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Product Review: Rego’s Purity Portuguese Brand Hot Dogs

Gouvea’s has had a Portuguese Sausage Hot Dog product out on the market for some time now, however only recently has my favorite Oahu brand, Rego’s Purity, busted out their take on it.

Now available at most major supermarkets around Hawaii, Rego’s Purity Portuguese Brand Hot Dogs are sold in a vacuum-sealed 2 lbs. (32 oz.) package, which includes a total of 10 individual Portuguese Hot Dogs. Doing the easy math, that makes each hot dog 3.2 oz..

They’re $10.99 regular price, however I got them on sale last week at Don Quijote Kaheka for $8.59 per package. Which if you do the math again, breaks it down to about 86 cents per hot dog.

To give you a size comparison, shown above is how they stack-up to Purity’s larger 10 oz. size Portuguese Sausage “uncle” that sells for about $2.50 at most stores. Which to note is twice the size as the 5 oz. Portuguese Sausages that are also available in various brands for as little as 99 cents on sale at most local supermarkets.

Shown above is the back of Purity’s Portuguese Hot Dogs package, shown in comparison to KTA’s Mountain Apple brand “hung” style 10 oz. size Portuguese Sausage (still frozen as shown), from the Big Island of Hawaii.

Bent on specifics, right out the package, each Purity Portuguese Hot dog measures 6½” length by 1″ diameter in thickness, + or – 1/16″.  That said, I was curious how much they would plump up after REALLY cooking them, which we’ll find out shortly.

Dissecting one, you see there’s quite a bit of fat marbling, and overall, having semi-dense, semi-chunky appearance, with a pleasing paprika-red color tone.

That said, these “hot dogs” essentially appear to be simply a  shrunken-down version of their standard Portuguese Sausage, and not some reinvented product. Which is really what it looks like without even having to open up the package.

Since I like my “regular” hot dogs cooked the German way, boiled in beer, I decided to do that with one of the two hot dog styles presented for this review, slow boiling it in some Primo beer for about 10 minutes.

For my second style of hot dog for this review, I simply pan-fried another Portuguese Sausage Hot Dog with some canola oil, which proved a bit challenging, as it quickly burnt if left on one side for more than just a few seconds. So had to turn down the heat VERY low and continuously turn the hot dog using my handy-dandy hashi. More on cooking methods later.

Shown above is the pan-fried PS hot dog to the left, in the center, the PS hot dog boiled in Primo Beer, and to the right, an uncooked PS hot dog. So looking at the PS hot dog boiled in beer, you can see it gained just a little length and girth compared to the uncooked PS hot dog, but not as much as regular hot dogs plump up in size after they’re cooked.

It must also be noted that the PS hot dog boiled in beer caused the collagen-based casing to melt-off. I was a bit disappointed by it doing that, where which a natural, SNAPPIER casing wouldn’t have had that effect. More on that later.

So for Purity Portuguese Brand Hot Dog “Exhibit A”, we have the good ‘ole All-American style, topped with Heinz Ketchup, Yellow Mustard and chopped onions, served on a La Tour Bakery Whole Wheat Split-top Hot Dog Bun, ala New England.

I actually messed up, as I was supposed to put the hot dog boiled in beer in this American style version, but I already squirted the mustard and ketchup on it, so screw it. We’ll just roll with it.

And? Winnahz! I’ll say right off the bat, the pan-fried Portuguese Sausage Hot Dog is MUCH better than the one that was boiled in beer. Way more flavor, and way, WAY better texture, actually having a sort of snappy “bite” to its seared collagen casing. I still would rather it have a natural casing, but still, this totally works.

And it really is what I suspected from the start: that these are simply shrunken-down versions of their regular Portuguese Sausage. No more, no less. Which is a GREAT THING! I’m really glad Purity didn’t try to fix what wasn’t broken, and kept it true to itself.

Now I can’t really say it’s a “hot dog” in that sense, because it doesn’t taste like one at all. It tastes like what I just said it does, so take that for what its worth. And with that, you know what? The ketchup, mustard and fresh chopped white onions totally worked!

I thought long and hard about what I was going to top this with, looking over what other guys have done with Portuguese Sausage Hot Dogs, where typically they’d put caramelized onions and deli mustard, or something to that effect. But I decided, since my other “exhibit” was going the Japanese route, I’d keep this one “Portuguese-meets-All American”. And again, it works!

Moving along to “Exhibit B”, I have yet to come up with some clever name for this east-meets-west fusion Portuguese Sausage Hot Dog. “Hawaiian Ninja Dog”? “Ja-Podagee Dog”? You know da’ kine, “They get a lot to say about ‘dis broke’ da’ mout’ Hot Dog! But they no like talk about it.” LOL!!!

Seriously though, for this one, I have my favorite go-to savory-meets-sweet-meets-acidic hot dog and sandwich toppings: Maui Takuan (spicy pickled turnip, a.k.a. Daikon) and Beni Shoga (tart pickled ginger, similar to the sweet version called Sushi Shoga). Adding to that, I slathered Mayonnaise inside the bun to add a dimension of creaminess and well, “fun”! The finely chopped green onion was mostly for appearance, however it ended up actually adding extra “Pizazz” to the party!

And? You know what? Even though the boiled PS hot dog was “lifeless” compared to its pan-fried test subject peer, the Beni Shoga and Takuan totally SAVED THE DAY.

Still though, that beer-boiled Portuguese Hot Dog itself was pretty much just totally lame, otherwise. So I put it out of its seemingly caseless, tasteless misery, and went right back to the pan-fried American style Hot Dog, scraping as much ketchup and mustard off as I could, then transferred the Takuan and Beni Shoga onto that one (as shown above), and it was OFF THE CHARTS!

I think it would be even better if I had used King’s Hawaiian Sweet Top-Split Hot Dog Buns, like the ones I had used for my “New England Lobster Rolls 101” presentation, however I had already bought these La Tour Whole Wheat Buns, so rolled with that.

Based on my first experience cooking with them, here’s my suggested way to do it if you REALLY want to knock these Purity Portuguese Hot Dogs out the park:

  1. Use King’s Hawaiian Sweet Top-Split Hot Dog Buns, lightly pan-toasted in butter on both sides.
  2. GRILL/Hibachi the Rego’s Purity Portuguese Brand Hot Dogs (should be way better than even pan-frying), giving them some tasty “papa’a” sear markings
  3. Top with sliced Takuan and Beni Shoga (no need da’ mayo’, but if you insist, chance ’em!).
  4. Whack da’ buggah! And den’ aftah you rest, go run on da’ beach or swim couple hours fo’ work ’em off, ’cause you going need it!

Summing it, there really isn’t anything “new” to say about the “new” Rego’s Purity Portuguese Brand Hot Dogs, as they’re pretty much the same great thing as their top-rated Portuguese Brand Sausage, simply shrunken-down to a handy-dandy, albeit rather large “hot dog” size.

What? Rego’s Purity Portuguese Brand Hot Dogs
Where did you buy it and how much did it cost? Don Quijote Kaheka, $8.59 sale price (regular $10.99) per 32 oz. package (10 wieners)
Big shaka to: Taste and texture is pretty much identical to their top-rated “regular” Portuguese Sausage; “Jumbo” hot dog size is very filling (almost too much, actually); no MSG and Gluten-free!… Yay!
No shaka to: Collagen casing lacks “snap”, although pan-frying them does help; on the pricey side as far as hot dogs go, however within range as far as Portuguese Sausage goes; boo! to Sodium Nitrite; made in California, not Hawaii
The Tasty Island rating: 4.SPAM Musubi

The Tasty Island related links:
The Great Portuguese Sausage Shootout
The Great Portuguese Sausage Shootout Hana Hou: Mainland vs. Local
Mountain Apple Brand Portuguese Sausage
Ah Fook’s No-Ka-Oi Brand Portuguese Sausage
Kim Chee, Pasteles and Chorizo Sausages
Portuguese Bean Soup (recipe)

24 thoughts on “Product Review: Rego’s Purity Portuguese Brand Hot Dogs

  • April 28, 2015 at 2:11 am
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    Pomai, you creative a new kind of hotdog to enjoy with takuan and green onion.

    Now what kind of name for it?  Regular hotdog bun fall apart on me and always

    looking for a better kind of buns or rolls to use.  People out there might know other types

    good for it also.

    Reply
  • April 28, 2015 at 2:13 am
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    “Purity Portuguese Hot dog measures 6½” length by 1″ diameter in thickness, + or – 1/16″.  That said, I was curious how much they would plump up after REALLY cooking them, which we’ll find out shortly.”

     

    so so many comments, so little time.  Lol.

    Reply
  • April 28, 2015 at 2:19 am
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    I would serve it with rice and takuan and other toppings as an Asian way ot eating

    hotdog.   Wrap it up in tortilla and deep fried it as a crispy chimichanga.

    Reply
  • April 28, 2015 at 5:36 am
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    @ Amy – Ever since I tried using Takuan & Beni Shoga with them Arabiki Hot Dogs for my “Tonkrazy Dog”, I’ve never looked back to anything else. By far the BEST topping/garnish/side dish with any porky/meaty sausage!…


    Pomai’s Tonkrazy! Dog on the left, garnished with shredded cabbage, Maui Takuan, Beni Shoga and Tonkatsu Sauce, and an American deli style Redondo’s Arabiki Hot Dog on the right.

    As for the bun, I must admit, La Tour’s Whole Wheat version wasn’t nearly as good as their sweet bread bun I tried the last time. As stated in the post, use King’s Sweet Hawaiian Split-top Hot Dog Buns with these Portuguese Hot Dogs. Those would definitely be the best match!


    King’s Hawaiian “Original Sweet” Top-Split Hot Dog Buns

    @ Eddie boy – Hey, at least I got something “intellectual” to use out of all that, ehem, “junk” mail, no pun intended, of course. lol

    @ Kelike – Speaking of deep-frying it, I noticed just by trying to pan-fry it in a little oil, the delicate and thin collagen casing blistered very easily. So if you were to drop this Portuguese Hot Dog directly into a deep-fryer, it would definitely be a “Ripper“. What I REALLY think they should do is dip these guys in Malasada batter and then deep fry them, doing the Portuguese version of the famous Okinawan Festival Andadog.

    Portuguese Hot Dog + Malasada = PortuSada? Nah, that name doesn’t work. Whatever the case, I’m pretty sure that combination would totally ROCK!


    Left to right: (Costco) Polish Dog, Redondo’s Winner, Oscar Mayer, Redondo’s Teriyaki Winner – all coated and deep-fried in Andagi batter, turned into Okinawan Festival style “Andadogs

    Reply
  • April 28, 2015 at 11:27 am
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    Fun Post! Looks so ono. Unfortunately, as I’ve, um, matured, Portagee sausage has become more of an occasional treat. Or guilty pleasure.

    A few pieces with scrambled eggs, or the like.

    Gunfunnit, now I have a craving.

    Reply
  • April 28, 2015 at 12:23 pm
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    Pomai,
     
    I slow cook my Rego’s Purity Portuguese Brand Hot Dogs in unsalted butter left over from toasting King’s Hawaiian Sweet Top-Split Hot New England style Dog Buns. What I first do is melt the butter in a 9 inch non-stick fry pan over medium heat. Place King’s Hawaiian hot dog bun in melted butter to suck up into bread (sides and bottom) and then let sides and bottom toast to golden brown; at same time I place a Rego’s Purity Portuguese Brand Hot Dog in the same fry pan and as it browns and crisp I roll it to another side so it is evenly cooked and browned on all sides (do not use fork to puncture hot dog). Place hot dog in bun and enjoy a 5- SPAM Musubi!!!!!
     
    You get the sweet taste of King’s Hawaiian Sweet Top-Split New England style Dog Buns toasted in sweet unsalted butter, crisp toast crunch sides and bottom, pop of slow grilled juicy Rego’s Purity Portuguese Brand Hot Dog. I don’t put anything on the Rego’s Purity Portuguese Brand Hot Dog as I eat it naked!!!
     
    I also like the Rego’s Purity Portuguese Brand Hot Dogs because cut up into disks they are the right size to make a Portuguese sausage and egg omelet in the morning. 21 disks sauté in 9 in non-stick fry pan then spread evenly in pan and covered with two scrambled eggs makes a great omelet.

    Reply
  • April 28, 2015 at 3:55 pm
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    @ pukapants – Believe me, I can totally relate, and don’t know how much longer I can continue “taking one for the team” here.

    @ Ken – That’s kinda’ what I did, except I added canola oil to cook the hot dog instead of more butter from toasting the bun, as I didn’t want the remaining butter in the pan to burn. Actually, in hindsight, I should have used my grill pan to cook the PS hot dogs.

    Speaking of King’s Hawaiian, apparently the company vendor who services Safeway must have read our comments here, as I’ve been checking the in-stock status of the King’s Sweet Hawaiian Split-Top Hot Dog buns at the Kapahulu Safeway ever since we had the discussion over its “scarcity” in the Lobster Roll post, and Safeway’s always been in-stock ever since. Go figure.

    I think the Rego’s Purity Portuguese Brand Hot Dogs would taste great “naked”, if they were GRILLED over charcoal, and served in a toasted King’s Hawaiian Top-split bun…. “K.I.S.S.” Still, I insist on the zesty Takuan and Beni Shoga toppinz’!

    My favorite omelet station “goodies” are always bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes and cheddar cheese… heavy on the melted cheese, please!

     

     

    Reply
    • April 28, 2015 at 8:03 pm
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      Pomai,
       
      With the unsalted butter at medium heat (just enough to toast King’s Hawaiian hot dog buns) but not to turn the butter brown you can slow cook the Portuguese Brand Hot Dog to a nice color brown and crisp without melting the collagen casing thus sealing in all the melted fat for juiciness. Cooking together cuts time verses toasting roll and then cooking hot dog.
       
      After you did the blog on the lobster rolls, I complained to my friend at King’s Hawaiian Customer Service and sent her the link to your blog about making lobster rolls and how great they are with King’s Sweet Hawaiian Split-Top Hot Dog buns. I too have noticed an uptick to King’s Sweet Hawaiian Split-Top Hot Dog buns being stocked on the shelves in Foodland, Kapolei.
       
      BTW Rego’s Purity Portuguese Brand Hot Dogs (2 lb.) at Foodland, Kapolei are $9.39 with Maikai card. I split my packages 5/5 vacuum sealing ½ for freezer storage and eating the other ½ that way I don’t have 5 hot dogs going bad on me.
       
      I’ll send you some photos this week as my mind is developing a fiendish concoction of ingredients that will make up a new version of Rego’s Purity Portuguese Brand Hot Dog in toasted King’s Hawaiian Sweet Top-Split Hot Dog Buns.
       
      The only time I boil Portuguese sausage is when I add it for flavor making steamed or boiled clams.

      Reply
        • April 29, 2015 at 12:55 pm
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          Pomai,
           
          I don’t know if it would work adding Portuguese Sausage flavored SPAM® to stuffies. It depends on how salty the SPAM® is and how bold the Portuguese flavoring is and where it is leaning towards Portuguese mild linguica or Portuguese hot spicy chourico.
           
          Stuffies are typically made with quahogs clams which have a large thick oval shell around 3 to 4.5 inches with tough clam meat. You slightly steam the quahog clams till the shell just opens. Then force open the top and bottom shell and shuck the clam meat out reserving the clam liquid. Wash and clean both shells and save. Roughly chop the clam meat and mix with sauté vegetables (onions, celery, peppers), torn Portuguese bread, and spices mixing in reserved clam juice to make stuffing. Fill saved quahog shells with stuffing and bake in oven till brown crust forms. Sprinkle with paprika and hot sauce before eating.
           
          The best stuffies I’ve ever had are at The Back Eddy Restaurant in Westport, MA: http://www.thebackeddy.com/
           
          They add fresh ground Mello’s Portuguese chourico and roasted corn to their stuffing. Mello’s chourico adds hot spiciness while the roasted corn adds sweetness to the Portuguese sweet bread and complements the brininess of the quahog meat.

          Reply
      • April 30, 2015 at 6:48 pm
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        Pomai,
         
        I emailed you my step by step recipe with photos for creating my Rego’s Purity Portuguese Brand Hot Dog.
         
        Basically I wrapped the Rego’s Purity Portuguese Brand Hot Dog in bacon and pan fried it stuffing it into a buttered toasted King’s Hawaiian Sweet Top-Split Hot Dog Bun; topping it with Bull Dog Japanese Tonkatsu sauce, chopped Won-Bok Korean Kim-Chee and Korean Takuan cut into strips
        .
         It was an explosion in my mouth of salty, sweet, sour, fruity, spicy, cool, hot, crunchy and soft goodness and just might be my new way to eat Rego’s Purity Portuguese Brand Hot Dogs!!!!

        Reply
        • April 30, 2015 at 9:06 pm
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          Ken,

          Regarding the photos you sent me, all I can is, “no comment”. And I’m being nice. lol

          Other than that, isn’t that combination AMAZING?!!!! The best! I knew I’d sell you on it. ;-)

          Reply
  • April 29, 2015 at 7:37 am
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    Frank’s Foods of Hilo has made such a hot dog for years. It is sometimes available at Foodland. Very good. That being said, this looks like a really good product. I agree with you on the casing issue, go natural. And as for the takuan and benishoga, great entertainment item. I would add Maui sweet pickled onion as an option. I think that would be the pot luck table boss right there, all predressed. Maybe you next office party?,

    Reply
  • April 29, 2015 at 3:31 pm
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    @ Pat – Marukai on Oahu (members only) brings in Frank’s Foods Portuguese Sausage from the Big Island every now on then, however not on a regular basis. Other than that, I’m not aware of any other markets here on Oahu that regularly stock Frank’s, which in my “Great Portuguese Sausage Shootout”, Frank’s took the top trophy, beating out Purity.

    I’m not sure how you’re talking about about making this Portuguese Sausage and Tsukemono potluck dish. Do you mean just fry the sausage in slices and serve with the pickled veggies alongside it? Or do you mean making kinda’ like Portuguese Sausage “pig in the blankets”? <— Hey, that’s actually not a bad idea!

    Reply
    • April 29, 2015 at 3:39 pm
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      I was kind of envisioning a dressed hot dog and bun cut into three lengths. With all toppings including the tonkatsu.

      Reply
  • April 29, 2015 at 5:38 pm
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    I think a little sauerkraut would go nicely with this, or some local style salted cabbage.  The sweetbread idea kinda reminds me of Royal Kitchen’s Portuguese sausage manapua.  Tastes like Purity to me.

    Reply
  • April 30, 2015 at 5:39 am
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    Hey Pomai. I love Takuan, but I can’t find it in Sisters, Oregon. Or Bend, for that matter. The closest place I can get it is in Portland (3 hours away), and I just don’t go up there that often. Do you, or your readers, have a good recipe for it? I make all kinds of pickles (sweet, sour, dill, onion, beets, etc.) already, and would love to add Takuan to my repertoire. Thanks, BBC.

    Reply
    • April 30, 2015 at 7:42 pm
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      @ BigBoyChan
       
      From the book Tsukemono (Japanese Pickled Vegetables) by Kay Shimizu; Publisher Shufunotomo/Japan Publications; 1993; ISBN: 0-87040-910-7
       
      HAWAIIAN-STYLE TAKUAN
       
      his takuan is often called Hawaiian-style although it has been made commonly in the mainland states for generations. This is the type sold in jars in supermarkets. The flavor is different from nuka-zuke takuan but yet slightly similar.
       
      Fresh daikon, about 6-7 large long daikon will fill 4 qt.
       
      Dry daikon in sun for 3-4 days until limp.
       
      Wash, slice into ½ inch rounds or 2 inch long sticks. Pack into sterilized jars.
       
      Pickling Solution:
       
      4 cups water
       
      4 cups sugar
       
      2 cups cider vinegar
       
      ½ cup salt
       
      Boil water, add sugar and vinegar. Boil together and cool. Add salt and cook another 2 minutes more. Use while hot. Pour syrup over daikon and seal immediately. Let jars stand for 2-3 weeks or until daikon turns light yellow color. Keep in refrigerator up to 1 ½ months. Strong aroma, so keep well covered.
       
      Two red chili peppers may be added to each qt. jar while packing.  This solution is enough for about 4 qts. of daikon.
       
      Note: This recipe can be adjusted as one would adjust other pickles—more salt, less sugar, etc.

      Reply
      • April 30, 2015 at 8:40 pm
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        With a dehydrator you can get a bit more authentic. Pack in salt, the dry. Shake off and pickle. Hawaii usually uses the lazy style, but some brands or recipes are good. (Many are made by Halms with different recipes).

        Reply
      • April 30, 2015 at 9:03 pm
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        Ken,

        Forget all that WORK. If you’re willing to drop $6k on a Toto Toilet, you’ve surely got some spare change to simply buy a $3.50 bottle of Maui brand Spiced Takuan at your local supermarket. Sheesh, you! So difficult! lol

        Spiced Maui Takuan

        Enjoy the Makaha Sunset! Time is precious!

        Reply
      • May 1, 2015 at 5:19 am
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        Thanks, Ken, I’ll give it a shot! Wish I could just go buy some Maui Brand. Also, I’ll try the dehydrator, Pat. It’s too cold here to sun dry anything until at least July!!!

        Reply
        • May 1, 2015 at 7:20 am
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          Ken,

          My apologies. I didn’t take notice that you were instructing BigBoyChan (out in Oregon) how to make Takuan. I thought you were just saying how YOU would make it, and that you’d do it.

          BBC, surely you must shop at Uwajimaya Market out there in Seattle, where I hear they carry a bunch of Made in Hawaii grocery products, including our Portuguese Sausage. Guaranteed they’ve got some good Takuan brands there, as well.

          Reply
          • May 1, 2015 at 7:27 am
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            Indeed I do shop at Uwajimaya. There is actually one in Portland (Beaverton), and I LOVE it. I just don’t get up there that often, but when I do, I stock up on all of the goodies. Portagee sausage, Takuan, frozen lau-lau, furikake, manapua… you get the idea. I just have to learn to make do in between trips.

        • May 1, 2015 at 12:53 pm
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          @ BigBoyChan
           
          Seeing how you make your own pickles may I suggest the following two books to you especially if you live out in the country like I do and don’t often go into the city:
           
          “Tsukemono (Japanese Pickled Vegetables)” by Kay Shimizu; Publisher Shufunotomo/Japan Publications; 1993; ISBN: 0-87040-910-7: Price $24.00; Approximately 125 full color recipes including fruit liqueurs and sweets; Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Filipino and Hawaiian.
           
          “Easy Japanese Pickling In Five Minutes to One Day” by Seiko Ogawa; PublisherGraph-Sha Ltd./Japan Publications; 2003; ISBN 4-88996-112-5: Price $17.00; Approximately 101 full color recipes including herb vinegars, oils and honeys; Japanese, Chinese and Korean.

          Reply

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