Star-Bulletin Features

Wednesday, November 7, 2001


Donations of rice and pasta are needed for Aloha
Harvest's "food-raising" campaign.

Gift of grain aids in
war on hunger

By Joannie Dobbs
Special to the Star-Bulletin

What's a plate lunch, spam musubi, or cone sushi without the rice? What would chicken long rice, somen salad or chow mein be without noodles? And what would Hawaii be without saimin?

Grains are the staff of life. And every culture here in Hawaii has a favorite rice or noodle product. They help make cuisine in Hawaii so unique and ethnically diverse.

But many individuals and families in Hawaii don't have an adequate amount of even this most basic food group. And that is why Aloha Harvest -- in conjunction with First Hawaiian Bank, the Hawaii State Public Library System, the Japanese Cultural Center and Foodland -- has started the 2001 Rice & Noodles Food Raising Campaign.

Without a doubt, November kicks off the holidays and the traditional season of giving. And sharing food is more important than ever. Doing your part is as easy as 1-2-3:

1. Through Nov. 18, buy an extra package of rice and/or pasta when you shop.

2. Drop it off at any First Hawaiian Bank, Oahu public library or the Japanese Cultural Center. Remember, only sealed boxes or bags of uncooked rice and dry noodles can be accepted.

3. Aloha Harvest drivers will pick up the donations from these sites and divide them among 74 emergency feeding programs, soup kitchens, shelters and transitional shelters.

What's acceptable? White rice, brown rice, basmati, Thai sticky, jasmine and mochi rice; all types of dry packaged pastas, including chow fun, chow mein, rice noodles, lo mein, somen, ramen, udon, soba, stick noodle, egg noodle, couscous, macaroni, lasagna, spaghetti ... just to name a few ideas.

The Rice & Noodle Food Raising Campaign is based on the simple concept that rice or noodles are part of the diet of every ethnic and religious group, and all age groups. A campaign focused on these foods, then, is a great way to make people aware that one in five households in Hawaii is estimated to experience food insecurity. This includes more than 239,000 Hawaii residents.

Aloha Harvest is part of the America Harvest network, which includes 122 United States cities and 83 countries. Aloha Harvest's main mission is to pick up donated fresh food and deliver it free to those who need it. The program delivers an average of 900 meals per day, perishable foods that would otherwise go to waste.

For information call Aloha Harvest at 537-6945.

As an example of what can be done to make a hearty meal with rice or pasta, here are recipes from chefs who often provide surplus perishables to Aloha Harvest:

Oyako Donburi

Yosoji Kanada, International In-Flight Catering Co.

2-1/2 cups dashi (Japanese soup stock)
6 tablespoons mirin (Japanese rice wine)
6 tablespoons soy sauce
4 ounces onion cut in 1/8-inch slices (about 1 cup)
8 ounces diced boneless chicken thigh
6 medium eggs, beaten
1 ounce green onions, cut in 1-1/2 inch angled lengths (about 1/4 cup)
28 ounces cooked, short-grain rice

In a shallow frying pan, add dashi, mirin, soy sauce and sliced onion. Bring to a boil and add chicken. Simmer 4 minutes, then reduce heat to low. Sprinkle green onion over top and gently pour beaten eggs evenly over pan. Cover and simmer 3 minutes.

Place steamed rice into bowls; pour chicken and egg sauce over rice. Serves 4

Note: Dashi may be replaced with unseasoned chicken broth, season to taste.

Shrimp Scampi

John Service, Duke's Canoe Club

1/4 cup quartered mushrooms
1 tablespoon capers
Salt and pepper to taste
7 shrimp, 16-20 per pound
10 ounces precooked linguine, cooked al dente
Lemon wedge and finely minced parsley, for garnish
>> Scampi Butter (makes 1/4 cup)
3-1/2 tablespoons sweet butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1/4 teaspoon lemon concentrate
Pinch salt
>> Scampi Cream Sauce:
1 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons minced garlic
Pinch black pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt and white pepper, mixed
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with water

To make Scampi Butter: Whip until all ingredients are well distributed.

To make Scampi Cream Sauce: Heat wine and garlic in a sauce pan and reduce three-fourths. Stir in black pepper, bay leaf, salt and white pepper mix and cream. Simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup; strain. Stir-in cornstarch slurry to thicken and remove from heat.

To prepare dish: In a saucepan, melt Scampi Butter. Add mushrooms, capers and salt and pepper. Add shrimp and heat until shrimp just turns orange. Stir in cream sauce. To serve, toss sauce with linguini and garnish with lemon and parsley. Serves 1.

Nutritional information unavailable.

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