By Request


Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Moanalua High cookbook
includes an easy manapua

Take a bao

When I graduated from high school (back in the Dark Ages), it was customary for graduates to be cut loose right after the ceremony to run amok. This was probably not a good idea, especially considering that the drinking age back then was 18.

These days, saner minds prevail through that modern innovation, Project Graduation. On the celebratory night, graduates are gathered up and taken away by bus for all-night adventures far from mind-altering substances.

This takes money, which leads to another modern innovation, the Project Grad cookbook, wherein students, their families, friends and a few kindly celebrities donate recipes toward a homegrown collection. These cookbooks are usually a good buy for a good cause, and are heavily dosed with local favorites.

The latest of these to cross my desk is from Moanalua High School's class of 2003.

In the interest of full disclosure, I must tell you that Moanalua is the school that is educating two of my children. In fact, my son is a member of the class of 2003 and participated in this cookbook project -- to the extent of saying, "Hey Mom, can you get me some recipes from some chefs?"

And so, along with recipes for shoyu pork and chicken poi stew, you'll find Sam Choy's key lime pie and the L&L Drive-Inn formula for chicken katsu.

So, yes, this is a transparent effort to direct interest (and cash dollars) to a cause that's personal. But, as I said, it's a good cause. And any other school with a cookbook for sale -- feel free to send it here.

The following recipe comes from a member of the class of 2003, Chris Takesue. It satisfies requests that I frequently receive for instructions on manapua -- also known as bao. And it's a simple counterpart to the full-blown bao recipe in today's cover story (see story), using refrigerated biscuits instead of yeast dough.

I baked up a batch for testing on the Moanalua kids who live at my house, who pronounced them worthy. Although sweeter than "real" bao, they are tasty, well textured and so very simple that anybody could do them.

The cookbook sells for $10 at Baldwin's Sweet Shop in the Waimalu Shopping Center, or may be ordered by mail for $13 from Moanalua High School Project Grad 2003, P.O. Box 303, Aiea 96701. Send name, address and telephone number.

Baby Baked Manapua

3/4 pound ground pork
1/4 cup minced water chestnuts
2 tablespoons char siu mix
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
3 cans (7-1/2 ounces) buttermilk biscuits
1/2 cup sugar
30 2-inch squares wax paper
Red food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook ground pork in a skillet until no longer pink. Add water chestnuts and char siu mix. Simmer 3 minutes. Stir in green onions and remove from heat. Cool.

Separate biscuits. Roll a biscuit in sugar and flatten into a 3-inch round. Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of the round and pinch to close, forming a ball. Place pinched-side down on a square of wax paper, then on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining biscuits.

Dot each manapua with food coloring. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Makes 30 manapua. (Manapua may also be steamed 15 to 18 minutes).

Approximate nutritional analysis, per manapua: 110 calories, 4.5 g total fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 225 mg sodium, 15 g carbohydrate, 3.5 g protein.*

Food Stuffs: Morsels

Send queries along with name and phone number to:
"By Request," Honolulu Star-Bulletin,
500 Ala Moana, No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813.
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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