Whenever I get a recipe request for a local-style dish, the first place I turn is the cookbook series published by the Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin.
As a research tool this set is invaluable. For one thing, there are six books, so the odds of success are decent. Also, the recipes are user-friendly and reliable, not the case with every made-for-charity cookbook.
The ladies of the betsuin published Book I in the "Favorite Island Cookery" series in 1973 and sold it for $3.50. It was one of the first locally printed books to focus on island-style cooking and it was a huge hit. Through the years the series has raised more than $70,000 for betsuin projects.
This weekend the temple hosts its annual bazaar featuring a craft, rummage and plant sale and, of course, foods prepared from the cookbooks. Jikoen Temple joins the celebration this year, adding three kinds of Okinawan soups, andagi and bitter melon namasu to the menu.
Timing being everything, the upcoming bazaar coincides with a request made just last week by Evonne Saragosa-Seyer, a Big Island gal (Hilo High, class of 1963), who's now working in Orlando, Fla.
Her husband got ahold of some macadamia nuts recently, which touched off a craving for cookies. "I have not eaten macadamia-nut cookies for a long, long time and just wanted to bake some."
She goes on to say she's not much of a baker, and would prefer something simple.
This recipe is from Book III in the series and is very easy. It produces close to 90 small, crispy cookies with a light flavor. Very nice.
By the way, there is no Book VII in the works. "Everybody's too tired," is how one of the volunteers put it. But all the other books are still in print, with Book I the perpetual No. 1 seller. They may be purchased through the betsuin office for $8 to $10. The full set of six costs $50. Mail orders are taken, postage for the set is $9. Or fill in your set at Sunday's bazaar.
Also included here is the Chirashi Sushi recipe from the venerable Book I. The dish was a sell-out at the last bazaar and is to be featured this year as well.
Macadamia Nut Cookies3 cups flourSift flour and sugar together; set aside.
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1/4 cup shortening
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1 cup rolled oats
Cream butter, shortening and sugar. Add eggs and mix well. Mix in vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients, then nuts and rolled oats. Form into balls slightly larger than a whole mac nut and place on a greased cookie sheet. Flatten balls slightly. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. Makes 7 to 8 dozen.
Nutritional information unavailable.
Chirashi Sushi6 cups riceCook rice. Meanwhile, mix Awase-zu ingredients together and bring to a boil. Set aside to cool.
6 cups water, less 1 tablespoon
2/3 cup sugar
2-1/2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon Ajinomoto
1 cup vinegar
2 medium carrots, in small, thin slices
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
15 string beans, cut diagonally in very thin strips
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 medium dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in water 1 hour
4 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
To prepare vegetables: Combine carrots in a pot with water, sugar and soy sauce. Cook over high heat until all liquid has evaporated, stirring constantly. Repeat with string beans. Squeeze water from shiitakes and cut into very thin pieces. Add water, sugar and soy and cook over moderate heat 10 minutes. Increase heat and cook until all liquid has evaporated, stirring constantly.
Gradually sprinkle Awase-zu into hot rice, stirring lightly while cooling rice with a fan. Stir in vegetables. Makes 16 1-cup servings.
Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 340 calories, 0.5 g total fat, no saturated fat, no cholesterol, greater than 1,250 mg sodium, 6 g protein, 76 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber.*
Autumn BazaarFeaturing: Foods from the "Favorite Island Cookery" cookbooks
When: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday
Place: Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin, 1727 Pali Highway
Food Stuffs: Morsels
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 email@example.com
Asterisk (*) after nutritional analyses in the
Body & Soul section indicates calculations by
Joannie Dobbs of Exploring New Concepts,
a nutritional consulting firm.