By Request

By Kekoa Catherine Enomoto

Wednesday, June 17, 1998

By Ken Ige, Star-Bulletin
A batch of the popular dish is given a taste test by, from left,
food and beverage manager Akemi Takagi, executive chef
Shigeru Kaminaka and general manager James Harada.

Here’s the scoop
on mac salad

The plate lunch staple is
an island tradition

AT last, a definitive recipe for local-style macaroni-potato salad from a Hawaii purveyor who dishes up about 1,000 pounds of the popular side dish per week.

"We make anywhere from 800 to 1,200 pounds a week," says James Harada, president of Marians Island Wide Catering and nephew of the company's founder, the late Marian Harada.

"That's a lot of mayonnaise," he chuckles. He estimates that a pound of the salad equals four or five scoops, depending on serving size -- which translates to 6,000 scoops of salad a week!

Harada calls the salad "potato mac" even though, "The salad is mostly macaroni. It's just that Hawaii people like a little potato in there -- not too much, but some. One or two pieces is fine."

He adds his theory of evolution that potato mac comes from "local tradition and our mixture of cultures. We have a lot of ingredients from the mixture of various races and ethnic groups ..."

The only green in the salad is a smattering of diced celery.

"A 'local' salad is not tossed greens," Harada emphasizes. "Even though local potato-macaroni salad is a starch, we call it our salad. If you sample plate-lunch places throughout town, they offer green salad but most local folks prefer potato mac."

By Ken Ige, Star-Bulletin
Marians Island Wide Catering prepares from 800 to 1,200
pounds of potato-macaroni salad a week.

Harada shares his company's recipe on the eve of the seventh annual Taste of Honolulu, at which Marians is a third-year participant. He will serve the four top sellers from the 63-year-old catering firm -- sweet and sour spareribs, mahimahi tempura, shoyu pork long rice (Korean chop chae) and kalua pig.

Marians Catering joins 28 purveyors serving 97 dishes at the Taste of Honolulu June 26-28. Other specialties include spicy footballs and creamy mermaids from California Beach Rock 'n' Sushi; rib steak Philly cheese pile-on from Official All Star Cafe; Palomino Euro Bistro's paella; Red Lobster's lobster poppers; and ribs from Texas Rock & Roll Sushi Bar.

Here's the macaroni-potato salad recipe, requested by Robert Jue of the San Francisco area and many other readers -- plus a preparation secret.

"If there is anything important as far as the ingredients in the mixture itself," Harada divulges, "it's the way they dry out the macaroni. Dry it out real well, a lot of people don't."


Marians potato-macaroni salad

Courtesy of James Harada, president,
Marians Island Wide Catering

3/4 pound Gem salad potato
1 pound elbow macaroni
1-1/2 ounces carrot
1 ounce chopped celery
1 ounce chopped onion
1 large egg, hard boiled
1-1/2 pounds mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste

Cover potatoes with tap water; boil until cooked on the firm side. Cool in tap water; peel and cut into 1/4-inch cubes.

Boil macaroni until cooked on the firm side; rinse in a colander with tap water. Dice carrots, celery and onions on the fine side. Grate the hard boiled egg.

Thoroughly mix potato, macaroni, carrot, celery, onion, egg and a little salt and pepper. Add mayonnaise and mix well to desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste. Makes 15 servings.

Bullet Approximate nutritional analysis per serving (using 1/4 teaspoon salt): 460 calories, 37 g total fat, 5 g saturated fat, 40 mg cholesterol, 300 mg sodium.*


Taste of Honolulu

The annual Easter Seals benefit features food from 28 restaurants, plus entertainment:
Bullet When: 5-10 p.m. June 26, noon-10 p.m. June 27 and noon-7 p.m. June 28
Bullet Place: Honolulu Civic Center
Bullet Cost: Admission is $2, senior citizens and children are admitted free. Scrips for food purchases will be sold at the event
Bullet Call: 67-TASTE (678-2783, or 536-1015

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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