GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Kitchen Delight Okazuya owner Gladys Okamura is replacing the pickled daikon in her makizushi with pineapple, just for Saturday's Wahiawa Pineapple Festival.
Sushi, waffle dogs get a touch of gold
When you sign on as a food vendor for Saturday's Pineapple Festival in Wahiawa, you're committed to come up with a pineapple dish. Or at least to try. Even if your usual menu is not very pineapple-friendly.
Wahiawa Pineapple Festival
» When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; parade starts at 9 a.m.
» Place: Wahiawa District Park, California Avenue
» Admission: Free
» Parking: Free parking and shuttle service from Leilehua High School
» Call: 227-8229
» Online: HawaiiPineapple-Festival.com
Gladys Okamura, owner of Kitchen Delight Okazuya, is serving sushi, for example. Charged with the pineapple challenge, she sallied forth, can of crushed pine in hand, and came up with two contributions: Pineapple Cone Sushi and Pineapple Makizushi.
It wasn't rocket science, she says. The only trick was figuring out how much fruit to add to make an impression without it becoming overwhelming. In the end, she just took her best guess.
"It turned out very good," she says. And then: "It was very surprising."
The Pineapple Festival, while largely about food, is also about pineapple history and the role the golden fruit has played in the Wahiawa community. Games, cultural displays, entertainment and crafts are all part of the day.
Alan Wong's, Roy's restaurants, Ola at Turtle Bay and the Poke Stop will be represented with pineapple-themed dishes for sale.
Also working on his contribution is Dayton Asato, who will bring a pineapple version of the KC Waffle Dog. Asato said he's still working on his exact formula, but he plans to top his waffle-encased dogs with a pineapple-onion relish. If there's time, he says, he'll slit the waffle shell open and add a dollop of relish, so the dogs are easy to carry and eat. If not, the relish will be served with other condiments on the side.
For her part, Okamura is mixing crushed pineapple into her cone sushi, along with the usual carrots. In her makizushi, or rolled sushi, the pineapple substitutes for takuan, or pickled daikon, which conveniently is also yellow.
"Because pineapple is sour and sweet, it goes with the vinegar in the rice," she said. "So hopefully we'll introduce something new to the public."
>> Pineapple recipes in “The Electric Kitchen.”