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