Culinary Vacations: Hawaiian Heaven
Posted: Saturday, March 1, 2014
A lot of Minnesotans will enjoy a spring break this month. Is it just us or does it seem like everyone is headed somewhere sunny and warm? If you're not amongst the snowbirds flocking to the beaches, don't worry. We've got a culinary spring break planned for you. This month we're taking your taste buds on a trip to Hawaii!
Hawaiian cuisine is uniquely developed from a number of food cultures; immigrants from China, Korea, Japan, the Philippines and Samoa, Portugal and Puerto Rico have heavily influenced Hawaiian food traditions. As a result of these myriad influences, Hawaii has a vibrant fusion cooking scene. Asian dishes like stirfry, sushi, tempura and Korean barbeque along with flavors of sweet and sour, teriyaki and curry are particularly popular. Common ingredients in Hawaiian cuisine include coconut, jicama, pineapple, pork, rice and fish, especially tuna.
There are very few native edible plants to Hawaii. Most of the most popular crops on the island were brought there by pioneers from the Western Pacific, especially Polynesia. Taro, sweet potatoes, coconuts and sugarcane (some of the most popular foodstuffs and exports in the modern islands) are among the plants introduced by these settlers. While pineapple is now one of the main sources of revenue for the Hawaiian economy, they weren't even grown there until 1813.
These Hawaiian regional recipes will transport you to the sunny shores of Maui:
1/4 cup pineapple juice
Marinade: Whisk together all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
Makes enough for 2 lbs. chicken.
2 tbsp. Kowalski's Extra Virgin Olive Oil
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together oil, juices, ginger and sugar; season to taste with salt and pepper. Add remaining ingredients; toss. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Chill until ready to serve.
1/2 cup cold water
Add water to cornstarch in a small mixing bowl; combine mixture with the next 7 ingredients (through sriracha) in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved and sauce is slightly thickened (about 5 min.). Remove from heat and set aside. Heat the oil in an extra-large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add chicken; cook and stir until the chicken is browned and nearly cooked through (3-4 min.). Add garlic, pineapple and vegetables; cook and stir until vegetables are crisp-tender (4-5 min.). Add sauce; cook 1-2 min. until sauce thickens. Garnish with cilantro and green onions; serve immediately over rice or noodles.