The Great Portuguese Sausage Shootout Hana Hou: Mainland vs. Local


West & East Coast vs. Oahu Portuguese Sausage

If you’ve already read the original “Great Portuguese Sausage Shootout” on this blog, you’ll know I practically had a stroke upon doing that. While I’m back in great physical condition once again, weighing in at 166 pounds stable, just the thought of taking not 2, but 5+1 more “bullets for the team” has me quivering in a bathtub filled with Lisinopril pills.

While I’m certainly not gay, on the polar opposite of that, neither am I the hardcore “manwhore” carnivore macho type. You know, sitting at the dinner table while bouncin’ ‘n poundin’ away with a knife and fork tight-fisted in both hands, demanding in a Viking-like tone, “More meat! More meat! More meat!”. lol

I’m actually more the hopeless romantic type, however that’s a topic for another time and day.

Anyhow, I owe this one to reader and friend Ken-san, who was so kind to share with me what he proclaims to be the best of the best America has to offer for “true” Portuguese Sausage, in the form of Gaspar’s brand, hailing out of New Bedford, Massachusetts. While I’ll also throw in Silva’s Portuguese style Sausage, hailing from the west coast, in Gilroy, California. These two mainland brands will be pitted against Oahu’s “top 3″, being Redondo’s, Gouvea’s and Rego’s Purity brands.

I know, I know, you Big Island folks are gonna’ rebuke, saying “no comparison if no more Frank’s or Miko’s”. However, those brands are difficult to come across here on Oahu, where Marukai and select other specialty stores seem inconsistent in how they order them.

Enough with the intro’, let’s get this shootout on!

The criteria we’ll use for this comparo’ will be as followed, which are pretty much par for the course as far as tasting these type of sausages are concerned:

FLAVOR (1-5: 1 being least to 5 being most)
Salty | Sweet | Acidic | Spicy | Smokey | Robust-Savory-Umami | Porky | Beefy | “Mystery Meatish” | Fatty | Overall

TEXTURE
Dry or moist? | Lean or fatty? | Fine or chunky? | Casing: Snappy or soft?

OTHER (1-5: 1 being least to 5 being most)
After-taste?
Compliments accompaniments?
Would I buy this again?

Wow. That’s quite a list of standards to judge by. However, that did indeed help me make a calculated decision of what to look for in this hana hou (encore) round of the “Great Portuguese Sausage Shootout”.

That said, here’s the contenders….

MAINLAND

GASPAR’S Linguica Mild Portuguese Brand Sausage
Origin
: New Bedford, Massachusetts
www.gasparssausage.com
Ingredients: Pork, water, vinegar, nonfat dry milk, salt, paprika, spices, garlic, sodium nitrite.
Nutrition facts: Serving Size: 2 oz (57.0 g) Amount Per Serving. Calories 130. Calories from Fat 80% Daily Value*: Total Fat 9.0g (14%). Saturated Fat 3.5g (17%). Trans Fat 0g. Cholesterol 40mg (14%). Sodium 510mg (21%). Total Carbohydrates 1g (0%). Fiber 0g (0%). Sugars 0g. Protein 11g. Vitamin A (6%). Vitamin C (0%). Calcium (2%). Iron (6%).
Place of purchase and price: Omiyage (gift) from friend and reader, Ken-san

Let’s unpack it…


GASPAR’S Linguica Mild Portuguese Brand Sausage

Slice ‘em up…


GASPAR’S Linguica Mild Portuguese Brand Sausage

Next…

SILVA SAUSAGE Hot Linguica Hickory Smoked Portuguese Style Sausage
Origin: Gilroy, California
www.silvasausage.com
Ingredients: Pork, Wine, Vinegar, Paprika, Salt, Nonfat Dry Milk Powder, Garlic, Sugar, Ceyenne Pepper, Crushed Chili Peppers, Spices, Monosodium Glutamate and Sodium Nitrite.
Nutrition Facts: Net Weight 13 oz. (367g). Serving Size 2.0 oz (56 g). Servings per container 6.5. Amount per serving: Calories 180. Calories from fat 140. Total fat 15g (23%). Saturated fat 5g (26%). Cholesterol 40mg (13%). Sodium 400mg (16%)/ Total carbohydrate 1g (0%). Sugars 1g. Protein 9g. Vitamin A (8%). Vitamin C (2%). Calcium (4%). Iron (4%).
Place of purchase and price: Safeway Kapahulu. $5.49 per package regular price.

Let’s unpack it…


SILVA SAUSAGE Hot Linguica Hickory Smoked Portuguese Style Sausage

Slice ‘em up…


SILVA SAUSAGE Hot Linguica Hickory Smoked Portuguese Style Sausage

Next…

LOCAL

REGO’S PURITY of Hawaii Portuguese Brand Sausage
Origin
: Honolulu, Hawaii
www.regospurity.com
Ingredients: Pork, Water, Salt, Paprika, Flavorings, Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Acetate, Sodium Diacetate, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite, Packed in collagen casing.
Nutrition Facts: Net weight 10 oz. (284g.). Serving size 2 oz. (57g). Servings per container 5. Calories 160. Fat calories 130. Total fat 14g (22%). Saturated Fat 5g (25%). Cholesterol 35mg (12%). Sodium 460mg (19%). Total carbs 2g (1%). Fiber 0g. Sugars 1g. Protein 7g. Vitamin A 4%. Vitamin C 0%. Calcium 2%. Iron 4%.
Place of purchase and price: Don Quijote Kaheka. $2.49 each regular price.

Let’s unpack it…


REGO’S PURITY of Hawaii Portuguese Brand Sausage

Slice ‘em up…

REGO’S PURITY of Hawaii Portuguese Brand Sausage

Next…

GOUVEA’S The Original Hawaiian Brand Portuguese Brand Sausage
Origin
: Honolulu, Hawaii
www.gouveas.com
Ingredients: Pork, Water, Salt, Paprika, Spices, Garlic, Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Acetate, Sodium Diacetate, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite.
Nutrition Facts: Net weight 10 oz. (284g.). Serving size 2 oz. (57g). Servings per container 5. Calories 180. Fat calories 140. Total fat 15g (23%). Saturated Fat 5g (25%). Trans Fat 0g. Cholesterol 35mg (12%). Sodium 460mg (19%). Total carbs 2g (1%). Fiber 0g. Sugars 1g. Protein 7g. Vitamin A 4%. Vitamin C 0%. Calcium 2%. Iron 4%.
Place of purchase and price: Don Quijote Kaheka. $2.49 each regular price.

Let’s unpack it…

GOUVEA’S The Original Hawaiian Brand Portuguese Brand Sausage

Slice ‘em up…

GOUVEA’S The Original Hawaiian Brand Portuguese Brand Sausage

Next…

REDONDO’S Lisboa Portuguese Brand Sausage
Origin
: Waipahu, Hawaii
www.redondos.com
Ingredients: Pork, Water, Salt, Flavorings, Sugar, Sodium Phosphate, Monosodium Glutamate, Oleo-resin of Paprika, Sodium Erythorbate. Sodium Nitrite. Packed in Collagen Casing.
Nutrition Facts: Net weight 10 oz. (284g.). Serving size 2 oz. (56g). Servings per container 5. Calories 180. Fat calories 130. Total fat 15g (23%). Saturated Fat 6g (29%). Cholesterol 35mg (12%). Sodium 520mg (22%). Total carbs 2g (1%). Fiber 0g. Sugars 1g. Protein 8g. Vitamin A 0%. Vitamin C 0%. Calcium 0%. Iron 4%.
Place of purchase and price: Don Quijote Kaheka. $2.49 each regular price.

Let’s unpack it…

REDONDO’S Lisboa Portuguese Brand Sausage

Slice ‘em up…

REDONDO’S Lisboa Portuguese Brand Sausage

Next…

WILD CARD

NOH of Hawaii Hawaiian Style Portuguese Sausage Seasoning Mix
Origin
: Honolulu, Hawaii
www.nohfoods.com
Ingredients: Powder Vinegar, Salt, Sugar, Garlic, Onion, Chili Pepper, Paprika, Spices.
Nutrition Facts: Serving Size 1serving (8g). 4 servings per package. Calories 26. Calories from fat 4. Total Fat 0g (0%). Sat. Fat 0g (0%). Trans Fat 0g. Cholesterol 0mg (0%). Sodium 820mg (11%). Total Carb 5g (6%). Fiber 0g (0%). Sugars 2g. Protein 1g. Vitamin A 2%. Vitamin C 2%. Calcium 0%. Iron 0%.
Place of purchase and price:
Long’s Drugs Mililani. $1.09 each sale price.

Let’s unpack it…

NOH of Hawaii Hawaiian Style Portuguese Sausage Seasoning Mix

Add water to rehydrate the seasoning mix…

NOH of Hawaii Hawaiian Style Portuguese Sausage Seasoning Mix

Mix it with about a pound of ground pork, then let it marinade overnight…

NOH of Hawaii Hawaiian Style Portuguese Sausage Seasoning Mix, rehydrated with water, then mixed with ground pork for an overnight marinade

NOH Portuguese Sausage (semi-homemade), rolled-up in aluminum foil like a sausage, then partially frozen for easier slicing…

NOH of Hawaii Hawaiian Style Portuguese Sausage Seasoning Mix marinaded pork, stuffed in Aloha Tofu Aburage (fried soybean curd pocket)…

NOH “Hawaiian Style” Portuguese Sausage stuffed in Aloha Tofu Aburage

Hit the smoker…

NOH “Hawaiian Style” Portuguese Sausage stuffed in Aloha Tofu Aburage

next…

SOUZA’S Portuguese Hapa-Hawaiian Sausage
Origin: Kaneohe, Hawaii
www.tastyislandhawaii.com
Ingredients: Portuguese, German, English, Hawaiian.
Nutrition facts: Net weight 166 lbs. Serving Size: 1. Servings per container: 1. Protein 1,000,000mg. Iron 1,000,000mg. All other vitamins, minerals, oxidants and antioxidants n/a.
Place of purchase and price: Kaiser Hospital, Waikiki. Priceless.

Let’s unpack it…

…oh, sorry, I can’t show you that without a paid subscription. LOL!!!

Let’s cook ‘em up!…

COOKIN’ SAUSAGE

The obvious most popular way to cook Portuguese Sausage is by simply pan-frying them in serving-size slices…

Left to right: Silva’s, Purity and Redondo’s, pan-fried until slightly crispy on the outside, fully cooked on the inside.

Then you have the more challenging, yet much more flavor-packed and rewarding way to cook, which is by smoking them…

No hold ‘em, smoke ‘em!…

NOH Portuguese Sausage-stuffed Aloha Tofu Aburage, pau smoking (Smoked Tako next to it)

Here we have the NOH “Hawaiian style” Portuguese Sausage-stuffed Aloha Tofu Aburage (takes breath), sliced up and ready for quick pan-fry for serving…


NOH Portuguese Sausage-stuffed Aloha Tofu Aburage

You’re probably thinking “Good Gawd, that must taste sooooo ono. Sausage-stuffed Aburage? And Kiawe-smoked? Common’!”. And you’re right, as you’ll soon find out!

Here we have the NOH semi-homemade Kiawe-smoked Portuguese “sausage” being pan-fried…

NOH semi-homemade Kiawe-smoked Portuguese Sausage

TIME TO TUBE SNAKE BOOGIE ‘N BITE

Well, they’re all cooked and/or smoked and/or both, and ready for the business of tasting in this here Hana Hou Portuguese Sausage shootout!…

After carefully tasting each one, using the Musubi, Beni Shoga and Takuwan as my palate buffer (plus a glass of ice cold water), here are the results!

The Great Portuguese Sausage Shootout Hana Hou: Mainland vs. Local
Criteria Gaspar’s Silva’s Gouvea’s Redondo’s Rego’s Purity NOH
TASTE: (1 least to 5 most)
Salty 4 3 2 3 3 2
Sweet 2 2 2 2 4 1
Acidic 1 1 1 2 1 1
Spicy 3 4 2 1 1 3
Smokey 2 4 1 3 1 5
Savory/Umami 3 4 3 4 5 5
Porky 3 3 4 4 4 4
Beefy 3 3 3 2 1 2
“Mystery Meat-ish” 3 3 2 3 3 1
Fatty 1 1 2 2 4 2
TEXTURE: (e.g. 1 being fine to 5 being Chunky)
Fine to Chunky 3 2 2 2 4 2
Lean to Fatty 2 2 2 2 4 2
Casing: Soft to Snappy 4 5 3 3 3 3
OTHER:(1 least to 5 most)
Compliments accompaniments 3 4 3 4 5 5
Would I buy this again 2 4 3 4 5 5
OVERALL 2 3 3 4 5 5

Well there you have it. Rego’s Purity is still the winner, as far as commercial, mass-produced Portuguese Sausage brands are concerned. Gaspar’s honestly was my least-liked brand out of the bunch, and my only explanation why that might be, is because of the fact that it was kept in the freezer for an extended period of time. I believe over 5 months since Ken-san gave it to me. This was back when I started my weight loss quest, so I wasn’t havin’ any of that back then. Now, no probs. I whack ‘em.

The Gaspar’s was just “strawy” and dry in texture, while it’s only saving grace was the noticeably snappy casing. Not as snappy as Silva’s, which was by far the snappiest of them all, but snappier than the local brands.

Silva’s was certainly the smokiest of the commercial brands, which is no surprise, being that it’s clearly labeled as being Hickory-smoked. Still, Silva’s was also rather dry, and not fatty enough. I mean, if you’re gonna’ eat sausage, eat it GOOD. Eat it fatty as hell. And that’s clearly where Rego’s has all the rest beat. It’s fatty as hell, and hell-be-damned ONO!  That sweetness that Rego’s Purity has is really what sets it apart from the rest, though. It really adds a dimension in flavor all the others are missing. Purity’s spice blend is also PERFECT. Not too paprika-ish, not too garlic-ee, not to onion-ee. It just has really good balance.

As for Redondo’s and Gouvea’s, I take Redondo’s over Gouvea, and that goes to show I’m not biased here, as I’m related to the Gouvea’s from dad’s side. I’ll also take both Redondo’s and Gouvea’s over Silva’s and Gaspar’s. Again, the Hawaii brands have the freshness, having never been frozen in their favor.

Back to Silva’s, it was the least Portuguese Sausage-like in flavor, at least if you’re comparing it with the local brands. I mean, if you gave it to someone from Hawaii and said, “Try this Portuguese Sausage”, chances are they’ll say, “this doesn’t taste like Portuguese Sausage, but more like Chorizo”. I think because there’s at least just a little chili powder in there, which gives it a slight Mexican flair about it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a damned good sausage, but certainly the least like all the others in flavor profile.

Gaspar’s can certainly pass as a stand-in for local Portuguese sausage if you’re from Hawaii and on the mainland “jonesing” for some. Still, it’s dryness suffers. Hopefully that’s only the one I have since it was frozen for so long, and the Gaspar’s you get in your neck of the wood will be fresh, never frozen, and more moist.

In fact, being the sympathetic type that I am, I even tried cooking another batch of Gaspar’s and Silva’s to see if there was redemption, this time steam-frying them, like how you do for Gyoza (pot stickers)…

Silva’s on the left, Gaspar’s on the right, being steam-fried “gyoza style”

I did this by adding about a 1/4 cup of water to the frying pan, covered it, and let it steam-fry until the water evaporated, then finished it by browning it on high to get some “crustification”, as Guy Fieri says…

GasGaspar’s on the left, Silva’s on the right, after being steam-fried

Notice that this time I kept them as a whole piece vs. sliced for cooking, thinking in theory that the moisture would stay trapped in better that way, while also not rendering out all the fat marbelization within the casing. Here’s how it looks finished and plated…

Silva’s on the left, Gaspar’s on the right, cooked steam-fried “gyoza style”

And? Did that cooking method improve them? Nope. Still pretty dry, which you can kinda’ visually see. I purposely cooked them to the point before the fat rendered out, as I wanted those chunks in there. Still, dry and strawy, especially the Gaspar’s brand. Actually, the Silva’s brand improved a little over the slice I just pan-fried previously, but not by much. Its saving grace once again is that noticeably snappy casing, and of course its distinguishable Hickory-smoked flavor profile. But I could still taste a slight hint of that Chili spice, hinting some Mexican influence in it.

So my results for the mainland brands still stand the same. Hey, at least I tried!

Let me wrap this up by talking about the NOH “semi-homemade” Kiawe-smoked Portuguese Sausage. Dude. Dude. Did I ever say “ROCKS” before? Yes I did, and I’ll say it again, this stuff ROCKS! Oh. My. Gawd. Does it rock.

And I just used standard store-bought ground pork, where it did indeed convert it into “Hawaiian style” Portuguese Sausage. Almost magical! I can just imagine experimenting with different cuts, like, oh say, hand-cutting belly pork with big chunks of fat in it. Not only that, but I didn’t have a sausage machine to encase it. Had they been stuffed in a casing, that would likely be much better than it already is.

Still, I think my idea of using Aloha Tofu Aburage as a faux sausage casing was rather brilliant, as it turned out pretty freakin’ AMAZING. Especially with the smoke flavoring the aburage. I mean, you could probably just take plain aburage, soak it in some teri’ sauce and smoke it, then cut it up for pupus, and I bet that’d be good. But stuffed with Portuguese Sausage in it then smoked? Dude, we’re talking kicked-up notches unknown to even aliens, let alone mankind. Awesome!

The best part about the NOH Hawaiian Style Portuguese Sausage Seasoning Mix, is it’s so convenient, “portable” (non-perishable) and easy to ship! If you’re away from Hawaii, your family could easily stuff a ton of these packets in one of them flat rate USPS boxes and send it to you for just $5. Upon getting it, go buy some ground pork, mix it up, add some liquid smoke if you like, let it marinate overnight, and pan fry it. Or better yet, forget the liquid smoke, but REALLY smoke it, then pan fry it like i did. You’ll be in Portuguese Sausage heaven every time you fire ‘em up. Or at least that’s what my girlfriend used to say. LOL

Again, huge mahalo to KenW-san for sharing the Podagee Sausage Aloha! After I regain gastronomic composure once again, I’ll do the “Great Chorizo Shootout”, including of course Ken’s favorite Gaspar’s brand. Anything vs. the Marca El Rey “green can” brand is gonna’ be a tough one!

All that, smoked, fried, photographed, eaten, said and done, Hawaii for the Portuguese Sausage shootout win! IMUA!


Comments

The Great Portuguese Sausage Shootout Hana Hou: Mainland vs. Local — 42 Comments

  1. Spotty,

    “afdfdafdafdfd” is some good stuff. Kinda’ taste like Shoyu Ahi Poke with Ogo. LOL!

    Happy endings are always good. Coming soon!

  2. Folks, I’m pretty much done now with this post. As always, I’ll fix typos here and there, but the gist of the review is done. I have a few more photos I’ll add, but that’s just icing on the cake kinda’ pics.

    h, let’s just say it took a lot of restraint writing this post. I think I let go at the end. lol

  3. I liked the subtlety of the restraint, but once you let go, it totally cracked me up. So where’s the link to the paid subscription? :-D J/k

  4. Pomai,

    I think you went a little past the use by date printed on the backside of the Gaspar sausage package as I’ve never had any shred like your photo shows when you cut it.

    The batch I have in the house now has a use by date of 02-13-13 and I ordered it long after I gave you the sausage so I’ll be eating mine up and ordering more.

    Oh well!!

    • KenW-san,

      Well then, looks like I’ll have to swing by the “west side” and get a fresher Gaspar’s batch from you for an update!

      • Pomai,

        The Gaspar’s Linguica I’m eating now has a use by date 02/13/13 so I’ll be done in a few weeks. I’ll need to restock again.

        I purchase the 50/50 pack which is 6 lbs. Linguica and 6 lbs. Chourico. The price break with discounts brings price down to about $5.44 per pound.

        I haven’t had Furtado’s Chourico or Linguica in a long time so I might also order 5 lbs. from them also.

        Furtado’s regular is $5.50 per lb. and extra lean is $6.25 per lb.

        Furtado’s is the oldest in Fall River starting business in 1903 and Gaspar is second oldest starting in 1912.

        • Ken-san,

          You know, that’s one important thing I overlooked in this comparo': looking at the “Use by” date on the packages. I still have the original Gaspar’s and Silva Sausage front label, however it doesn’t have the “use by” date stamped there. It was probably on the back of the plastic vacuum packaging in faint small stamped print, which I didn’t take notice to, and has since long gone in the trash.

          Even then, I still think the local brands have the advantage of being the freshest, never frozen. The Silva brand from Cali’ wasn’t frozen at Safeway, however I’m guessing it may have previously been, judging by its relative dryness.

          What I’ll do for a follow-up, is freeze the extra local Rego’s Purity and Redondo’s brand PS I still have for a few months, and see how that effects their moistness when I cook them later.

          • Pomai,

            The Gaspar’s “use by date” or “sell by date” is printed in prominent black ink on back of vacuum packaging with a production lot number.

            I still think local brand Rego’s Purity has the closest taste to Gaspar’s but Gaspar’s is leaner than Rego’s.

            Fall River and New Bedford, MA. Portuguese Whalers came to Hawaii in about 1819 hunting humpback whales and they brought their chourico and linguica with them. The whaling fleet in Hawaii grew to over 600 whaling vessels. Plus in 1878 first Portuguese came to work on Hawaii’s plantations also bringing with them chourico and linguica.

            Like I already indicated Furtado’s is the oldest in Fall River starting business in 1903; Gaspar in Fall River is second oldest starting in 1912 and Amaral’s Lisbon Sausage Co., Inc. in Fall River is third established in 1928. These three establish the old world taste that was handed down to them of Portuguese chourico and linguica that the Portuguese Whalers and plantation workers brought to Hawaii before they started their business.

            All the Hawaiian local brand Portuguese Sausages would be a modification of original old world sausages based on local availability of products, herbs and spices, home-made Portuguese piri piri sauce or Hawaiian chili water, vinegar, wine, animal casing and type of wood smoke if used to cure and preserve.

            Two totally different distinct tastes.

            I used Gaspar’s, Furtado’s and Amaral’s in my cooking based on the dish I was making but my heart was in the artesian small batch hand-made chourico and linguica made by Portuguese America Market in West Warwick, RI. That was by far the best I’ve ever tasted and everyone that tasted agreed.

  5. Interesting. I suspect Gaspars which I never tasted might not have had its best showing. I note that the P sausage sold at KCC freezes poorly also.
    At the canoe club, after the races, I started a thing where we cooked the sausages over the fire/grill. Any kind brand with lots of commentary. That added another dimension that was really appreciated. The whole sausage, punctured, cooked like a well done hot dog. Not oily, but had everyone smoking the grill.

    • Pat,

      You must be referring to Kukui brand. I wasn’t impressed with their Portuguese Sausage, however their Pastele and Kim Chee flavored sausages were pretty good in an “interesting” way. Gotta’ say, the Nihongin tourists literally eat them up at the weekly Saturday KCC Farmers Market. Always a long, long, long line. Kukui is bankin’ on that demo’.

  6. Am I hallucinating, or was there a different, creative, fun post on your front page earlier? Is that a sign that I read your blog too often. *looking for new haunts to frequent*

    • h, why, yes there was, where it’s been put back to “draft” status. In the mean time, hopefully you’ve booked a nice ‘n sexy trip to Disneyland.

      Since then, thanks to your suggestions, I’ve snipped my ears to look like a Pit Bull, changed my gloves from white to black, and changed my silly red shorts from, as you said, “off-putting” red, to a more alluring pink.

      Love, Mickey. LOL!!!

  7. Dear Mickey, I have booked a trip and am anxiously awaiting a spin on the teacups. I’m glad you took my makeover suggestions… black gloves, alluring pink shorts…it’s like Chippendale Mickey!

    • h, you’re f’n hilarious! “Spin on the Teacups”. Remember, Teacups need teabags. LOL!!!!

      The funniest thing is, looking at the site stats, there was a bunch of hits clicking on my “unpacked paid subscription link”…

      http://bit.ly/6j7rVc

      Naughty, naughty, naughty. LOL!

      • Teabags… hmm, well, what else can one expect from good old Steamboat Willie. Maybe I’ll ride the dizzying heights of Space Mountain instead.

        ROFL about the hits on your paid subscription link. SHAME on us readers. Shame, shame, shame (except for me, I only clicked once)!

        • h,

          Well, thank you for your business. One click is all it takes! lol

          That post you were asking about is now up. I’d love to hear your take on how ” The Never Ending Story of Mr. Koko” unfolds!

          • It’s funny, as soon as I clicked, I remembered it was a bit.ly link and I was like “oh darn, now he’s going to know I clicked” (I don’t know what I was expecting to see, Mr. Mouse.

            (only commenting on this post because I don’t want to break the momentum for future posters on Mr. Koko’s post) I loved reading Mr. Koko’s story, but oh so many questions. “Late night business associate” sounds like an awesome euphemism. If I were to continue the story, I don’t think it would work well, as the president of Kalei Eggs showing up in Mr. Koko’s office at near 3:00 a.m. would have to involve a flight to DC to continue. Perhaps Mr. Koko would in for a revenge kidnapping because the president of Kalei Eggs found out that Mr. Koko ate non Kalei eggs in his Moco Loco, and as a punishment, Mr. Koko now has to egg the Washington Monument with Kalei Eggs…. but the story is set in Hawaii, so I will let the locals have their way with your story :)

  8. I am glad you tested and liked the NOH mix. Seems easy. I can get NOH mixes here in AZ and I will make my own. I have to pay $9.40 per pound for Portuguese sausage here. I just bought some Miko. But my Asian market stopped carrying Gouveia’s or Purity or Redondo’s … I dunno why.

    • Alan,

      If/when you do get the NOH “Hawaiian style” Portuguese Sausage seasoing mix, I’d recommend doubling the package recipe to 2 packets per pound, which is what I did. It wasn’t too salty at all. You should also definitely buy some belly pork and cut it in small chunks mixed with the ground pork. At least, that’s what I have planned next time I make it. If you have a sausage making device that can encase it, even better, otherwise, try as I did, stuffing them in Aburage.

      You really should smoke them for maximum punch, but if you can’t, try adding liquid smoke to the marinade. I didn’t try that, but I think it will work fairly well as a stand-in.

      • Thanks for the suggestions. I sent the link to you post to my son in LA and he said that he didn’t think that pre-ground pork hash would be good for making the sausage since it would not have enough texture. So your recommendation seems appropriate. And I use a lot of liquid smoke too, so that idea also sounds good.

  9. That chili spice is cumin, and as far as I am concerned has no place in this sausage. Zero. Now Gouveia traditionally uses a lot of black pepper whereas now days the sausage is made with red pepper. I suspect the Gouveia recipe may be more authentic, but I much prefer the red pepper. I also like the way Gaspar’s looks. Very much like the old Miko and No Ka Oi I grew up on. I remember when P sausage literally fell apart in the frying pan into largish chunks. And yes, the casing was natural gut. And the sausages were always folded into a ring prior to a light smoke/cook.
    When i make the soup, I usually use Redondo as the basis, cut up into small cubes. But I use a Moo for the sausage coins because it is distinctively sweet and makes a good contrast.

  10. We bought the Redondo’s Portuguese sausage from Costco and for some reason the texture and the taste were both lacking. I like a crispier/crunchier Portuguese sausage but it was almost mushy. Not sure if maybe we just got a bad batch but I’m definitely sticking to Purity from now on.

  11. Pomai,
    Thanks for the portugese sausage comparison. I was curious and almost took the plunge in ordering some Gaspar’s but the shipping rates were outrageous. Love Purity and highly recommend it to guys I work with that vacation in Hawaii. I’m curious about the NOH mix and will have to try that.
    BTW, I have a friend staying at Ko’olina any good recs? I’m from windward side so only know about Tanioka’s, Highway Inn and Poke Stop.

    • kobi,

      Yes to all of the above, as recommended in the Waipahu area (not that far from Ko’olina). Also add the Fried Noodles from Sato’s Okazuya, plus while there, don’t forget the Fiesta market right across the parking lot.

      While in Waipa-HOO, they also should stop by Pacific Market, which is truly one of the most unique, diverse, widest selection asian supermarkets on the island. Tell them to try the Balut.

  12. Eh, Pomai!

    Kudos to your efforts to give the mainland stuff a tryout. I think your evaluation of Gaspar’s is spot on, and similar to my experience with it here in AL. (a bit dry, even considering the fat chunks in the sausage) I cooked mine up right after buying it from the store so I know it wasn’t past its expiration date. I think your results will be the same if you tey some fresher ones. In contrast, I have some frozen (and re-frozen) Purity and Redondo’s sausages that I brought back from home last time in 2011 and they thaw and cook up jus’ like fresh! So I think it’s the recipe rather than the age. Wow just talking about it makes me wanna thaw anudda one for Sunday breakfast! mmmmmmmmm By the way, just saw an episode of Bizarre Foods and Zimmer had some Spam Musubi from a lunch truck in DC that looked pretty awesome, but Zimmer said was terrible! Mostly because Zimmer thinks that Spam is the worst food in the world… so go figgah, coming from a guy who would eat raw sheep placenta… au’we! now I not so hungry…..

    • Keith,

      Good to hear! At least now I know this shootout wasn’t done in vain.

      Now to get my hands on the Miko (Kulana?) brand. I’ll ask around family on the Big Island if they can get me some.

  13. I enjoyed both your taste-off posts. Living on the mainland, I’ve every once-in-a-while been looking for good Hawaiian Portuguese sausage. Here in the Seattle area, there probably isn’t the variety that you might get in, say, So Cal, but we do have one supermarket, Uwajimaya, that carries several brands. I liked the sausage that Eggs ‘N Things serves for breakfast, but ask any waiter what brand, and they say, “I have no idea.” Yeah, right. A good friend of mine remembered the sausage at Holiday Bowl in Los Angeles, which has long since closed. He remembers the sausage to be chunky in texture, which sounds like what posters from the East Coast say characterize the Portuguese sausages made there. Thanks again for your reviews.

    • Pomai,

      A friend informs me that Uwajimaya here in the Seattle area carries Rego’s Purity. Don’t know how long they’ve been carrying it. I probably never noticed because it was not a brand familiar to me. Now it is!

      • zoomeboshi,

        Get it and let us know what you think! The best way to cook that Purity Portuguese Sausage (or any other Hawaii brand) is to slice it about 1/4″ or more thick on the bias (at an angle), then simply pan-fry it until it’s crispy on the outside, still greasy-moist inside. Similar to bacon.

        Serve it with a Nori-wrapped Ume Musubi and tsukemono on the side. Or simply with eggs cooked your way and rice.

        So simple. So good. Salty. Porky. Spicy. Starchy. Rice. Sweet. Acidic. Savory. Robust. Comfort food at its best!

        • Pomai,

          My friend did purchase Rego’s yesterday and had it this morning. This is what he said: “We just tried it and its very good. Using Holiday Bowl’s as the Gold Standard, I would put Rego’s as the second best I’ve ever had. There are large pieces of fat, but very little larger pieces of lean. Holiday’s had very large grinds of both and more heat. Rego’s probably makes a spicier version, but Uwaj only has the mild. I am now officially a fan of Rego.”

          As I indicated, Holiday Bowl is no longer around. It closed in 2000. In an atmosphere of racial prejudice, it was an important cultural institution in LA because it provided a venue for Japanese and African Americans in the Crenshaw district (and beyond) to go bowling and have good food.

          Thanks for making us aware of Rego’s.

          • zoomeboshi-san,

            Bowling Alleys have all but disappeared here on Oahu. There’s only one remaining that I’m aware of that’s open to the public at Aiea Bowl. All the rest are on military bases for enlisted personnel and their guests.

            My estimate is the amount of space they require, with the lease rent so high here, makes them financially unfeasible nowadays, if you break down revenue per square foot. Same like what’s happening with movie theaters. Luckily for the latter, more folks like to watch movies than bowl. And like to munch on something when they watch a movie, where of course, it’s them hyper-overpriced concession stand hot dogs, popcorn, candy and drinks that are keeping them afloat.

            If you enjoyed the food and atmosphere at Holiday Bowl, you’d really like Aiea Bowl. All the local comfort food favorites are served in their full service restaurant – aptly named The Alley Restaurant, taken to the next level, being the owner of the alley is also a seasoned chef by trade. Very racially-mixed demographic of locals and military in there, plus a few adventurous tourists. Aiea Bowl is as popular for their restaurant and bar, as they are for the bowling alley, which is proving to be a successful formula. They also have gourmet nights, where the chef creates Prix Fixe dinners, along with wine tasting, plus late night club events for the younger crowd. I believe they cater as well. Totally diversified.

            While we’re on food and bowling alleys, there’s a restaurant here named Kapiolani Coffee Shop, who became famous “way back when” for their signature Oxtail Soup. It all started when Kapiolani Coffee Shop was in Kam Bowl in Kalihi. While Kam Bowl is history, they still use the same family recipe in their restaurant. Good, good stuff.

            HOWEVER, Aiea Bowl took that Oxtail Soup in a bowling alley formula to the next level, where I think their Oxtail Soup beats KCS. Read more on that the review of Aiea Bowl here.

            Glad to hear your friend liked the Rego’s Purity Brand. All our Portuguese Sausage brands have both mild and spicy versions. I’m not into super spicy hot, always opting for mild. If the store he got the Rego’s from also has any other Hawaii made brands, he should try ‘em all. Everyone has their own nuances of course. He might like the “beefier” this, more lean that, etc. of the other brands.

            So being that Rego’s was the second best he’s tried, was Holiday Bowl’s “brand” #1? Or does he have another current brand that’s his favorite? Try asking him and let us know.

            Mahalo,
            Pomai

          • Hey Pomai;
            Anyone think of getting the Alley Bowl / Aiea Bowl on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives?  Sounds like a natural.

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