By Request

By Betty Shimabukuro

Wednesday, July 21, 1999

By Craig T. Kojima, Star-Bulletin
Seafood Funn Lasagna at Ciao Mein blends Chinese noodles and
black beans with marinara sauce, vegetables, cheese and shellfish.

Seafood lasagna
whole lotta funn

OUT of Taste of Honolulu, the mega-food festival held last month, come two requests from patrons who ate their way around the grounds and say these dishes outshone the field.

Carolyn Zane and Joanne Higashi asked for the recipes for Seafood Funn Lasagna from Ciao Mein restaurant in the Hyatt Regency Waikiki and Calypso Shell-on Shrimp from the new Cafe Monsarrat. The lasagna was voted best pasta dish in balloting held during the festival.

It will be featured at Saturday's eighth birthday celebration at Ciao Mein on a menu that reflects the restaurant's fusion of Chinese and Italian cuisine (for reservations for the $50 fixed-price meal call 923-2426). Neither of these dishes is simple. Each has a long list of ingredients and many steps. Not something that's going to make anyone's 30-minutes-or-less list. But if you have the time, both are guaranteed to impress.

Two notes: The lasagna was broken down by our nutritionist from an original recipe for 120 servings, so your smaller homemade portion may vary in taste. Also, the Garlic-Lemon Aioli accompanying the shrimp dish contains raw egg yolks, which some avoid due to fear of salmonella.


1-1/3 tablespoons chopped garlic
1-1/3 tablespoons chopped shallots
1/5 tablespoon black beans
1 pound scallops, halved
2 tablespoons sherry
2 cups heavy cream
1/8 cup roux (see note)
1/4 cup Boursin cheese (see note)
2 pounds lobster scraps, chopped
1 pound baby shrimp
Salt and pepper to taste
1-3/4 cups prepared marinara sauce
5-1/2 pounds cooked look funn noodles (2-1/4 pounds dry)
4-1/2 cups sliced eggplant
18 ounces frozen spinach, defrosted and well-drained
1 pound smoked mozzarella cheese, shredded

Saute garlic, shallots and black beans. Add scallops, sherry and cream. Thicken with roux, then add Boursin cheese.

To a pot of boiling water add lobster, shrimp, salt and pepper. Return to a boil. Drain, plunge seafood in cold water, drain again and add to first mixture.

Layer in a lasagna pan: some marinara, some noodles, the spinach, eggplant, more sauce, mozzarella, more noodles and the seafood. Flatten well with a spatula. Top with more noodles and marinara. Seal with plastic wrap. Weigh down to eliminate air pockets. Freeze to firm it up. When ready to serve, thaw partially and remove wrap.

Bake in preheated 375-degree oven 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake 30 minutes.

Lasagna may be sliced and individual portions steamed 15-30 minutes in a steamer basket.

Serves 12.

Note: Make roux by stirring equal amounts of butter and flour 5 minutes over low heat to thicken without burning. Boursin is a soft, garlic-flavored cheese available at most supermarkets.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 710 calories, 30 g total fat, 17 g saturated fat, 190 mg cholesterol, 670 mg sodium.*


2 pounds medium headless shrimp, shells on
1 quart canola oil

Bullet Achiote Oil
12 garlic cloves, bruised
2 cups vegetable oil
1/2 cup achiote seed
1 tablespoon whole allspice
1 teaspoon red chile flakes

Bullet Garlic-Lemon Aioli
3 lemons, juice and zest
1-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 egg yolks
1 cup olive oil
1 cup achiote oil (above)
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
Salt and white pepper to taste

Bullet Caribe-Szechuan Salt
1/2 cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons Szechuan peppercorns
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon each coriander, cloves, allspice, cinnamon, ground ginger and black peppercorns.

To make Achiote Oil, bake oil and garlic in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Cool to about 250 degrees. Add remaining ingredients and allow to steep overnight. Strain.

To make aioli: Combine lemon juice and zest, mustard, garlic and eggs in a blender and slowly add oils with the blender running. Add water as needed to achieve a mustard-like consistency. Mix in chile powder, salt and pepper. Refrigerate.

To make salt: Toast all ingredients in a hot skillet until they start to smoke. Cool, then grind.

Heat canola oil to 350 degrees. Fry the shrimp in 1/2 pound batches, 2 minutes. Immediately toss with salt mixture. Serve hot with aioli for dipping. Serves 8.

Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving, without dipping sauce: 290 calories, 20 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 170 mg cholesterol, greater than 1,200 mg sodium. Aioli Dipping Sauce, per 2 tablespoons: 250 calories, 28 g total fat, 3 g saturated fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 40 mg sodium.*

Send queries along with name and phone number to:
By Request, Honolulu Star-Bulletin Food Section,
P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
Or send e-mail to

Asterisk (*) after nutritional analyses in the
Body & Soul section indicates calculations by
Joannie Dobbs of Exploring New Concepts,
a nutritional consulting firm.

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