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alanamoana

spam and mac salad

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Cool. Many thanks for taking the time to post that. My next trip will be enriched.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Is there an eGullet dictionary of food terms and dishes? This could be a good beginning.


 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Good choices, how could you forget Maple Garden (on Isenberg). My favorite Chinese restaurant in the state! I love Ducs Bistro in chinatown for Vietnamese/French. Yanagi Sushi too is very good. Big City Diner- not very good. Korean- Ginas, in the Market City Mall (they even plate my order with no rice and a smile now). Hale Vietnam good, also the Bale in Manoa- I have taken their comforing food (and lots of pho) home many nights with me.

Mekong. Chaing Mai, yum...

Gotta go!

You make good choices, too, Karen!

Amazing that I could forget Maple Garden and Yanagi Sushi. Maple Garden was my father's very favorite restaurant - the owner used to always recognize me when I went to pick up a takeout order. Yanagi Sushi is my mom's favorite - I think it's actually Korean-owned. Both are longtime island favorites.

I didn't include Gina's because it's more a plate lunch place - that subject deserves a thread of its own. The food is truly huge - it's the Masu's Massive of the Korean-style plate lunch world. I think it also won a reader's choice as best Korean in the Advertiser's latest poll.

Never been to Duc's Bistro - I know it's French-Vietnamese and has live music, though. Bale's in Manoa is kind of unusual with all its Thai dishes and Banh Mi juxtaposed. What was your bad experience with Big City Diner?

Anyway gotta go too. . .

skChai: How nice to see postings about the ,"Maple Garden", it's good to know that they are still doing well. My 2 Chinese partners and I were glad to have found plus instigated their choice of location plus assisting in licensing and lease arrangements. When the started business the location wasn't considered appropiate for a Asian or any type of Restaurant, but we were convinced that with the community evolution it would become a favorite.

Just came across some information that refers to this posting subject. The unique addition of "Tuna", to "Macaroni Salad", started during the second World War when the Plate Lunch and Sandwich Providers for Pearl Harbor and other military connected activities had very limited choice of sandwich fillers, or side dishes. Since there was plenty of Macaroni available, plus Mayo, they had limited amounts of Canned Tuna, plus Caught local Aku and other fishes they incorperated this with the Macaroni Salad to encourage the workers to enjoy eating the salad. There wasn't that many things available. Eggs, Balonga, Lunch Meat, Spam Etc. Since many of these Caterers didn't have a Meat Slicer they implemented the special popular until today. "Hawaiian Thick Slice", that was because since everything had to be cut by hand with a was much easier to mass produce sandwiches using just one thicker knife slice for the Meat items.

It was funny because after I leaned about this Thick Slice popularity I recommended it to several Lunch wagon operators and drive inns who had been using pre sliced meats. They became the Wagons, that the construction workers waited for, because all the other wagons served the presliced sandwiches and there's were cut thicker. Even the Drive Inns sandwich sales increased. Irwin


I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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Is there an eGullet dictionary of food terms and dishes?  This could be a good beginning.

Be careful, Toliver. That is how eGCI got started. :biggrin:


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Sorry, SK - I'm a bit intimidated by your last post.  I can't come up with any ethno-botanical-anthropological analysis today - but here are some random foods I have been thinking about or craving this week and tonight - hoping that it will get us going again.

Tad - I found your reply a lot more intimidating than my original post! All the things that you're looking to have on your plate boggle the mind. Thanks also for providing the expanations for all the terms - it's essential for the kind of cross-fertilization of ideas that we're hoping for in this kind of forum.

I was thinking about something much more modest -

For instance, when I make Korean Kalbi, I often put more sugar in it than most Koreans could bear - that's just more "teriyaki-style" what I'm used to. If it's tough meat, I may put a couple of slices of green papaya in it to tenderize it - something that you still can't really obtain in Korea except for high-class deparatment stores. It's not an attempt at fusion but just an attempt to adapt to local tastes (which I guess I have just as much as anyone else).

I have made Kung Pao chicken with Macademia nuts instead of peanuts quite often. O.K. it actually makes it a lot more expensive - but I'm more likely to have mac nuts available in my pantry than peanuts, since we stockpile everytime Longs or Daiei has a sale on it. And it tastes good as well.

When I make instant ramen (plain old Sapporo Ichiban), I may add spam, hot dogs, lup cheong, etc. to the usual mix, so as to "saiminize" it. I'll even substitute the powdered soup with Swanson's beef broth - if its' beef flavor of liquid dashi-no-moto otherwise. If I'm in a weird mood, I may substitute coconut milk with a little store-bought Thai curry paste to make a travesty of "laksa".

Obviously, none of this is great food. Arguably each "innovation" is a step down (or many steps down) from the original dish I'm adapting. But I'm just saying that this is the way that a lot of Hawai`i's hybrid dishes got started - before they got fancied up to HRC.

Sun-Ki


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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skChai: How nice to see postings about the ,"Maple Garden", it's good to know that they are still doing well. My 2 Chinese partners and I were glad to have found plus instigated their choice of location plus assisting in licensing and lease arrangements. When the started business the location wasn't considered appropiate for a Asian or any type of Restaurant, but we were convinced that with the community evolution it would become a favorite.

Just came across some information that refers to this posting subject. The unique addition of "Tuna", to "Macaroni Salad", started during the second World War when the Plate Lunch and Sandwich Providers for Pearl Harbor and other military connected activities had very limited choice of sandwich fillers, or side dishes. Since there was plenty of Macaroni available, plus Mayo, they had limited amounts of Canned Tuna, plus Caught local Aku and other fishes they incorperated this with the Macaroni Salad to encourage the workers to enjoy eating the salad. There wasn't that many things available. Eggs, Balonga, Lunch Meat, Spam Etc. Since many of these Caterers didn't have a Meat Slicer  they implemented the special popular until today. "Hawaiian Thick Slice", that was because since everything had to be cut by hand with a was much easier to mass produce sandwiches using just one thicker knife slice for the Meat items.

It was funny because after I leaned about this Thick Slice popularity I recommended it to several Lunch wagon operators and drive inns who had been using pre sliced meats. They became the Wagons, that the construction workers waited for, because all the other wagons served the presliced sandwiches and there's were  cut thicker.  Even the Drive Inns sandwich sales increased. Irwin

Irwin,

Rachel and I have been marvelling at how you seemed to have been everywhere and done everything there was to do in the Hawai`i restaurant scene during that period. Maple Garden is definitely doing very well - it regularly appears at the top or near the top of reader's polls for the favorite mid-priced Chinese in the Hawai`i. It is true that the location is not the most visible place - unless you are headed down Isenberg to go to Stadium Bowl or something - but once word of mouth got around there's been no end to its popularity. Nearly every time we go there we have to find street parking because the (albeit small) parking lot is completely full. They're really strong on the kind of robust cookery that locals like, at reasonable prices. My late father's favorite dishes were Spicy Garlic Chicken, Chinaman's Hat (like Mushu Pork), Squid with Beef, and Spicy Eggplant. He always ordered more or less the same thing, and even when he was suffering from cancer he still wanted to eat there one more time, so we would go there to get takeout. We haven't been back nearly as much since he passed away but hope return again soon.

Your history about the insertion of tuna into macaroni salad is an interesting part of local culinary history. Why do you think, then, that most contemporary versions of mac salad lack the tuna. Usually the only ingredients other than mayo and mac nowadays are typically a smidgen of onion and a few thinly sliced carrots. Perhaps once it got established as a menu item, plate lunch sellers decided it wasn't worth the extra cost of putting in fish. I dunno if it would be possible to revive this tradition: "poke-mac" salad?

The origin of the "thick" slice is also very interesting, since even today sellers of spam musubi are expected to provide sliced of at least 1/4" and usually closer to 1/2" in order to generate the "real thing". Likewise if you go to an okazu-type delicatessan, it is rare to find fillings that are thinly sliced or processed. I always thought that it was a way of saving labor, but as you point out, it may have become a cultural expectation as well, not to mention your own personal involvement.

Please, keep these nuggets of Hawai`i's culinary history coming. Irwin.

Mahalo!


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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A few things that I thought of that might be of interest.

  • apple bananas - smaller and much tastier than those Ecuadorean ones.
    waiwee - a small fruit related to guava, but more fragile. There are several varieties.
    breadfruit - a starchy fruit from the South Pacific. Usually roasted, but makes interesting chips, too.
    mountain apples - soft skinned fruit, white with a pinkish blush.

~Tad


Edited by FoodZealot (log)

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