Monday, March 27, 2006

foodie two days

Yesterday, we had dinner at my Aunty Merle's house. My family gets together for dinner almost every Sunday and my mom and her sisters take turns cooking. This has been going on since way back when.

My Aunty loves her kitchen and also loves to try new recipes. She fried up some soft-shelled crabs. This is a local favorite and you can usually find them inside of temaki (handrolled sushi). Although these guys weren't too crispy (because she didn't deep fry them) they were still delicious. She also made an "Italian" type of dish using eggplant, green peppers, ground beef, onions, cheese and a tomato sauce. And also cooked some miso butterfish, just in case my Grandma didn't want to eat the first two dishes.

Miso butterfish is also a local favorite. You can find it in most Japanese restaurants. And the supermarkets also sell them already marinated. Butterfish is actually sablefish(which is also called black cod) marinated in miso, sugar, ginger and sake overnight then either grilled or cooked on a pan. The fish is quite oily so it is very flavorful and moist.

Dessert was from the bakery at Daiei. Daiei is actually a supermarket in Japan, but came to Hawaii about 20 years ago or so. The bakery had some pretty interesting stuff. Mochi (rice cakes) filled with sweet bean paste which were baked into a sweet bread type dough, they were called mochi an pan. Coconut bread filled with a vanilla custard. This bread was so light and airy.

We also had Sam Sato's manju. Sam Sato's is a diner in Maui. They are known for their saimin (a local kind of noodles in broth) and manju. Manju has a pie crust like outside and is filled with sweet bean paste. This manju comes from the island of Maui and is a popular omiyage (souvenier). In Hawaii, when we travel to the other islands (on business or for pleasure), we usually bring back a popular food item from that island for our families, friends and/or for the office. Sam Sato's uses the white sweet bean paste instead of the black one.

My Aunty also made her own manju but put peanut butter and jelly inside since she ran out of the sweet bean paste.

I think I ate more dessert than dinner...

Today, I went to lunch with my friends, Wen & Steph. We went to a new restaurant in Ala Moana Shopping Center called Romano's Macaroni Grill.

This restaurant is part of the Brinker International company, they also own Chili's. The restaurant is decorated to look and feel like you're entering a ski lodge. I ordered the Chicken Fontina Salad. This salad was great! A light lemon-garlic dressing over chopped spinach, orzo, olives, sun-dried and fresh tomatoes, and capers. Can I just say, the portions are huge! I couldn't finish my meal and took half of it home.

It's nice to be back in the U.S. where you can order a salad as an entree and have so many choices on the menu that you have to ooh and awe over it, then bite your lip because you can't decide what the heck to order because there are just too many choices! Despite the rain, we had a nice lunch and a great time shopping.

Last but not least, my friend Wen, made these moist brownies, a belated birthday gift. They were really good and chocolatey! (Thank you!!)

Hopefully the rain will have let up for awhile, although the forecast says it will continue to rain for the rest of the week. Most islanders are getting a bit down about this weather (since it has been going on for the past 4 weeks or so), but hey! at least there's leaves on most of the trees and it isn't butt freezing cold, right??

Have a great week!

Sam Sato
1750 Wili Pa Loop
Kahului, Maui
Phone: 808-244-7124

Daiei USA-Kaheka
801 Kaheka Street
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808-973-4800

Romano's Macaroni Grill
Ala Moana Shopping Center, Ho'okipa Terrace, 4th floor
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808-356-8300


Anonymous said...

Yum yum yum!! And boy do I hear ya about the lack of salad entrees here in Japan, but then getting floored at the choices in the West!! I didn't realize Hawaiian local cuisine was so similar to Japanese cuisine--very interesting! :D yumm, real chocolate brownies!! sigh! lol.

Anonymous said...

I feel like I am travelling to Hawai with you! Soft shell crabs! Miam! I wish I were there now!!!

K and S said...

Hi TM & Bea,

Glad you are enjoying the ride!

Take care.


Anonymous said...


I just loved reading this! I love reading about everyone's customs and how the best traditions always involve family. Love it!

K and S said...

Hi Ivonne,

This is what I love about blogging, all of us sharing our foods & cultures!

Glad you liked this one!


Pille said...

Kat - that miso-marinated fish sounds delish - a Japanese friend of mine used to make something similar, but now she's back in Japan:(
And my little sis is called Merle, just like your auntie:)

K and S said...

Hi Pille,

Thanks for stopping by! It's too bad your friend had to go back to Japan, I bet you're missing that miso marinated fish that she used to make!

Merle is such an uncommon name here, it's interesting that your sister is also named Merle! :)

Take care.


polly + dieter said...

do you know any sources for sweet bean paste or where to find good recipes for it or variations of it?

K and S said...

Hi Polly + Dieter, Here is a link to make your own sweet bean paste, you can use almost any type of beans.