Jun 27, 2020

Spicy Edamame That's Also A Nutritious Snack.

Spicy Edamame
Soybeans, also known as edamame, are cooked and coated with a spicy kimchee sauce.

14 ounces frozen edamame (in pods)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
3 tablespoons of Mitsukan Seasoned Rice Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds

Boil the edamame in their pods, in enough water to cover them, for about 5 minutes then drain. You want the soy beans to be just barely cooked, not overcooked.

While the edamame is boiling, simmer the garlic, and ginger in the sesame oil over low heat. Then add the drained edamame stirring and tossing to coat with the oil mixture.

Pour in the soy sauce, Sriracha sauce, tomato paste and vinegar while mixing to coat the edamame well.

Turn off the heat and remove edamame to serving dishes (with an empty trash bowl on the side). Sprinkle each serving with sesame seeds and serve.

To eat you just suck the tender beans out of the spicy coated pods (make sure you suck all that spice and oil off the pods and don't forget to lick your fingers too--it's so good) then discard the pod.

Makes 4 servings.

Apr 21, 2020

Something Delicious for Dinner Tonight

Smoked Ham Hock with Lentils
This is a delicious dish and it's easy to make.

1 smoked ham hock (found at Kualapuu Market on Moloka'i)
water to cover ham hock plus 1/2 inch
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 cups of thinly sliced carrots
2 cups diced onions
1 cup diced celery
3 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
2 cups dry lentils
1 tablespoon of Tamari sauce or (to taste). Found in the Asian section of most grocery stores.
Garnish with chopped fresh parsley
Serve with 1 loaf of sliced French bread (toasted)

In a medium sized pot, large enough to hold all of the ingredients, add the ham hock and enough water to cover it plus about 1/2 inch of water. Bring to a slow boil and simmer for two hours, covered. The smoked ham hock is cured in salt and smoked, so the salt and smokiness will flavor the water giving the dish a lot of flavor.

After one hour and 15 minutes of cooking, remove the ham hock to a cutting board. Remove all of the bones and cut the meat into bite sized peaces. Add the chopped ham hock meat and the rest of the ingredients to the ham hock broth, except for the Tamari sauce and chopped parsley. Simmer the vegetables and lentils in the broth for about 25 to 30 minutes. The Tamari sauce adds wonderful umami flavor plus it adds a little more needed salt to the dish. Add it slowly, stir and taste as you go. Now taste the lentils and veggies to make sure they are cooked through.

That's it, serve in soup bowls garnished with chopped parsley. Serve with sliced, toasted French bread. I like it with served with melted butter brushed on.

Makes 4 servings.

Dec 30, 2019


I have eaten fried calamari in many Italian restaurants. Calamari steaks on the other hand come from giant squid usually found in the cold waters around the world near continental and island slopes from the North Atlantic Ocean, especially Newfoundland, Norway, the northern British Isles, Spain and the oceanic islands of the Azores and Madeira, to the South Atlantic around southern Africa, the North Pacific around Japan, and the southwestern Pacific around New Zealand and Australia. Specimens are rare in tropical and polar latitudes.

I first had calamari steak "strips" on the Hawaiian Island of Maui while sitting at a golf club bar in Kahului. They were served as an appetizer with drinks, and are delicious served as a first course or a lite meal.  If you live on Molokai, you can usually find these steaks at Friendly Market (see photo below). 

Here's my recipe, I think you will like it:

Calamari Steaks Cut Into Strips And Pan Fried

Click on photo to view larger

Ingredients for fried calamari steak cut into sticks:
4 calamari steaks that were already tenderized
Package of two frozen calamari steaks
from Friendly Market on the Hawaiian island of Moloka'i

Click on photo to view larger
1/3 cup of canola oil for frying in a large skillet
2 eggs beaten in a small bowl
3/4 cup of cornmeal
salt and pepper for seasoning

Ingredients for dipping sauce:
1 14-ounce can of tomato sauce
1 lime or lemon
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
hot sauce to taste

Place oil in a large skillet. Place each calamari steak on a cutting board and cut into 1/2 inch wide strips. You will get 5 strips per steak depending on the size of the calamari steaks. Season the sticks with a little salt and pepper to taste. Beat eggs in a medium size bowl and place the calamari steak sticks into the eggs to coat them. Now put the cornmeal on a large bowl and coat the calamari sticks with the cornmeal. Fry the coated sticks in the skillet over medium high heat until crisp, turning the sticks while cooking them. These cook fast – do not overcook as they will get tough!

I usually make a dipping sauce out of a 14 ounce can of tomato sauce that is seasoned with fresh lemon or lime juice, garlic powder and a little hot sauce to taste. Enjoy!

Makes 4 servings.

For other octopus recipes on tastinghawaii.com, click here.

Lemon Garlic Calamari
This dish makes a great appetizer. Serve over a bed of greens for a salad course, or over pasta for an entrĂ©e. Serve with the same wine you used for cooking. 

1/2 pound calamari
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Large squeeze fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.

Add wine, reduce by half. Add calamari; toss to coat; and cook for about 2 minutes or until just translucent (be careful not to overcook).

Add butter and swirl to melt. Remove from heat.

Squeeze the lemon in, sprinkle with parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Makes 2 to 4 servings.

Calamari Salad
This is a wonderful main-course salad using squid (calamari), that has been briefly cooked then marinated in a flavorful dressing.

1 1/2 pounds of cleaned squid
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Red Boat brand fish sauce
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 small red onion, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise (1 cup)
1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved lengthwise
1 cup of red and 1 cup of yellow cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Rinse squid under cold running water, then lightly pat dry between paper towels. Halve tentacles lengthwise and cut bodies (including flaps, if attached) crosswise into 1/3-inch-wide rings.
Cook squid in a 5- to 6-quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, until just opaque, about 60 seconds of cooking is all it takes. Drain in a colander and immediately transfer to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking. When squid is cool, drain and pat dry.

Whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, oil, fish sauce, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl, then stir in onion and let stand 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine squid, olives, tomatoes, celery, and parsley in a large bowl. Toss with dressing and let stand at least 20 minutes in the refrigerator to allow flavors to develop.

Makes 4 servings.

Fried Calamari
The secret to tender yet crunchy calamari is to start with a soak in buttermilk. This slightly acidic liquid gently tenderizes the squid, and since the buttermilk is extra thick, it helps the breading adhere to the rings, eliminating the need for beaten egg. For added crunch, you can’t beat cornmeal; its fine, pebbly grains fry up crispy. Serve with your favorite marinara.

1 pound cleaned squid, tubes cut into 1/2-inch-thick rings and tentacles left whole (about 2 cups), rinsed
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 3 1/4 ounces)
3/4 cup corn flour (about 3 1/4 ounces)
6 Tbsp. fine yellow cornmeal (about 2 1/4 ounces)
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
Lemon wedges, for serving

Place cleaned squid pieces in a medium bowl. Pour buttermilk over squid, and toss to coat. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

Meanwhile, pour canola oil to a depth of 1 3/4 inches into a Dutch oven; heat over high to 375°F.

Stir together all-purpose flour, corn flour, cornmeal, Old Bay, and 1 teaspoon of salt in a shallow dish.

Working in batches, remove squid pieces from buttermilk, allowing excess to drip off. Dredge squid pieces in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Add to hot oil, and fry until lightly golden and crisp, about 45 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a wire rack set over paper towels to drain. Let oil return to 375°F between batches. Transfer fried calamari to a large bowl, and toss with remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Transfer to a platter, and serve with lemon wedges.

Makes 4 servings