Saturday, May 9, 2009

North Shore Eats

In addition to amazing waves and sea turtles, Oahu's north shore has a pretty cool little main drag with fun resturtants and shops. We got some authentic Hawaiian style pizza at Pizza Bob's.
Yup, ham and pineapple, just like you would expect.
After that we stopped by Matsumoto's Shave Ice and got a couple larges with ice cream and azuki beans. Azuki beans are these crazy little red beans that have been boiled in sugar. This may sound weird, but it was really delicious.

Here is a sign that lists all the flavors; you can choose up to three. I went for coconut cream, raspberry and mango.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Hawaiian Luau and Plate Lunch

Josh and I had a great time in Hawaii. We will be posting more pics of the trip here. We had a great time kayaking, snorkeling, hiking and seeing the sights. But for me a big part of any trip is experiencing the food. So I'm going to post a bit about our food adventures.

For many, the first thing that comes to mind with Hawaiian Cuisine is a luau. We luaued at the Polynesian Cultural Center. The pi├Ęce de r├ęsistance was the kalua pork. Kalua means it has been cooked underground. At the PCC they make a big deal about pulling the pig out the steaming oven and parading it around. (It was great for effect, but I sort of doubt that was the same pig on the buffet.)
I loaded up my plate with a bit of everything on the buffet (I passed on the raw salmon, although the Asian family at our table couldn't get enough). The purple thing on the top is a roll made with taro, called poi in Hawaiian. It was a bit sweeter than a regular roll and very good. My favorite thing was to pair a piece of barbequed chicken and a bit of fresh pineapple. It was heavenly.
As it grew dark at the PCC they lit these magicial tiki torches. I really think everything tastes better by tiki light.
There was a fairly good selection of desserts. My favorite were the little white squares of coconut pudding. I had seen a recipe for it in a travel magizine and wished I could try some, so I was pretty excited to see it on the dessert buffet. The recipe seems so simple. Although I haven't tried to make any yet, I thought I would share.

Ingredients
• 2 14-ounce cans coconut milk
• 2 1/4 cups sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup cornstarch
• ground cinnamon for dusting or toasted coconut flakes

In a saucepan, combine the coconut milk with the sugar and salt. Bring to a full boil and cook for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In a bowl, combine the cornstarch with ¾ cup of water and, with a whisk, mix well into a slurry.
Immediately pour the slurry into the saucepan and cook, continuously whisking until the mixture thickens into a pudding, about 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat.
Pour the mixture through a colander.
Transfer the strained pudding into a nonstick 12"x6" deep dish or any other fun shape.
Smooth out the surface, and set aside to cool.
Refrigerate to completely set, about 2 hours.
Dust the surface with ground cinnamon or toasted coconut, slice, and serve.
This isn't from our luau but, I thought it was an inspirational presentation. The pudding could easily be poured into a tea cup or small bowl and chilled to create this fun shape.
After the luau, plate lunch is probably the most notable Hawaiian fare. Plate lunch consists of a couple scoops of rice, a couple scoops of macroni salad and a load of meat. This lunch came with fried shrimp, mahi mahi and barbeque chicken. I've become quite a fan of Hawaiian seafood, esspecially mahi mahi. Here's a picture of the weird little guy.
Josh opted for the teriyaki beef. Also note the Waialua Root Beer. We found this at a shop on the North Shore, the shop keeper explained that the soda is made with natural cane sugar from Maui, Big Island vanilla, and honey from Kauai. It tasted so good we had to go back and get some to bring home.