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Ah Fook’s No-Ka-Oi Brand Portuguese Sausage


Ah Fook’s No-Ka-Oi Brand Portuguese Sausage

Pop an extra blood pressure and/or statin pill, because it’s that time again to review yet another brand of island style Portuguese Sausage. This time from the valley isle of Maui, we have Ah Fook’s No-Ka-Oi Brand Portuguese Sausage.

I picked these up directly from Ah Fook’s Supermarket in Kahului…

…which I believe is the only place you can get them. I didn’t see them in any of the Maui Foodland or Star Market locations.

As you see, they have both HOT and MILD. Here’s how they look uncooked out of the package…


Ah Fook’s No-Ka-Oi Brand Portuguese Sausage: Hot on the left, mild on the right

I notice the neighbor island manufacturers make their sausages in this U-shape rack-hanging style, while most of the Oahu manufacturers make their sausages in a straight tube shape. See my infamous Great Portuguese Sausage Shootout to see what I’m talking about.

Here they are uncooked and sliced so you can see the marbling…


Ah Fook’s No-Ka-Oi Brand Portuguese Sausage: Hot on the left, mild on the right

Fry ’em up in a little bit of oil and serve…


Ah Fook’s No-Ka-Oi Brand Portuguese Sausage: Hot on the left, mild on the right, with an Ume Nori Musubi and a slice of Maui’s Uradomo Farms Spiced Takuan

An Ume Nori Musubi works perfectly as an accompaniment to the salty, spicy, meaty sausage. Notice I also include my usual Takuan, which matches beautifully with the Portuguese Sausage – a trick I learned from the mama sans at the late Tropic Fish & Vegatable Center in Ward Farmers Market.

First let’s try the mild…


Ah Fook’s No-Ka-Oi Brand Mild Portuguese Sausage

Considerably salty in a good way. Although the ingredients list sugar in it, I couldn’t quite detect any sweet going on. At least, not nearly as much as my other favorite, Purity brand. Certainly smokey, but not overpowering. Kinda’ “beefy” even though there’s no beef in it, probaby due to the smoke accent. The pork seems to be more in whole chunks than ground up. Plenty of fat marbling for that all-important flavor punch. The casing also seems natural, not the collagen stuff, although I’m not sure, as it doesn’t specify on the ingredients listing.

To sum it up, it tastes more like home-made Portuguese Sausage; da’ ‘kine your uncle with the smoke house on the Big Island would send you every Christmas as a gift. It has that kind of backyard style flavor.

Do I like it? I LOVE IT. Easily at the top, sharing that spot with my other favorite, Purity, and Franks from the Big Island. Solid 5 SPAM Musubi for Ah Fook’s Mild Portuguese Sausage.

Now let’s sample da’ HOT ones…


Ah Fook’s No-Ka-Oi Brand Hot Portuguese Sausage

Ooh man, it’s certainly HOT. Although not quite “Hurry! Get me a glass of water NOW!” hot,  it’s definitely got some kick. Other than that, it has all the same attributes I described of the mild version. Which means this one also gets a solid 5 SPAM Musubi rating.

So next time you visit Maui, make sure to stop by Ah Fook’s Supermarket in Kahului and pick up a few packages of their No-Ka-Oi Brand Portuguese Sausage to bring home. In the now crowded arena of island style Portuguese Sausages , theirs is “no ka oi” (number one best) indeed!

What? Ah Fook’s No-Ka-Oi Brand Hot and Mild Portuguese Sausage
Where did you buy it and how much did it cost? Ah Fook’s Supermarket in Kahului, Maui. $2.49 per 7 oz. package
Big Shaka to: Perfect blend of salt and other seasonings. Perfect accent of smoke flavor. Perfect amount of pork fat marbling. Solid chunks of seasoned pork. Casing has a pleasing, natural texture.  AMAZING with Maui’s Uradomo Farms’ Takuan.
No shaka to: Currently not available at Oahu retailers (to the best of my knowledge)
The Tasty Island rating: 5 SPAM Musubi

Related links:
The Great Portuguese Sausage Shootout – The Tasty Island

P.S. While I was at it, I tried making Kinpira Gobo with Portuguese Sausage from Jean Hee’s most excellent local cook book series titled ‘Best of the Best Hawaii Recipes’.

Here’s how it turned out….


Kinpira Gobo with Portuguese Sausage, featuring Ah Fook’s No-Ka-Oi Brand, served with Takuan and an Ume Nori Musubi

Here’s the recipe:

Kinpira Gobo with Portuguese Sausage
• 1/2 pound gobo, scraped clean, slivered and soaked in water
• 1 tbsp oil
• 1 tbsp dried shrimp, minced
• 1/2 cup Portuguese sausage, cubed
• 1/4 cup soy sauce
• 3 tbsp sugar
• 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
• 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
• dash pepper

Heat oil and saute shrimp. Drain gobo and add shrimp; stir-fry 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and continue cooking over medium heat until sauce is absorbed.

Variation: Slivered carrots may be added for color.

So I followed this recipe to the “T” (except I used the frozen packaged, precut Gobo and Carrots) and it turned out pretty good, but I think it calls for too much shoyu (1/4 cup), as it was kinda’ salty and over-marinaded with that flavor. At least with the Yamasa brand shoyu I used. If you make this, I’d recommend using less shoyu – like say about 1/8 cup – or perhaps using a more mild shoyu like Aloha’s low sodium stuff. Other than that, the Portuguese Sausage certainly brings plenty of complimentary flavor to the Kinpira Gobo party, as does the subtle accent of the minced dried shrimp (Opai).

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28 thoughts on “Ah Fook’s No-Ka-Oi Brand Portuguese Sausage

  • November 8, 2009 at 6:53 pm
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    OMG- I always have a supply of these as well as Kulana Blood Sausage in my freezer. Thank god for neighbor island relatives. LOL

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  • November 8, 2009 at 7:00 pm
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    These are great stuff to throw on the grill at the beach. Eat em with rice and Takuan…ONO

    Next time when you’re picking up some of No Ka Oi Sausage, get some of thier boiled peanuts too…..

    Reply
  • November 9, 2009 at 7:15 am
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    Pomai, when coming back from Hawaii I brought some of Ah Fook Spicy Sausages and use it in Jambalaya and pizzas. It was great and mild one for quinches with spinach.

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  • November 9, 2009 at 9:56 am
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    very awesome presentation!!!! almost lunch time here….ya killin’ me with the photos again!!!

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  • November 9, 2009 at 10:09 am
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    I predict a cholesterol rise in my near future. One more thing to look for next time I go there.

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  • November 9, 2009 at 10:12 am
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    I never thought of eating portuguese sausage with takuan. What an awesome combination! I’ve seen Costco selling rectangular shaped portuguese sausage – a port. sausage/takuan musubi sounds good, too!

    I’ve never had home-made portuguese sausage. It makes me want to fly to the neighbor islands just to get some.

    Reply
  • November 10, 2009 at 7:23 am
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    I love Ah Fook’s. The old store, before the fire, was really cool, old-time vibe. This one’s fine too, really nice people in there. And yeah, the sausage is THAT GOOD. ;)

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  • November 11, 2009 at 6:49 am
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    Marcus, the new Ah Fook’s is very small compared to the old location, but even within that tiny space, they have some very unique merchandise you can’t get in the big supermarkets. Da’ kine “Chinatown” ‘kine stuff.

    Deanna, give Portuguese Sausage with Takuan (a.k.a. Takuwan) a try. It’s really ono! Especially with some scrambled eggs and rice to go along with it. It’s good with Beni Shoga too. Any Tsukemono. I think it’s the fattiness and the spices that make the two taste good together.

    If you don’t know anyone that makes home-made Portuguese Sausage, Ah Fook’s No-Ka-Oi brand would be your best bet.

    Spotty, like I said in the opening sentence, make sure to pop an extra statin pill. My body’s still trying to recover from the last Great Portuguese Sausage shootout. lol

    Raph’, thanks!

    Betty, I wouldn’t use Ah Fook’s brand for something like say Portuguese Bean Soup. It’s tastes too good for that, where it would otherwise get drowned out. Best eaten as is, just pan-fried. It’s also a little more expensive. I’d use a cheaper, easier-to-get brand instead for recipe dishes (I won’t name names).

    Val, funny you mentioned that. I went spock da’ boiled peanuts in the reefer case and they looked so ono. IIRC, they also had spicy boiled peanuts and garlic style. If you come to Oahu, you gotta’ try Alicia’s large Virginia style boiled peanuts. Seasoned and cooked PERFECTLY. One of the best on the island, IMO.

    Yoro, how about some Sun Noodle Portuguese Sausage Ramen? How you figgah’, would work or what? Nah, I don’t think so. Maybe Portuguese Bean Soup Ramen. lol

    Reply
  • November 11, 2009 at 4:24 pm
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    Pomai, well I got to see if it would work well all I can some people who ate it said need more to it other not sure. So there you have even I would say not sure also.

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  • July 15, 2011 at 6:04 pm
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    Pomai…I just went to Ah Folks…and there was a sign saying that No ka oi was closing. I grew up eating their sausage and will be heartbroken when they close. We come from Oahu, and every time we come to Maui we just got to load up on the good stuff……another childhood favorite turns into just a memory.

    Reply
  • July 16, 2011 at 12:55 pm
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    keliipono, bummers! Ah Fook’s No Ka Oi is definitely in my top 3 of brands, sharing the same spot equally with Frank’s (Big Island) and Purity (Oahu). I think I still have a couple in my freezer, and I’ll certainly savor it when I eat it. Good thing I got to blog about it so the memory will love on. Mahalo for the update.

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  • July 19, 2011 at 2:48 am
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    A friend of mine posted on Facebook what keliipono said so my wife made a stop at Ah Fook’s on Saturday…all gone! Supposedly there’s a couple more shipments before no more! And to think, we only got to have it once, because I found this review a few months ago. It had replaced Uncle Louie’s as the one to eat!

    Reply
  • July 22, 2011 at 2:28 am
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    Hi Everyone,
    Just heard from my mother that the Maui No Ka Oi brand portuguese sausage (both mild and hot) will be gone by next week.
    There is some fast action that needs to be taken by the people of Maui. It is made in Kihei. Crazy idea, no?
    Ah Fooks in Kahului has been carrying it, and it brings people into the store big time. Raymond Hew runs Ah Fooks, if you don’t already know. May hurt Ah Fooks in the whole picture if this happens also.
    Is there anyone who would take over the business or maybe for the time being have volunteers to rotate going to Kihei and help helping out or to change their minds and/or find a replacement? Anyone willing to take charge of this task to organize the move to keep this business going on?
    I am back here in Illinois and can’t be there to do the above. Please help. This would be one of the last local, treasured by the locals, foods.
    Maybe one of the BHS or LHS, Maui, or other alumni classes, even grammar school alumni could help as a group project and aid. Time is shorter than short -Next week being the last – so move has to be swift.
    Portuguese soup, fried with/and for breakfast and many more are so important to Maui… Help now before too late please!
    Another thought, maybe some hotel, restaurant, or large organizsiton could get involved by this week to save the sausage called Maui No Ka Oi brand made in Kihei.
    Aloha,
    Carol Ann (Endo) Betlinski :8-)

    Reply
  • July 23, 2011 at 3:22 am
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    Carol, I’ll give Ah Fook’s and/or Raymond a call and get more information on this. Perhaps I can help by getting the word out in a post on this blog. There’s bound to be some lucrative business potential with the “No Kai Oi” brand name and their most EXCELLENT sausage products.

    Reply
    • January 27, 2013 at 5:21 pm
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      Hope you are not giving up on the Maui No Ka Oi sausage.
      As they say, never too late…
      Please contact me and let me know what is going on with your attention to this issue and dilemma.
      Will be on Maui in Feb.
      If you are from there and would like to pursue this business not going under completely, please contact me.

      Reply
  • August 11, 2011 at 2:40 pm
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    Pomai! Horrible NEWS!!!! The family that makes No Ka ‘Oi Sausage has stopped making it and doesn’t wanna sell the recipe. Therefore whatever sausage you have in your freezer will be your last! I was planning to go to Maui in a couple of weeks and looking forward to Sam Sato’s and more No Ka ‘Oi sausage….NO MORE!!!

    Reply
  • August 14, 2011 at 11:24 am
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    Jon, sorry to hear that. I didn’t get around to calling them, but I’ll still try, as I’d like to get more information on what’s happening. I thought I had some No Ka Oi sausage stashed away in my freezer, but I just checked and no moah!

    Oh well, good thing I reviewed it on this blog, along with pretty good photos of the product, so Ah Fook’s No Ka Oi Portuguese Sausage has been virtually immortalized for us to come back and remember. Man, that almost sounds like a eulogy. lol

    Thank God Sam Sato’s is still around. You also gotta’ try Alexander’s Fish ‘n Chips in Kihei. The best batter!

    Reply
  • August 18, 2011 at 3:28 pm
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    Pomai I received my 10 lb. order of smoked cured real Portuguese 5 lb. linguica and 5 lb. chourico sausage (comes in three heat levels) from Gaspar’s Portuguese Sausage Company the largest Portuguese sausage maker in the USA to supplement “green can” chorizo and Rego’s Purity Hawaiian Portuguese sausage. I can’t tell you how great it is to be tasting Gaspar’s again with marinated thick chunks of lean pork loin encased in natural casing. Gaspar’s regular linguica taste like the “Green can” chorizo but you can dice it and it will hold diced shape and Gaspar’s chourico kicks it up a notch or two or three with the chili water marinated pork loin (which you can also dice and it holds diced shape). Next order I’ll get some Portuguese sausage franks and hamburger patties.

    Reply
  • August 20, 2011 at 10:56 am
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    K3en, that’s interesting that the same production facility that makes Rego’s Purity Portuguese Sausage also makes the “green can” Chorizo. That “green can” Chorizo is still the best and I think worth the lofty price as far as indulgences go (as are sausages in general).

    Reply
  • August 20, 2011 at 12:51 pm
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    Pomal I think you misunderstood what I said. First; fat-fingers me hit both 3 and e kays at same time. Second; the “green can” chorizo that is well liked in Hawaii is a product of Armour-Eckrich Meats LLC Cincinnati, OH. Rego’s Purity Foods has been operating over 50-years in Hawaii and the family originally immigrated to Maui from the Azores Islands in the late 1800’s and established their roots here. The Portuguese sausage production facility is in Honolulu and products are marketed under both the Rego’s Purity and Hawaiian Brand names. Gaspar’s Portuguese Sausage Company is located North Dartmouth, MA. and was founded 1912 by Manuel A. Gaspar who emigrated from Portugal bringing with him the recipes for Portuguese smoked cured linguica and chourico. Gaspar’s is the largest single producer of Portuguese sausage in the United States with over 3 million pounds a year shipped. Gaspar’s regular linguica taste like the “green can” chorizo but does not fall apart when diced because of the large chuncks of pork lion encased in natural casing. The portuguese chourico is produced like the linguica but is spiced up with chili water to three different heat levels.

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  • October 5, 2011 at 11:48 am
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    So sorry to see this brand go. My folks still live on Maui and were shocked to arrive at Ah Fooks with “no can get ” sign posted. I will try other recommended brands , but have been disapointed on the Mainland. Any suggestions will be helpful. I’m down to my last 2 No Kai Oi HOT. Address withheld to prtoct the sausages.

    Reply
  • April 22, 2012 at 4:10 am
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    From what i understand the Ah fook’s burned down and the family reciept has vanished. I too live in Chi area and am searching for the No Ko ‘Oi product. Chi is the Sausage MFG capital of world and i’m sure a similar product can be found. I have eaten Aloha Links portugese sausage and must say its a very close second best.

    Reply
    • January 27, 2013 at 5:28 pm
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      How ’bout this all…
      I too live in Chi as you said you do, wishing somehow, someway we could save the Maui No Ka Oi product.
      The Ah Fooks has rebuilt and now a year without the sausage, I still think of it, and when looking at the pictures, my mouth waters.
      I am not familiar with the Aloha Links or where to get them, but would also rather not like to give up on the No Ka Oi Brand revival attempt.
      What can we do?

      Reply
  • June 15, 2012 at 3:42 am
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    No, Tim, Ah Fooks burned down awhile ago and is now rebuilt; picture above shows new location.
    Someone could contact anyone they know and ask about the restarting or buying of the Maui No Ka Oi brand business because there is no other like it. Others on other islands, mainland, and who knows where else have stated so.
    No one should let this kind of long standing top quality, small as it seems, product and business go so easily. Look at how many people on the tiny island depended on this product.
    Now that it is gone, and people are down to near 0 in their rationed last purchase of the sausage, they may feel more remorse that nothing or not enough was done, but contacting locals is the start, big businesses, don’t know, but the same exact process as was daily used to produce the quality it had has to be honored, and needs to be considered when going forward with whoever or however this attempt to keep the business reopened or revived. Need some good local people to help out in the future.
    Raymond’s store burned down and with encouragement as well as the kind of man he is, he rebuilt and made his new beginning, but now this? The sausage was only sold at his store.
    Think of the people on Maui, Raymond in trying to provide for the locals, and someone step up to make this sausage come back, yeah?
    Aloha,

    Reply
    • June 16, 2012 at 3:13 pm
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      Wow Carol, you sure have a lot of passion for the Ah Fook’s Portuguese Sausage brand. And I heartily stand by the idea of a prospective business partner taking it over. Just the “Maui No Ka Oi” name alone has GREAT MARKETING POTENTIAL. Basically anything associated with Maui is either a.) very cool, or b.) very ONO!

      I LOVE MAUI! :-)

      Reply
    • October 14, 2012 at 4:22 pm
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      Thx Carol. My search will continue for a quality product as Ah-fooks but haven’t yet found it….:(

      Reply
  • July 10, 2016 at 9:40 pm
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    It’s been years, but I still seriously miss the No Ka ʻOi sausages.

    Reply

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