Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hawaii "Odds and Ends": I-naba Soba, Giovanni's Shrimp Truck, Me's BBQ and More

Soba at I-naba

Ok - last Hawaii post, I promise!

Here are some odds and ends of food we had on our trip that didn't make it into a post of their own. Above is the cold soba lunch at I-naba Soba in Honolulu. We had never had soba served this way before, and we really enjoyed it. Rather than being served as a soup, you dip the noodles into the sauce. The soba was fantastic, as was the tempura.

Savage Shrimp

Although we had Oahu's north shore locked in as a shrimp destination, our first shrimp of the trip was at Savage Shrimp in Koloa on Kauai. We had the place's namesake "Savage Shrimp" dish. Served in a spicy broth with bread on the side for dipping, it was hearty and flavorful.

Later, on Oahu, we made it out the north shore. We had a hard time deciding which of the shrimp spots to hit up. In the end, we settled on Giovanni's Shrimp Truck - mostly because we were on the bus and it was near a stop.

Giovanni's Shrimp Truck on the Oahu North Shore

We shared a batch of Giovanni's Garlic Scampi:

Garlic Scampi at Giovanni's Shrimp Truck

Simple fare, but good. There was a ton of garlic in the sauce - which we really liked, but if you aren't a garlic fan, this wouldn't be for you.

One night, we were wandering out from our vacation rental at the south end of Waikiki and Sherry spotted Me's BBQ. A tiny little Korean joint tucked away on a side-street, the feel of the place immediately appealed to me. They have a small indoor area with a counter where you order, and a few tables outside.

We ended up eating there twice, and our favorite item was the Fish Jun - delicate, thin pieces of fish coated in an egg batter (sorry for the bad, low-light photo):

Fish Jun at Me's BBQ

We like the Jun so much that we made our own version as one of the dishes in our Feast of the Seven Fishes last Christmas Eve. We also really liked their Kalbi and Kimchi.

There was an Izakaya place, Tokkuri-Tei, not far from where we were staying, so we went there for dinner. It had a pleasant atmosphere and friendly knowledgeable waitresses. The dishes we had were hit and miss, but more hit than miss. This beef tongue skewer was one of the better ones:

Beef Tongue Skewer at Tokkuri-Tei

I had decided that I needed a teriyaki burger. Teddy's Bigger Burgers was just a block away from where we were staying and seemed to be pretty well liked. Not by us, though, as it turned out. The burger didn't look bad:

Teri-Burger at Teddy's Bigger Burgers

Unfortunately, it was dry and uninteresting. One of my least favorite burgers I've had in quite some time. And pretty expensive, to boot. Not recommended.

We also cooked with some local ingredients while we were visiting the islands. I saw Redondo's Portuguese Sausage in the grocery store and couldn't resist picking some up:

Redondo's Portuguese Sausage

It was very tasty for breakfast - sliced up and fried with eggs.

And, of course, we couldn't leave out the Hawaiian staple:

Spam and Eggs

Spam and eggs made a lovely breakfast one morning on the tiny balcony of our vacation rental in Honolulu.

I-naba Soba
1610 S King St.
Honolulu, Hawaii

Savage Shrimp
Kukui'ula Village Suite K-158
2829 Ala Kalaikaumaka
Koloa, Kauai

Giovanni's Shrimp Truck
56-505 Kamehameha Hwy
Kahuku, Hawaii

Me's BBQ
151 Uluniu Ave.
Honolulu, Hawaii

449 Kapahulu Ave.
Honolulu, Hawaii

Teddy's Bigger Burgers
134 Kapahulu Ave.
Honolulu, Hawaii

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Food Photo Round-Up

Sicilian Sausage with Hasselbeck Potatoes and Black Kale Salad

When we make a good dish, but I don't really have enough for a blog post, I often post a picture on twitter instead. For those of you who don't follow along with those tweets, I figured I'd do a round-up of some of the pictures here on the blog.

The picture above is a homemade Sicilian sausage (one of our favorites - we need to do a post on making them sometime) with Hasselbeck (or is it Hasselback?) potatoes and a black kale salad.

Mapo Doufu
Mapo Tofu

Fuchsia Dunlop's version of "Pock-Marked Mother Chen's Bean Curd", from her book "Land of Plenty" is on our regular rotation.


This was our first attempt at making Chawanmushi, and it turned out really well. I love savory custards.

Shoyu Ramen
Shoyu Ramen

Not quite homemade ramen - I call it "home-assembled". We buy packaged ramen noodles and add the trimmings - fish cake, pork slices, greens, nori and, of course, a soft-cooked egg.

Lamb Shanks Braised in Red Wine
Lamb Shanks Braised in Red Wine

Is there is anything more comforting than a braised lamb shank? We do a red wine braise based loosely on a short rib recipe from Daniel Boulud's "Cafe Boulud Cookbook".


The first time I saw a picture of Romanesco I was amazed - it is such a cool looking vegetable. Sherry has had great success growing them this winter, and we've been eating a lot of it.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara
Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Perfectly cooked spaghetti coated with egg is a thing a beauty. We make ours with homemade pancetta, which I prefer to the traditional guanciale.

Green Chile Cheeseburger
Green Chile Cheeseburger

We've posted a number of times about green chile cheeseburgers in New Mexico, but we also make them at home, using hatch green chiles that we buy by the crate when they are in season. Yes, that is American cheese on the burger. I make no apologies.


Light, puffy and cheesy - Gougères may be the perfect snack. They are made with the same choux pastry technique used for cream puffs, but go a savory direction instead of sweet.

Pan-Seared Duck Breast with Green Beans and Potatoes
Duck Breast

Rosy pink meat and succulent skin - what more is there to say?

Homemade Bacon
Homemade Bacon

It has been over three years now since we started making our own homemade bacon, and we're still going strong. Store-bought bacon is a thing of the past for us. We're almost out of the last batch we made - time to make some more!