Friday, September 22, 2006

I have to say, it was pretty wonderful to wake up to a breakfast choice of cold papaya with lime, lilikoi (passion fruit) yogurt, juicy mango, or buttery avocado on toast. Those were the things I ate while at home on Kauai this past week. I arrived on a Wednesday, perfect timing for the small Kilauea outdoor market on Thursday afternoon. My friend came home with an enormous box of humongous $7 mangos (they’re worth it, believe it or not—they taste of heaven), and a heady bunch of long stem tuberose, among other things. In my bags, I picked up a glossy chard bunch, basil, avocado, lilikoi, a mango of my own, and these odd white fruit called Ice Apples. They looked like lightbulbs and tasted like lemonade. At least that’s what their farmer said. They actually tasted like java plums, those wild berries that make your mouth a little bit numb—kinda yucky, but exotic nonetheless.

The few times I went out, I ate sushi—my favorites: Spicy Tuna Roll (the way it should be made, without mayonaise), Hamachi Roll at the Princeville hotel (chopped up hamachi with green onion, and shiso leaf), and some choice (jewel colored and dark) ahi sashimi. Oooh! One delicious thing that I ate which came as quite a surprise was the Hamachi Kama at Sushi & Blues. See, I knew Hamachi Kama was the collar of the fish, a very buttery part of a very buttery white fish. But I thought it was sliced in sashimi. This one came seasoned and grilled, skin and all. It was awesome! What it tasted like to me was a fish that one of my cousins caught at the beach and threw on the barbeque while we were camping as kids. So good, and you just pick at it, which makes it more tasty and fun—juicy bites and crispy tidbits. Mmmm. And it was only 9 bucks! Deal of the month!

I’ve gotta give props to our lunch counters on Kauai--our beloved fish markets, with their plate lunches and anything-on-rice. I don’t know what we’d do in Kilauea without Corriena’s ahi wraps for dinner, even though I didn’t have one on this trip. I did have some crispy kim chee cucumber and poke there though. One of my greatest days on Kauai was when a friend and I “were ono” for Pono Market, and decided spur-of-the-moment to drive out their and have a picnic on the beach. As usual, she wanted one of everything, so we went for the stomach ache buffet, and got: seafood maki sushi (im. crab meat, celery, mayo, etc.), pork-and-peas plate lunch with rice and mac salad, an egg salad sandwich on super-soft wheat bread, taegu (korean marinated cuttlefish), with li hing mui for dessert. I washed mine down with pass-o-guava juice, and I gotta say, that was a good lunch. We ate it at Kealia, on the new pavilion picnic tables, and afterward, I went for a swim in the crystal clear lagoon part of the beach.

Oh, to make the lilikoi yogurt—just strain one lilikoi’s worth of juice & mix it into a cup of organic, full-fat yogurt. Tart and tropical. Eat it like that, or drizzle it on a papaya and sprinkle some grated coconut. My mouth is already watering.

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