Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Haha! I got you!

This really about the LOCOMOCO!

Although, I remember as a boy, some of those crazy little kids out there who you would catch eating their own boogers. EW!!
Is it like Li hing mui?

Alright, enough of that.

Let me first say that this Hawai’i local favorite is NOT Hawai’ian food. But, it is the kind of food that was born from the Aloha spirit.
It is the simple things in life that give one the most pleasure…and like any thing in this world, too much pleasure can kill you.
The Locomoco will kill me.
How ironic is that?
Death from the Aloha spirit?

So what is it that you are looking at?
What is this simple killing concoction of culinary bliss?
Simply it is:

Hamburger patties of USDA Choice Ground Beef (Costco always has great selections and prices when it comes to beef.)
SPAM. Yes, I said SPAM. (A local favorite of the Hawai’ian Islands since World War II.)
Eggs deep-fried or poached in a small pot of boiling oil.
And, rice. Cooked the Asian way, people.

Step 1
Make a pot of rice.

Step 2
Make your hamburger-patties the way you like it.
I like to add an egg, minced onions and garlic, salt and pepper and various chili-powders to the mix, with a touch of A-1 sauce. MMM!
That sounds pretty freaking good right?
Let it sit off onto the side while you cook the first item.

Step 3
Heat up a medium to large sized pan (Not the non-sticking surface one! You’ll find out why in a bit.), with a light amount of oil. Use medium-high heat.
Slice your SPAM into quarter inch thick slices.
This IS the perfect size to slice SPAM, when you are going to fry it.
Fit as many slices of Spam in the pan and fry until you achieve that crispy pinkish-brown color on both sides. This will leave the inside nice and tender.

HOLD ON! Don’t wash that pan or get another one!

Step 4
Use that same pan to cook you hamburger-patties in.
I’m serious!
Using salty pork fat infused oil to fry hamburger-patties in is the shizzle!!
I guarantee you even Anthony Bourdain would love this.
You won’t regret it, I promise.
Fry your hamburger-patties to what ever state you desire.
I like them medium-rare.

When you’re done with that, put the pan off on to the side.
Trust me.

Just go get a small but deep frying pan (or small pot), fill it with oil and heat up until about 300-350 degrees. Once it gets boiling, turn it down to simmer. We need to keep this hot.

Step 5
Take that pan you used to fry the SAPM and hamburger-patties in and make a Shoyu(soy)-sauce/vinegar/red wine reduction.
That’s what I said. A Shoyu(soy)-sauce/rice-wine vinegar/red wine reduction.
1 quarter to half cup of Shoyu sauce
1 quarter to half cup of rice-wine vinegar
1 quarter to half cup of red wine

Reheat pan on a medium high heat. Put in the liquids and then scrape and stir up everything thoroughly. Turn down to low heat and let it reduce.

Is the rice done yet?
Well, when it’s done, plate a serving of it and put a few slices of SPAM and a hamburger patty beside the rice.

Back to the boiling oil.

Bring the heat buck up to medium-high on that pot of oil.
Now, literally poach (using a slotted spoon and 1 egg at a time) how ever many eggs you like to eat.
Yes, deep-fried eggs.
Does your heart hurt thinking about it?
After each egg is done, lay it on the steaming bed of rice.

Is the Shoyu(soy)-sauce/rice-wine vinegar/red wine reduction done yet?
When it is, pull it.

As you can see, as simple as the item are in them selves, combined, cooked and timed out all together. It’s not as simple as it seems.
After this bout in the kitchen, you’ll end up feeling like a full blown gourmet chef. And believe me, the results are worth it.

Take a table spoon and drizzle your Shoyu(soy)-sauce/rice-wine vinegar/red wine reduction over the plated items,
Pour yourself a glass of your favorite drink,
Grab a table spoon and a fork (Pinoy style), napkin optional…
And go and enjoy your murderously-delicious LocoMoco Deluxe.

USDA Choice Ground Beef
1 quarter to half cup of Shoyu sauce
1 quarter to half cup of rice-wine vinegar
1 quarter to half cup of red wine
Time and skills.

Cheating can be delicious.

Curry Beef Stew

Cheating is wrong! Just look at Tiger!
But, cheating can also be delicious too.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the time to make a traditional Thai Curry Powder from scratch.
(Although, once upon a time…that was a food fetish of mine.) So I know how long it takes to make it.

With many many years of having closet aspirations of wanting to become a gourmet cook, I once took the time and energy to learn how to cook many great dishes the way they are suppose to be made…as in old school or authentic cooking.
How many of you have that kind of time in the everyday grind of life?
“Not me!”, says the Penguin.
With that in the bag, I’ve learned how to cheat in the kitchen. Taking store bought pre-made pastes and sauces, I perfected the art of: DAMN! THAT’S FREAKIN DELICIOUS!

This stew took 15 minutes to prep and less than an hour to cook.

Step 1
2 lbs. USDA Choice Ground Beef
Dump it in a big-ass (cast iron, if you have it) pot with some olive oil that’s already been heating up, med-high heat while you’re chopping your veggies. Cover and leave alone. You want this to sweat so you’ll have all that fat and juice from the beef.

Step 2
The Trinity or Mirepoix:
Half a bag of baby carrots
A few sticks of celery (diced)
One med. Sized onion (diced)
When your Ground Beef is mostly cooked, dump this in there on top of the beef. DON’T STIR IT!! Because I said so…you’ll see.

Step 3
Now put this stuff in:
Approximate amounts of:
1 tblespn. Garlic powder
1 tblespn. Chili powder
1 tblespn. Cayenne powder
1 tblespn. Paprika
1 teaspn. Pepper
1 teaspn. Salt
2 Bay leaves

DON”T STIR IT YET! I know how much people love doing that shizzle.
Cover it. Let it sit. Go have a smoke or something.
You want to give the veggies some time to sweat and cook as well. This sweating process is where the stock is coming from. Get it? Got it? Good.
Start up a kettle of hot water and then smoke or something for 10-15 minutes.

When you come back, turn (not stir) everything in the pot over and add about:
12 oz of water

Step 4
And then dump this in there.
Approximate amounts of:
2 cups frozen peas
2 cups frozen corn
2 cups frozen haricot vert (green beans)
(All from Trader Joe's, they have the best frozen vegetables.)

Cover the pot.

Step 5
Take your 1 box of Golden Curry (found in most Asian markets)
You know how it’s in those candy bar shape? Yeah, take it out and dice it up on your cutting board. 

This will help mix and blend in the pot more evenly. When you done sprinkle it evenly over everything.
And then pour through out the pot:
1 12 oz. can of coconut milk (your favorite brand)
And then, if you have to: Top off the ingredients in your pot with more hot water.

Step 6
Cover the pot and go make a big-ass pot of rice, because this dish will feed a family of six. Or if you’re like us, it will feed us for 3 days (or meals) straight. HAHA!
After you make your rice, go ahead and stir everything in your pot and make sure that all that curry paste is well blended.
Cover, turn off the heat and wait for the rice to finish cooking.

Warning: Even though passing out on the couch after you eat is quite enjoyable, it is bad for your health.


2 lbs. USDA Choice Ground Beef
Half a bag of baby carrots
A few sticks of celery (diced)
One med. Sized onion (diced)
1 box of Golden Curry
1 12 oz. can of coconut milk
Approximate amounts of:
2 cups frozen peas
2 cups frozen corn
2 cups frozen haricot vert (green beans)
Approximate amounts of:
1 tblespn. Garlic powder
1 tblespn. Chili powder
1 tblespn. Cayenne powder
1 tblespn. Paprika
1 teaspn. Pepper
1 teaspn. Salt
2 Bay leaves
12 oz of water

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My New Favorite...the Sugar Plum

I've recently discovered this delicious gems by accident.
I was at the Ranch 99 market picking up my  weekly harvest of fresh fruits and saw these sitting there at the end of the stand trying hard not to get noticed.
What is this?
Sugar Plums? I thought those were candies?
Curious by nature, I decided to give Nature's candies a try.
Delicious. Although, not as juicy and most plums, the Sugar Plum has a mild sweetness similar to honey.
I'm not sure if these fruit were at it's ripest, but they were fairly firm; somewhat characteristic of a Black Plum picked a week early from perfection.
Nonetheless, deliciousness to be appreciated.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Speaking Penguin?

"Can you speak some of that penguin?"
It's one of the funniest questions that was ever asked of me.
I think my response was, "WHAT THE HELL?!"
What my friend was asking, was if I could speak pidgin (in reference to being born and raised in Hawai'i).
This has since become an inside joke with us.

Now days...
I think to myself, "It's been a long time since I've moved away from the island where I was born and raised. And I have experienced SO many things in the world."
I still do speak pidgin, but my mouth and heart have learned SO many other languages through the food and culture of many friends and loved ones that I have been blessed to bond with over the years since I had moved away from the Melting Pot of the Pacific to the Melting Pot of the Bay Area.
I've come to the conclusion that the pidgin that I once spoke had transformed into another dialect.
For now,I'm calling it Penguin.
And so, this Penguin's journey continues...

Green Tea or Red Bean IceCream

Why..why not.