Solve a recipe mystery to ring in the new year


POSTED: Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It is my custom as the old year ends to dig into the mailbag for the requests that have stumped me, in the hope that some kind reader with an extensive recipe collection can help solve a mystery as the new year begins.

If you can help, get in touch through the address at the end of this column. Include information on where you got the recipe and how it has turned out for you, if you've tested it yourself. As always, there's a standing offer of a cookbook to anyone who shares a recipe that works. We have a stock here of review copies in all types of cooking styles.

» Two requests involve mango bread, the first for Gladys Kurosu, who had come to love a recipe that she cut out of the Star-Bulletin in the late '70s or '80s. The directions included making a “;well”; with the dry ingredients, then adding the wet. It was called Mrs. Somebody's Mango Bread (the “;somebody”; was a Japanese name), and the Mrs. was pictured making the bread.

For me to find this would require a tedious search through microfilm, so I'm hoping someone has the clipping — given all these specifics it should be clearly identifiable. Kurosu lost the clipping in a house fire, and I'd really like to find it for her.

Also in the mango bread category is Shirley Whittington's search for another lost recipe — one made with 2 cups of oil to make a single loaf. I printed this request earlier this year and got a few responses, but none fit the bill. The key is in the amount oil, which makes the bread very moist. Few recipes call for more than 1 cup per loaf. It also had nuts and raisins.

» Sandy Takaki bought a snack treat something like Chex Mix but made with round tostada chips, butter, honey or sugar and black sesame seeds. She'd like to re-create the mix herself — and it does sound like a good idea for a New Year's Eve party.

» Susan Donald would like to make jelly with poha berries, which means no seeds and using pectin. She's only been able to find recipes for poha jam.

» Claire Nabors wants a really good recipe for coconut cream pie, “;maybe something with an island flair.”; In this case, please send in only those recipes you've tried yourself and know to be especially good.

» Linda Kiyotoki hopes to find the recipe for Chinese Chicken Salad from a place called Bon Bons that was popular in the '90s, on Bishop Street near Hotel.

» Darryl Higuchi seeks the recipe for bread pudding from the former Aiea Bakery Kapiolani, or something similar. It was made with glazed doughnuts and had a firm crust. Anyone have a line on the bakery's owners?

» Carlton Chun would like to make an almond fudge candy like the one once made by Blum's of San Francisco, with a whole almond covered in chocolate. It brings back memories of pooling his money with his sisters and brother twice a year to buy a can for their mother on her birthday and Mother's Day. “;It brings back such good memories of our mother.”;



The deadline to order copies of the five best “;By Request”; recipes of 2009 is tomorrow, New Year's Eve. The recipes are available for a $5 donation to the Star-Bulletin's Good Neighbor Fund.

The recipes: Hawaii-Style Custard Pie, Frosted Flake Chocolate Chip Cookies, Coconut Candy (those red sugary balls sold in crack-seed stores), the Crouching Lion's Slavonic Steak and Gai See Mein (chow mein with a twist).

For a set, send $5 to the address below by the end of the day tomorrow. Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Make checks payable to the Good Neighbor Fund. Feel free to donate more, but indicate how many sets of recipes you would like. No e-mail or fax orders.


Send queries to “;By Request,”; Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813. Send e-mail to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).