Even breakfast goes without bread. Rice is so central to the local diet that the merest whisper of a hurricane or -- heaven forfend -- a dockworkers strike will clear supermarket shelves of every last grain (and, oddly, of toilet paper). On a recent visit, I went straight to my favorite deli to get me some. I remember the eager manager leading me down the supermarket's "ethnic" aisle. Rice mo betta. And over the decades, they shared their families, marrying to produce the most ethnically diverse state in the country, and perhaps its only real melting pot. If you can't find salted salmon -- a Japanese staple called shiozake that is like salt cod -- substitute lox. Loco moco is a Hawaiian dish prepared with white rice, ground beef steak and fried egg, all topped with gravy. Wash the seaweed, and chop it into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces. This recipe is adapted from The Food of Paradise by Rachel Laudan (University of Hawaii Press 1996). And since we're on salt again, remember my box of Morton's kosher? Remove any excess oil from the pan and set aside for the gravy. the woman behind the counter asked me. Cut the fish into 1/2-inch cubes. https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/242489/mauigirls-loco-moco Soak salted salmon in cold water for 1 hour. Top with hamburger patty. Mix ground beef, 1 egg and onion in a bowl. Lomilomi means "massage" in Hawaiian, and this dish is prepared by rubbing the ingredients between your fingers. Rinse and repeat if necessary to temper saltiness. The best place to look for any items that seem obscure is an Asian market. Return the pan to medium-high heat, and cook the egg sunny side up or over easy. Add toppings. Saimin is a common snack or late night (read: post-bar) meal. What is loco moco? Let cool completely. Soft, salty, nutty, unctuous. Rice, a beef patty, sunny-side up egg and gravy. Serve well chilled, alongside a bowl of hot, short- to medium-grain rice. Add the flour and whisk out any lumps to create a smooth roux. He handed me the kosher salt I'd been looking for. Form into 4 patties. Right next to the bottle of "chili peppah watuh," the spicy tincture that is Hawaii's answer to Tabasco. It is also the name of a chain of Hawaiian restaurants offering a variety of local rice dishes. Variation: My favorite variation leaves out the shoyu and adds sesame oil, ground candlenut (Brazil nut can be substituted), a bit of sliced scallions and rock salt. "One scoop, two scoops?" And for good reason. And that pot got carried into the kitchen. Gently stir in the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined. Rice even delivers dessert. Optional - serve with suggested toppings. It has not been tested for home use. Slowly add the beef broth, stirring constantly until smooth. At a luau. In the fields, they connected their unfamiliar words with bits of English to create an enduring pidgin. For the plate: Serve the burger patties on a bed of hot steamed rice, with a fried egg over each and gravy drizzled on top. Cook until thickened and the flour taste is gone. It must be eaten with chopsticks -- called "hashi" in Hawaii -- or your plate will be revoked. There is no bread -- or at least no good bread, save the eggy, Portuguese sweet bread called pao doce. But what I love most about local food is that every time I dig my chopsticks into a bowl of noodles or a Styrofoam box of plate lunch, I can taste the cultures that created it, the things they gave and took from one another to make the 50th state the most authentically American of them all. The Moco part was added because it rhymes. These tasty, no-fuss noodles are available all over Hawaii at places called "drive-ins," which are half-diner/half-coffee shop. Apply shoyu or chili pepper water to taste. https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a53319/loco-moco-recipe https://www.food.com/recipe/hawaiian-loco-moco-hearty-breakfast-456109 Total Carbohydrate And yes, I even love Spam musubi. Honolulu was my home until five years ago, and I always found the "ethnic" aisle -- where taco shells and pasta had also been exiled -- the clearest expression of Hawaii's culture. 4 eggs 2 cups precooked rice 1 lb of 30% fat ground beef Salt and pepper Chives, as needed 10 cherry or grape tomatoes. I love oxtail soup. Hot rice. Remove skin and bones from salmon and shred with your fingers. Miso paste frolics with sauces and dressings, dried squid swims among the Doritos and other snacks, and the seasonings for the Portuguese pickled pork vinha d'alhos are in the spice aisle right next to the packets for Filipino adobo. Bite-sized morsels of pounded rice dough called mochi get stuffed with ice cream in flavors like green tea, lilikoi (passion fruit), ginger and vanilla. I also had a side of lomilomi salmon -- "massaged" salted fish that's iced with tomatoes and scallions. Pan fry or broil the patties to desired doneness. Drain and pat dry. Any sushi-grade fish, or even octopus, can be used for poke. 108.4 g This is an inexpensive dish, easy and quick to make and containing only ingredients that are almost always available at home which makes this dish extremely popular. At lunchtime, whole ahi tuna lie on the stainless steel counters of scruffy fish stores waiting to become poke -- cubes of raw fish dressed with seaweed and sesame oil that I call "poor man's sushi." A bits-and-pieces cuisine, "local food" is the culinary equivalent of pidgin. Truly the breakfast of champions, the mix of fat, carbs and protein in this dish keeps surfers going all day.

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