My girlfriend’s mother from Maui stayed with us this past week and cooked a few of her favorite dishes while here. What a treat!
One of those is her friend’s Warabi salad recipe, as shown in the first photo. That’s made with Warabi (fiddle fern), tomato, cucumber, kamaboko (fish cake – the pink and white stuff), seaweed salad (Korean style with sesame oil in it), prepared kombu (seasoned seaweed) and bago’ong (a Filipino fermented anchovie sauce).
How is it? EXCELLENT. A flavor and texture EXPLOSION. This is something I’d bring to a potluck.
A spin-off from that is this Tofu Salad…
While the picture isn’t going to win any awards since this was a packed lunch I took to work, the dish is perhaps a contender.
This uses the same prepared kombu, which has shoyu and sugar in it, imparting a robust, well-rounded flavor to the mild tofu and crisp cucumbers. Sugoi!
My girlfriend has Russian, Filipino, Spanish and Hawaiian heritage, with the Filipino side coming out strong from her dad’s (100%) side.
From her Filipino side, we have here one of the family favorites, Grandma Mary’s Tinola…
Tinola, a.k.a. chicken and papaya soup is a simple dish, made with chicken, green papaya, ginger and either Bago’ong or Patis. In this case, Bagoong (Bago’ong). Chili pepper leaves or other greens are also usually added, but not in this case.
How is it? I polished off about a half-gallon’s worth of it, if that’s any indication. It’s tastes like chicken long rice, sans the long bean noodles, plus the papaya, which has a squash-like quality, both in flavor and texture. MASARAP!
Next up, she made Dinuguan and Pancit…
Yes, pork blood stew. Traditionally the dish uses innards (gut stuff) from the pig, but modern recipes (like this) use only pork butt (shoulder meat). It’s sometimes referred to as “chocolate meat”. It may not LOOK very appealing, but let me tell you, it’s absolutely MASARAP (delicious)!!! There’s a secret ingredient (don’t ask, cause I’m not telling) that Maui Mom puts in her Dinuguan that sets its texture apart from all the rest. Not too dry, not too thin, but just saucy-thick-right over rice and noodles. The best!
Finally we have Granma Mary’s Pork Rolls…
Granma Mary’s Pork Rolls
This is like a Maki Sushi in architecture, where instead of rice making up the bulk of it, there’s marinaded and cooked pork. Inside of that is macaroni, eggs, red peppers and raisins, along with a tempura-style outter-crust, making this a contrasting flavor POWERHOUSE. It takes your taste buds into all kinds of directions. It’s totally crazy, yet absolutely OISHII-MASARAP-ONO-BROKE DA’ MOUT’ WHINNAHZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Aahhh, nothin’ like Mom’s cooking.