Cherish Cherry Blossoms with festive foods


POSTED: Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce continues its proud sponsorship of the Cherry Blossom Festival, which has earned the reputation of being one of the oldest uninterrupted ethnic celebrations in the state.




Cherry Blossom Festival

        Visit www.cbfhawaii.com or call 949-2255:

» Queen contestant appearances: Saturday, Kahala Mall; Feb. 7, Windward Mall; Feb. 21, Pearlridge; March 7, Ala Moana. All take place at noon.


» Fashion show: 11 a.m. Feb. 15, Hyatt Regency Hotel


» Reception: 5 to 9 p.m. March 1, Pearl Ultra Lounge


» Heritage Fair: 10 to 4 p.m. March 14, Convention Center


» Festival Ball: 4 to 10 p.m. March 28, Sheraton Waikiki


» Golf tournament: 12:30 p.m. April 9, Pearl Country Club



In 1953, a small group organized the first Cherry Blossom Festival in Hawaii. This year, the chamber presents the 57th festival. While times have changed, the purpose of the festival continues to be the perpetuation of Japanese culture.

Here are some traditional foods suitable to festival days.


Broiled Sushi

10 dried shiitake mushrooms
1/4 pound imitation or canned crab meat, shredded
1/4 pound cooked bay shrimp
1/4 pound cooked scallops, chopped
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
4 cups cooked rice
1/4 cup nori furikake (Japanese seasoned seaweed mix)
Korean nori

Soak mushrooms in water until soft; squeeze out excess water, then chop caps. Combine with crab meat, shrimp, scallops, sour cream and mayonnaise.

Place cooked rice in a 9-by-13-inch pan; sprinkle with furikake. Top with the crab-meat mixture. Broil 8 to 10 minutes, or until browned.

Spoon into Korean nori. Serves 12.

Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving: 300 calories, 19 g total fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 45 mg cholesterol, 250 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 11 g protein.


Japanese Green Salad with Miso Dressing

1 small head iceberg lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 Japanese cucumber, thinly sliced
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 head red cabbage, shredded
2 tomatoes, cubed
1/2 cup wakame seaweed, softened
1/2 cup corn (optional)
3/4 cup bubu arare (baby rice crackers) for garnish
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds for garnish

» Miso Dressing:
1/4 cup white miso
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Japanese rice vinegar
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sesame seed oil

Toss salad ingredients except arare in a large bowl.

Place dressing ingredients in blender and blend until thick and smooth. Pour dressing over salad just before serving. Garnish with arare and sesame seeds. Serves 6.

Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving (including optional corn): 200 calories, 8 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, 650 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 6 g protein.


Japanese-Style Fried Chicken

3 boneless chicken breasts
Potato starch
Vegetable oil for deep frying

» Marinade:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup sake
1 piece fresh ginger root, crushed

Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Combine marinade ingredients. Marinate chicken 1 hour.

Remove chicken from marinade and dredge in potato starch. Deep-fry in hot oil until golden brown. Serves 4.

Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving: 600 calories, 33 g total fat, 5 g saturated fat, 80 mg cholesterol, greater than 2,000 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 32 g protein.


Peanut Butter Mochi

1-1/2 cups mochiko
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup sugar
Cooking spray
6 tablespoons creamy peanut putter

Coat inside of a microwave bundt pan with cooking spray.

Mix mochiko, water and sugar in a bowl, stirring until smooth. Pour into prepared pan and microwave on high 5 minutes. Cool in pan 40 to 45 minutes.

While still warm, cut mochi in half with plastic knife. Cut each half into 1/4-inch thick slices. Pull or stretch each mochi slice. Using a plastic spoon, place 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon peanut butter in center, fold in half and pinch edges to seal. Roll mochi on kinako. Makes about 3 dozen mini mochi.

Approximate nutritional analysis, per mini mochi: 90 calories, 3 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, 15 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 3 g protein.


Note: The kinako on the mochi may start to mold after about four days. To extend shelf life, wrap mochi individually.


Hawaiian Electric Co. presents this weekly collection of recipes as a public service. Many are drawn from HECO's database of recipes, accessible online at www.heco.com.