Anyone for Tako Poke?

Tako Poke Kim Chee Style

Tako Poke Kim Chee Style

Anyone who has been in Hawaii is familiar with ‘Poke’ and btw, you pronounce it as ‘Pokey’. Most of the time you run into ‘Ahi Poke’ which is a nice marinated mixture of ahi tuna with shoyu sauce and some green onions. Costco in Hawaii varies it up by adding wasabi to it or baby asparagus. Both are delicious but don’t eat too much if you have high blood pressure or a high cholesterol count.

On my last trip to the Big Island, I found a mixture of poke that I haven’t tried before. It was ‘Tako Poke Kim Chee style’ and it was GOOD. I found it at the KTA Supermarket for $11.99 lb but was on sale for $7.99 lb. Once I had a mouthful, I had to stock up. After falling in love with it, I had this breakfast, lunch, late afternoon snack and dinner. I would have continued if my wife didn’t remind me of the high cholesterol in octopus.

When I got back from the islands, I had to learn how to make it. I went down to E-mart on 17th Ave SW and bought all the ingredients. I mixed it up and let it marinate overnight. I found that the flavour was quite similar to what I had in Hawaii.

If you’re interested in the recipe, drop me your email and I would gladly share it with you.

Exotic Fruits

Exotic Fruits

Exotic Fruits

I’m glad to report that some exotic fruits have made it passed customs and into our supermarkets. Exotic fruits that I have tried in my travels and have fallen deeply in love with. They include a long list such as mangosteens, rambutans, yellow pitaya, passion fruit, pomelo, cherimoya, atamoya and creamy apple. If you haven’t heard about them yet, stay tuned.

The two fruits that seem to be available now are the yellow pitaya and purple passionfruit. The yellow pitaya looks like a thorny mini football with a soft skin. The skin actually looks rubbery. If you see any green leaves protruding from the top, beware. The leaves can be quite sharp because the fruit comes from a cactus like plant. I’ve heard farmers’ stories about how workers have had their arms cut off when picking these fruits.

The other fruit is a purple passion fruit. If you’ve been to Kauai or the Big Island Hawaii then you might have seen yellow passion fruit they call ‘lilikoi’. The yellow variety is more sour or tart. The purple ones are the sweetest varieties but less juicy. The yellow ones from Hawaii are more juicier but less round.

To eat either one of these fruits, take a knife and slice them in half. With the yellow pitaya, take a spoon and scoop out the flesh. It’s like eating a kiwi fruit. Both flesh and seed are edible. With the passion fruit, take a spoon and scoop out the seeds that are encapsulated with flesh. Again, both are edible. When eating the passion fruit, don’t worry about the seeds. Ignore them and try to enjoy the flavour. It is like eating pomegranates but you will find the flesh of the passion fruit is more pleasant and tastier.

Both fruits can be found at your local Superstore. Thanks to Superstore, they have imported both of these fruits from Columbia which I heard are available year round. The yellow pitaya’s sell for $4.98 each and the purple passion fruits are for $1.48 each. They are certainly pricey but if you are in ‘exotic’, I really recommend you try it. But one thing, don’t buy them all.

Fruits Galore

Fruits in Hawaii

Fruits in Hawaii

After spending two incredible weeks in Hawaii, I miss the island life. It’s not just the weather that I miss but it’s access to fresh and exotic fruits such as rambutan, yellow dragon fruit, white pineapple, lilikoi, papaya, apple banana, ice cream banana and cherimoya.

When we were on the Big Island, we frequently visited the farmer’s markets and eagerly picked up fruits. It was a bit like a treasure hunt, looking for our favourite, mine being the yellow dragon fruit and my wife’s papayas. In between, we were picking up rambutans, star fruits, passion fruits which they call lilikoi’s (3 for $1) and a new fruit that we recently tried, the cherimoya.

Last year, our visit to the Big Island introduced us to the sweet tasting yellow dragon fruit. Unlike the pink dragon fruit that is sold in Canada and is awfully bland, the yellow variety is full of sweetness. The meat is white with black seeds and has the same texture as the kiwi fruit. ($5 per pound and is worth every penny of it.)

This year, we tried the cherimoya which is the green fruit pictured in the right hand corner. Cherimoya’s range in size, from a small tomato to a small watermelon. They need to be soft and almost mushy before eaten. When sliced open, the cherimoya is white with black seeds which are to be discarded. The meat is like custard, smooth and silky and really,  really sweet. Almost like honey sweet. The meat is custard like and you can almost eat it with a spoon. Its origin is not from Hawaii but from Brazil. Same goes for rambutans where the origin is from Thailand. (4 for $1)

On our second week, we flew to Kauai and found all the farmer’s market locations. Lucky for us, there was one happening every day but in different parts of Kauai. There, rambutans were plentiful and fresh as can be. The freshly picked rambutans are soft and sweet, unlike the ones that are imported from Thailand and sold in Canada. Have anyone tried the white pineapples before? If not, try one next time you run into one. We did and was pleasantly surprised that a white pineapple is less acidic.

Apple bananas and ice cream bananas were also new to our palettes. Super sweet and firm. Now, do you know why we miss Hawaii so much?

Happy Hours at Pizzetta

Brushetta

Succulent Tomato Brushetta

One of my favorite pastimes is to check out happy hours at select locations on earth. Today, I found a place where you can order a slice of pizza for just $2. If you look at the curvature of the crust, you will find that the slice is actually a quarter of the whole pizza and whole pizzas go for nothing less than $15 each.

The place is called Pizzetta and it is located on Koloa Road in Old Town Koloa. Where the heck is that, you may ask? It’s on the island of Kauai and Koloa is just down the road from Poipu. If you’ve been to Kauai and stayed on the south shore then you’re familiar with Poipu beach and Poipu bay. They will tell you that it is the sunniest location on Kauai.

Renovations are going on at Pizzetta. The main part of the restaurant is being renovated along with the bar but there’s plenty of tables for happy hour patrons or dinner go-ers.

We ordered one of each, cheese and pepperoni pizza slices for $2. To top it off, we also order Caprese and Bruschetta. Between these two dishes and the pizza, we were full. The bill was outrageously cheap at $13 but we had iced water instead of Italian soda.

Service was only so-so with the waiter being miffed about something. The Caprese was not real buffala but ok, the Brushetta was not warm enough but the pizza was good.