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Kim Chee, Pastele and Chorizo Sausages

Top to bottom (or back to front): Ume Musubi, Pickled Cucumber, Maui’s Uradomo Farm’s Takuan (ichiban!), Kim Chee Sausage, Pastele Sausage and Chorizo Sausage

In spirit of the popular Portuguese Sausage Shootout, here’s a further spin on ethnic variety in the form of Kim Chee, Pastele and Chorizo Sausages! Who woulda’ thought? Yes, give a butcher some casings, ground meat and a bunch of ethnic flavorings and things like this do happen as we see here!

You can’t help but think to yourself when seeing something like this on the store shelves, “I wonder how those taste? Does the flavor actually resemble what it’s labeled as?” Well, those questions certainly crossed my mind, so nothing else to do but throw them in the cart and give ’em a spin!

These three sausages are all made by Kukui Sausage Company in Honolulu, Hawaii. Here is each one in detail…

Kim Chee Sausage
Ingredients: Pork, Water, Salt, Vinegar, Flavorings, Paprika, Sodium Nitrite, Chili Powder, Cabbage, Garlic, Scallion, Sugar, Fish Sauce, MSG

Pastele Sausage
Ingredients: Pork, Bananas, Salt, Black Pepper, Tomato Paste, Achote Oil, Spices, Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Nitrite

Chorizo Sausage
Ingredients: Pork, Vinegar, Parika, Garlic, Chili Powder, Black Pepper, Spices, Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Nitrite

As you can see, these are all pork-based sausages, and from there the flavor components completely take a different course.

Hawaii’s culinary scene is no stranger to these three flavors due to the contributions of our fellow Korean (Kim Chee), Puerto Rican (Pastele) and overall Latino (Chorizo) folks.

So how do they taste? First of all, notice that I accompany these rather heavy-hearted foods with my trusty Ume Musubi, Takuan and pickled cucumber. These help buffer the palate and also bring balance to an otherwise oily affair.

Right down to it, the Kim Chee and the Pastele both taste as advertised. The Kim Chee sausage taste like Kim Chee-flavored pork and the Pastele Sausage tastes like a “porky” pastele. That really is the best and only way I can explain it.

With the Kim Chee sausage, there’s actual slices of cabbage mixed in it, so the texture further reinforces and convinces you what it’s supposed to be. I would recommend they make this one a little more spicy-hot; not too hot, but more than what it is so that you really are convinced this IS Kim Chee sausage. Still, that flavor is there and you know it upon first bite.

Here you can see a slice of Kim Chee cabbage in the sausage…

I can see cutting this into cubes and adding it to the classic Kim Chee Fried Rice.

In truth, I didn’t like the Chorizo Sausage at all. It lacked quality in flavor, tasting mostly like a spicy porky “something”. Worst of all, it falls apart as it cooks, turning into basically a sauteed ground pork with a strangely-spiced flavor profile. There’s no way this even comes close to that good stuff in the green can.

My favorite, and certainly the one shining with the most character and most true to it’s labeled name is the Pastele Sausage. While I won’t say you can taste the bananas in it, there’s something about that ingredient that gives this sausage its signature flavor. It’s really hard for me to describe this, but it’s really good and taste, well, like Pastele Sausage! Shouldn’t it?

You can sort of see the complexity involved in this cross section of the Pastele Sausage…

This is certainly one you must pick and try if you like the flavor of Peurto Rican style Pasteles.

Any of these three would be a welcome addition to an ethnically-charged fried rice.

1st place: Pastele Sausage
2nd place: Kim Chee Sausage
3rd place: Chorizo Sausage

Once again, I highly recommend the Pastele Sausage if you like pasteles. This hits home.

Kukui Sausage Company
Honolulu, Hawaii 96819
(808) 841-8843

P.S. I’ve added Frank’s Foods (Hilo), Redondos (duh!) and Kukui brand Portuguese Sausage to “The Great Portuguese Sausage Shootout” entry.

Portuguese Sausage Shootout

12 thoughts on “Kim Chee, Pastele and Chorizo Sausages

  • July 29, 2007 at 8:39 pm

    Nice post! Love the pics :P

    In regards to your inquiry, I have the index.php page of my URL redirect to the wordpress file. Actually you can just upload the wordpress files directly into your root folder and not even have the /wordpress at all! I didn’t discover this until after I started the blog, and since it would take a lot of reformatting some image links, I decided not to… but http://www.daleyasunaga.com has it set up this way so that the wordpress folder never appears!

    Here is the HTML redirect script that you add to your own index.html or index.php page to redirect automatically to your wordpress directory:

    It simply goes into the META tag of your page, and then change the URL to fit the one you want it to redirect to!

    Hope that helps!

  • July 29, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    Oops! It tried to load the META tag code in your comment, haha! Here it is, just add the “” brackets to the end to make it work!

    meta HTTP-EQUIV=”REFRESH” content=”0; url=http://www.yourdomain.com/index.html”

  • August 6, 2007 at 6:37 pm

    I love pasteles. Now I really got to try Pastele Sausage. Sound interesting. Thanks………

  • October 18, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    Absolutely loved this post…never heard of kim chee and pastele sausage! I’ll definitely be on the lookout for these next time I’m back home. :-)

  • July 10, 2011 at 8:44 am

    I live in Los Angeles and is familiar with portuguese sausage not so of kimchee
    and pastele sausage. Wiill these sausages available in the mainland?

  • July 10, 2011 at 9:23 am


    the best thing I can say is to call Kukui Sausage Company up (808-841-8843) and ask if they distribute to any retailers there in California. The first place that comes to mind would be Marukai Market, which has many locations in California, including one in West LA.


    I checked Hawaiian Food Online, and they only sell Purity brand Portuguese Sausage (my favorite!).


    Hope this helps!

    • December 30, 2015 at 3:16 pm

      Aloha Melissa,

      Not exactly the prettiest looking dish, but here’s arguably one of the most delicious versions of Pastele you can eat, being what you mentioned, Pastele Stew (“liquid” pastele!)…


      Pastele Stew from Hilo Hattie’s Kona Bean Cafe (RIP)


      Mini plate version…


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