Sunday, June 17, 2007

e komo mai

"E Komo Mai" means "welcome" in Hawaiian. In Hawaii, we don't usually use this phrase in everyday conversations, but you will often see it around at entrances to restaurants or subdivisions. On my trip home in January, I bought this welcome mat at the Swap Meet (a flea market)--I was bummed that it was made in the Philippines and not made in Hawaii. Still, it brightens up our entryway.

If you remember, while I was in Hawaii, Satoshi came to re-new his drivers license and we met up with friends. (Before we moved to Japan in 2001, the Dois were in Hawaii too. Mr Doi works for a hotel. After moving to Japan, we've gotten together with them several times for dinner.)

We've talked about having them over for dinner or heavy pupus (Hawaiian for appetizers), but with everyone working (except me), it was hard to get everyone's schedule free...until today.

The menu I planned was not too fancy and usually things you can find at pot-luck parties in offices or homes in Hawaii.

Layered Taco Dip with tortilla chips
Chinese Chicken Salad
Spicy Poke
Kim Chee Dip with crackers
Deconstructed chocolate haupia pie

Layered Taco Dip is Satoshi's favorite. I've mentioned this before but this is what Satoshi asks for when we are throwing a party in our home. It also has become sort of a tradition at our Christmas parties. One of Satoshi's friends actually said that it isn't Christmas unless he eat this dip...kind of like needing turkey for Thanksgiving I guess...

Chinese Chicken Salad is my favorite. Actually, I like the dressing because of its sweet/sour flavor.

Spicy Poke was a new recipe for me to try. Sam Choy (you may have seen him cooking with Emril on the Food Network) is the "master of poke" in Hawaii and also has a contest every year on the Big Island to find the best poke. I found a recipe in the Honolulu Star Bulletin while home in January. (Nate, since I can't send some over to you, this photo is for you!!)

Spicy Poke by Sam Choy taken from the Honolulu Star Bulletin 1/31/07
1 lb. ahi (tuna) cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 medium tomato cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 cup ogo (limu kohu seaweed) chopped
1/2 cup onion cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 cup cucumber cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1/2 cup diced green onion
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed minced chili pepper (seeded)
1 teaspoon kim chee base
salt, pepper to taste

Serves 16--1/4 cup servings

NOTES: this recipe makes a LOT of poke. I used 473 grams of maguro (tuna) (about a pound according to the conversion calculator that I used). Also, I used the poke packet that I bring home from Hawaii. Inside the packet is dried ogo--all I did was reconstitute it in water and chopped it up. Since Mrs Doi either cannot eat cucumber or doesn't like it, I didn't add it in. Make this a little prior to serving so that all the flavors can meld and can be served cold.

Kim Chee Dip was a last minute addition. I knew there was a super easy recipe but I didn't have it in any of my cookbooks. Thank goodness for the internet, it hooked me up with the recipe.

From HECO (Hawaiian Electric Company)

1/2 cup chopped kim chee
8 oz. cream cheese cut into quarters
1 tablespoon kim chee juice

Whiz in a blender add more kim chee juice if needed. Chill and serve with crackers or chips.

NOTE: I only had half of the cream cheese amount, so that was what I used. I stuck everything into the food processor, unchopped, and just whizzed everything just a bit to have some texture from the chunks of kim chee. It is really fast and easy!

Dessert was a deconstructed chocolate haupia pie of sorts.

I made the haupia (coconut pudding/gelatin) using the NOH mix. I really wanted to make everything from scratch but couldn't find all the ingredients in time.

The chocolate pudding was from a mix too, Jell-o. I toasted the macadamia nuts the night before and put everything together this morning.

NOTES: I'm gonna try making this from scratch, the haupia mix is not too coconutty and the chocolate Jell-o is too sweet and overpowers everything.

We also had wine called Birillo made by Tenuta Marsiliana. A couple of months ago, I had this wine with dinner and really liked it, so I hunted for it around our area but came up empty handed. Then one day while surfing the internet, I found it online in Japan and quickly ordered 2 bottles. This "mini Super Tuscan" wine is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot and Shiraz.

The Dois also brought Santero's Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay--it was good, dry and reminded me of champagne.

We sure had a lot of food, I hope the Dois had a nice time.

Have a great week.


Cass said...

Mmmm, that all looks so good. Your blog is making me long to try Hawaiian food. I'll have to get over there some time. Have you been to many Hawaiian restaurants in Japan?

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic menu, Kat! It's funny because I know so many people who make a version of the layered taco dip. It's always such a crowd-pleaser.

Have a great week, Kat!

Anonymous said...

That poke looks SO ono! And you've got me craving Ted's chocolate haupia pie right now. Hope you had a great feast.

OkiHwn said...

The poke looks great! Guess I'll go buy some tuna tomorrow!

K and S said...

Thanks Cass,
I haven't been able to find many Hawaiian restaurants in Japan.

Thanks Ivonne!

Thanks T, aaargh Ted's you've made me crave it too :)

Thanks Okihwn, can't wait to see your version of poke.

Take care everyone!

OkiHwn said...


My really favorite pie is the chocolate-cream pie from Sunny Side on Kilani St. in Wahiawa. You ever had it? I could eat the whole thing by myself if I had the chance. But my family loves it too.

K and S said...

I've never had that pie, Okihwn, it was always sold out when we've gone there. I'll have to try again next time I'm home :)

Take care.

2kamuela47 said...

Hey Kat,

As always you really prepared an awesome spread of food! I really love taco dip and it's usually during the holiday season when I have my fix of it.

And yes my favorite chocolate cream pie is from Sunny Side...I think I had that pie about a year ago, people tell me you have to get there real early to get those pies and the peach pear pie is awesome too!

See ya,

Anonymous said...

E komo mai...what a beautiful reminder of home (even if it was made in the Phillipines!) ;-)

K and S said...

Thanks Laura, I've never tried Sunny Sides pies so I'll definitely have to do that the next time I'm home.

I know Rowena! I couldn't believe it after buying it...

Take care you two.

Monique said...

What a nice gathering! At first, when I saw your picture, I thought it was a cake, but it's a mat! Very pretty. Must bring you back memories of home.

K and S said...

Thanks Monique. I guess that mat does kind of look like a cake. :)

Take care and thanks for stopping by.