Aloha side dishesWhere to get the book
filled with flavor
The interests of the Japanese Women's Society have always reached beyond the ethnic- and gender-specific nature of the group's name.
The members are women, yes, and mostly of Japanese heritage, but as a group their mission is social and educational service to the community-at-large, with a particular emphasis on the elderly.
The society is big into the cookbook business, too. Its three cookbooks -- "Hawaii's Aloha Recipes," published in the 1980s and out of print for nearly a decade; "Traditions of Aloha" from 1998; and the latest, "Flavors of Aloha" -- all cross ethnic lines, with a good selection of local-style recipes.
Their common thread -- you can read it in the titles -- is "aloha." At risk of getting hokey here, the society's cookbook committee states in the newest book, "We have attempted to capture the essence of aloha in every dish."
Committee honcho Muriel Miura Kaminaka says her group started out hoping to simply revise and republish "Hawaii's Aloha Recipes," but found many of the recipes outdated. Elements such as the photographs of ethnic beauty queens also tended to date the contents -- hairdos, you know, can be a dead give-away.
Many of the new recipes in "Flavors of Aloha" are from her own recipe files, others are from "real good friends who are good cooks." Also included are family classics, handed down through the generations, as well as a section on recipes from celebrity chefs.
The chapters cover Chinese, Filipino, Hawaiian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mexican, Portuguese, Puerto Rican, Samoan and Southeast Asian dishes. The Korean chapter answers the request of Ilima Silva, who is looking for a recipe for Taegu, the Korean side dish made of dried, salted codfish. Korean meals typically include a number of such cool, refreshing dishes, along with kim chee.
"Flavors of Aloha" includes several of these dishes.
The approach is similar in all cases: Blanch the vegetables, or in the case of codfish, soak in water; then toss with a mix of seasonings that are heavy on soy sauce, sesame and either vinegar or a sweetener.
Wash codfish and soak in water 10 to 15 minutes. Drain, pat dry and shred.
Taegu1 4-ounce package dried, salted codfish (see note)
6 cups water
1-1/2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon ground chili pepper
1/4 teaspoon MSG, optional
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon soy sauce, optional
1 tablespoon salad oil
Combine seasonings, then mix with codfish. Refrigerate 24 hours in a tightly covered jar and allow flavors to develop before serving. Serves 12 or more.
Note: Codfish is available salted and dried, prepackaged in the seafood section of many supermarkets.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving (with MSG and soy sauce): 110 calories, 7 g total fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 100 (200) mg sodium, 7.5 g carbohydrate, 6 g protein.*
Wash and drain bean sprouts; blanch in boiling water. Drain well; squeeze out excess water.
Sook Choo Namul (Bean Sprout Salad)1 12-ounce package bean sprouts
2 cups boiling water
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce or 1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted and crushed
1 stalk green onions, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash of red pepper, optional
1-1/2 tablespoons vinegar, optional
Combine remaining ingredients, then add bean sprouts and toss. Chill before serving. Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving: 50 calories, 3 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, 400 mg sodium, 4 g carbohydrate, 2.5 g protein.*
Clean limu and blanch (will turn greenish). Combine remaining ingredients, add limu and toss to mix. Refrigerate overnight before serving. Serves 6.
Korean Style Limu1 pound fresh limu
1 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
2 tablespoons brown or white sugar
2 tablespoons mirin
1 clove garlic, minced
Ko choo jung sauce to taste
Chili pepper to taste
Variation: Minced green onions, garlic and/or ginger may be added.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving: 110 calories, 3 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, greater than 1,500 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrate, 5 g protein.*
>> Book sale: 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday
Flavors of Aloha
>> Place: Kuakini Medical Center's elderly care facility, Hale Pulama Mau, on the Stillman Lane entrance
>> Cost: $14
>> Mail order: Send check for $18 (includes postage) to The JWS Cookbook, P.O. Box 3233, Honolulu 97801.
>> Also: The book will be available in bookstores beginning in early October for $16.95
Food Stuffs: Morsels
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Asterisk (*) after nutritional analyses in the
Body & Soul section indicates calculations by
Joannie Dobbs of Exploring New Concepts,
a nutritional consulting firm.