines to braise the Tokyo negi.

Braised Tokyo Negi

A bowl of rice, sardines, and Tokyo negi, a perfect meal.

Yum!

Because the Tokyo negi was purchased on a whim in the clearance section, I had to decide quickly what to do with it. I also wanted to do a clean preparation to focus on the Tokyo negi. Next time, I may add it to shoyu pork. Hmmm, the possibilities.

My only complaint is that the Tokyo negi is a bit more fibrous that onions, kind of got stuck in my braces. A minor annoyance.

Have a good weekend.

Enjoy.

The Mouse.

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Doufu Gan

During the field trip to the soybean factory this week, I bought some doufu gan (see 24 August 2010 post).

Doufu Gan

Doufu Gan, Interior

Doufu gan is doufu with most of its moisture removed. In addition, doufu gan usually has a coating of Chinese Five-Spice on its surface.  According to The Cat, doufu gan is traditionally stir-fried with celery.

Putting my own spin, this week, I added doufu gan to stir-fried zucchini,

Stir-Fried Zucchini with Doufu Gan

and stir-fried carrots.

Stir-Fried Carrots with Doufu Gan

In the past, I noticed that the Chinese Five-Spice coating on the doufu gan imparts a very subtle flavor to the stir-frys. I add more Chinese Five-Spice when I season the dishes.  Seasonings include salt, sugar, Shao Xing wine, and Chinese Five-Spice. The addition of Chinese Five-Spice to the seasoning increases the flavor to a more substantial profile.

Just a suggestion.

Enjoy.

The Mouse

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Beet Tops

Oftentimes, when I purchase fresh beets, the tops come with the roots. A couple of years ago  I came across this recipe: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/beet_greens/.  Since then, I’ve done variations of that recipe depending on what ingredients I have on hand at the time.

Beet with Top Attached

This time, after using the beet in a salad (see previous post), I braised the tops with a bit of bacon.  I don’t really care for the vinegar in the original recipe. I use Shao Xing wine instead.  Also, this time I didn’t have onions.

Braised Beet Tops with Bacon

Since the first time I tried cooking beet tops, I include the stems, cooking them a bit longer than the leaves.  The stems have a texture like celery, crunchy and slightly fibrous. I’m not sure if it’s because I include the stems, but my beet top dishes usually turn out redder than the picture of others. That’s why the bacon has a reddish/pinkish tinge.

I’ve grown to enjoy the beet tops just as much as the roots.

Enjoy.

The Mouse

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Beet Salad

My first experience with beets were sliced beets from a can, smothered with mayonnaise.  Since then, my taste has changed.  I prefer whole beets over sliced, fresh over canned, no preference between steamed or roasted.  For me, the simpler the preparation, the better.

Yesterday, I steamed two beets.  I didn’t want to fire up the oven for only two beets, plus it was too humid.  After peeling them, they looked like this.

Steamed and Peeled Beets

I cut them into wedges and sprinkled olive oil and sea salt over them.  For color and texture, I added marinated artichokes and mushrooms and olives I bought from the olive bar at our local Safeway market.

Beet Salad

This salad did not require much effort but hit the spot.

The Mistress Qi said we should eat foods in all of the colors of the rainbow. Yesterday, I think I got red covered. :-)

I’m sending this post to Deb at Kahakai Kitchen blog for her Souper Sunday feature:  http://kahakaikitchen.blogspot.com/.

Enjoy.

The Mouse

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