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Key Ingredient

ELEANOR NAKAMA-MITSUNAGA

Wednesday, September 26, 2001


Ingredient of the week


KOREAN MELON

You might have seen this variety of melon pop up throughout the summer at farmer's markets, smaller Asian markets or around Chinatown.

They've been around for a couple of years but have remained quite obscure. Nonetheless, try and hunt this melon down. You have until the end of summer to do so.

The basics: Golden melon, also called Korean yellow melon, is a hybrid sweet melon that has been popular with the Korean community as well as throughout Asia. Not only is it juicy and sweet, but it comes in a convenient, petite package, averaging about 1 1/2 pounds.

The outer skin, or rind, is a distinct bright yellow, with white indented stripes running from end to end. The flesh is cream-colored with a crunchy, pear-like texture. The taste has been compared to cantaloupe, although it is more like a cross between cantaloupe and honeydew melon. It is grown locally on Oahu by Aloun Farms but is also brought in from California.

Selecting: Look for melons that are heavy for their size. They don't emit much of a fragrance except when overripe. These melons are a bit more delicate than other varieties of melons and tend to brown quickly. Avoid melons with soft spots and bruising.

Storing: Refrigerate golden melons for no longer than five days. Ideally, they should be eaten as soon as possible after purchase.

Use: Cut melon in half and remove seeds. Cut off the rind and chop into bite-size cubes, or enjoy the crunchy flesh with a spoon, scraping the meat off the rind.

Where to buy: You may have to hunt a bit for this melon. Daiei and Star Markets are the two larger markets that have started carrying it on a limited basis. Chinatown and farmer's markets are the other sources. The melons run $1.69 to $1.99 a pound.

Food Stuffs: Morsels



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