MY HAWAIIAN KITCHEN
Delectable memoirs of living on the slopes of Mt. Hualalai high above the famed Kona Coast on the beguiling Big Island of Hawaii.
Dear Journal - We followed the obscure directions we had on a scrap piece of paper to lead us to a hot pond tucked away in the jungle just off the coast near Isaac Hale Beach Park. With flip flops, swim suits and towels we trooped onto the beach until we found the easy-to-miss path heading mauka (towards the mountains). Through thick growth we wove this way and that, our intrigue leading us on, until we found it. It was like something out of a south seas movie. There in the black rocky lava surrounded by overgrown vines, trees that touched the sky and palms of all shapes and sizes was a perfect natural hot tub. The eerily still, crystal clear, magnetic blue water beckoned but was somehow oddly scary at the same time. Sense of adventure intact, towels and assorted gear quickly hit the jungle floor with a soft plop and we slid into the warm water. Aaaaaaah! Ooooooooh! Heated personally by Pele (volcano Goddess) and the hot lava from far below the earth's surface the water caressed us in delicious warmth. We stayed in that heavenly pool a good long time just soaking up the wonder of it all. When we got home late that afternoon with hungry tummies we absolutely knew that dinner must be as luscious as the day. It was.
1 pound pork tenderloin, sliced into thin strips (or chicken breasts, or nice big prawns)
1 tablespoons dark shoyu (soy sauce)
1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
1 teaspoon sambal oelek or other Asian chile paste
2 cups or more broccoli or asparagus, chopped into big bite size pieces and steamed or blanched until just barely al dente
1/2 - 3/4 pound thick-ish rice noodles, cooked al dente, rinsed in cold water
Drizzles of oil for stir frying
1 small sweet onion (Maui, Walla Walla or Vidalia), chopped
4 green onions, cut on the diagonal into about 1/2 inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 - 3 tablespoons ketchup
Zest and juice of 1 lime (or lemon)
2 tablespoons rice or white vinegar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons shoyu (soy sauce)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon sambal oelek or other Asian chile paste
1/3 cup salt macadamia nuts, chopped (or peanuts)
1 egg, beaten
1-2 cups fresh bean sprouts
Garnish: chopped fresh cilantro, chopped nuts, lime wedges and more chile paste
Mix 3 tablespoons shoyu, granulated garlic and 1 teaspoon chile paste in medium bowl. Add sliced pork tenderloin and mix well to evenly coat meat. Set aside for 30 minutes to 4 hours to bask in all that flavour.
Cook broccoli or asparagus til just barely al dente, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking, drain well, set aside. Cook rice noodles again til just al dente, making sure they're completely cool by rinsing well with cold water. Set aside.
Next get all your flavour ingredients into little bowls, so when you start to stir fry you can just go at it. The French call this 'mise en place', meaning 'everything in place'. I call it 'making cooking a breeze'. So put chopped onion, green onions, chopped garlic, cilantro, ketchup, lime juice and zest, vinegar, fish sauce, shoyu, brown sugar, sambal, nuts, beaten egg and sprouts into little bowls, cups or containers. Cover with saran and set aside.
When it's fry time, heat large non-stick skillet or wok over high heat with a drizzle of oil. Add marinated pork and stir fry 3-5 minutes until there's some marvelous crispy edges and the meat is slightly caramelized and cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside for a wee bit. Hit the hot pan with a bit more oil if necessary and add chopped onion. Stir fry about 2 minutes until edges are starting to caramelize, add green onion and garlic, cooking another 1-2 minutes. Add cilantro and stir. Quickly rinse cooked, cooled rice noodles with a bit of water to loosen them up and add to hot pan. Reduce heat to medium and stir fry about 1 minute. Stir in ketchup, lime zest and juice, vinegar, fish sauce, shoyu, brown sugar, sambal, nuts and beaten egg. Cook, stirring gently, turning, mixing and evenly combining the glorious flavours and textures for about 1 minute. Add broccoli or asparagus, pork and bean sprouts and continue cooking, stiring, turning gently for another 2-3 minutes. Serve hot with garnishes. Makes 2-4 servings. Mmmmmm. Great with ice cold beer!