Hawaiian Picnic Vegetables

A Drive to Kahuku Point
Stingrays, Squid and Starfish

Cooking Asian dishes with Asian eggplants

Asian Eggplants

This is a method he Kamai’ina or old-time Hawaiians used to fix vegetables for grilling at barbecues.

“Let’s drive out to around  Kahuku Point, out past Waiale’e. It’s one of my favorite beaches,” Cousin Hank said. “The road’s poor, but when you get Continue reading

Hawaiian Raspberry Ribbon Pie

Kamai’ina Favorite
A Pie for the Non-Baker

Making Hawaiian Raspberry Ribbon Pie

Hawaiian Ribbon Pie, Finished with Macadamia Garnish

This pie is a favorite of the Kamai’ina, or old-time Hawaiian settlers, many of whom came from New England.  It is delicious and very attractive.

It also has one other strong point, if you don’t enjoy baking, as it doesn’t need to be baken in the oven.  You do need to make the crust, however.

This pie, also called simply Raspberry Ribbon Pie, has been popular among old Kamai”ina (long-time resident) families for generations. Continue reading

Ginger I

Tamil Time-Traveler
As Fundamental as Onions

“Fresh ginger is as fundamental to the Asian kitchen as onion is to European cuisine.” — Molly O’Neill

Ginger Flower

Ginger, like Rice, was an ancient Tamil time traveler around the Pacific Rim.  Ginger, which grows underground and has beautiful red and yellow flowers above ground, is one of the most important foods in Asian kitchens.  And it is healthy, too!

Continue reading

Hawaiian Cuisine

Multi-Layered Cuisine
Luau’s, Poi, Poke, Tikis and Spam

“Mangoes of golden flesh, with turpentine

Coconut Palms

“Peel and odor. Plums of inky stain
“And the pucker of persimmons….” — Genevieve Taggard, “The Luau” [1]

“Shrimps, sea-urchins, lobsters, crabs and various kinds of shell-fish, as well as sea weed….” — Henry M. Whitney, Hawaiian Guide Book, 1875 [2]

The Paradise of the Pacific is truly Continue reading

Ginger II

The Ultimate De-Fisher
As Fundamental as Onions

“Ginger is forever.” —  Molly O’Neill

“Half the secret of good cooking lies in de-fishing the fish, or anything in which you wish to soften down the animal flavor.  Ginger is of course a de-fisher.”– Buwei Yang Chao

Ginger in Asian Kitchens:Ginger appears in Continue reading

Ginger

Tamil Time-Traveler
As Fundamental as Onions

“Fresh ginger is as fundamental to the Asian kitchen as onion is to European cuisine.” — Molly O’Neill

Ginger Flower

Ginger I – Ginger Basics: Ginger, like Rice, was an ancient Tamil time traveler around the Pacific Rim.  Ginger, which grows underground and has beautiful red and yellow flowers above ground, is one of the most important foods in Asian kitchens.  And Ginger is healthy, too!

Natives of South India: Linguistic detectives have found out that the names for Ginger in the Indo-European languages all come from ancient South Indian languages Continue reading

Spam

Legacy of the American Military
More Novel than Anything Else

“Some of these throwback dishes were best left in the past.” —Kate Bernot

 

Cooking with Spam

Spam

Spam is not perhaps an immediate association with materials used by Pacific Rim cooks. But it does have a minor niche. Wherever the American military went in the Second World War, Spam went with them. Continue reading

Spam Sushi

Barack Obama Likes This
Hawaiian Comfort Food

“Some of these throwback dishes were best left in the past.” — Kate Bernot

“In  Hawaii, Spam Nigiri is ubiquitous.  You can get it at any 7-11.” — Ivan Lee

I

Spam

t’s a bit like Loco Moco or a couple of other Hawaiian favorites. If you grew up eating them, you probably still crave them. Hawaiian comfort food. At least, that’s what Barack Obama did — on a trip to Hawaii after his election in 2008, he was seen enjoying Spam Sushi. [1]

Spam Sushi is not exactly sushi in the usual sense of the word. It’s basically a piece of Spam integrated with rice in a way that looks sushi-like. Continue reading

Pacific Rim Cusines – Overview

Cooking – The Oldest Art

Chinese Tang Dynasty art from Silk Road

Chinese Men in Foreign Dress
Tang Dynasty Figures from the Gobi Desert

Our focus is the food and cooking of the Pacific Rim, but it is also a story of human history. As Brillat-Savarin said, “Cooking is the most ancient of the arts, for Adam was born hungry.”

With such a wealth of culinary styles, ingredients, cooking methods and national ways, how can we make some kind of order out of this ocean of recipes? It’s a good idea to create a kind of grid or structure to group the major national cuisines that we will feature in this Site. Continue reading

Germaine Swanson

Germaine’s of Washington
The First pan-Asian Restaurant!
IViet Nam - Saigon mapf you traveled to Washington, DC in the 1970s and 1980s, you may have visited Germaine’s Restaurant on Wisconsin Avenue in upper Georgetown tor some of her Asian food.

If you lived in Washington during that period, then Germaine’s was the place to take visitors from out of town, to show them that you were in the know.. Her restaurant survived for two decades, a rare thing for restaurants, anywhere. Germaine’s  clients Continue reading