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Opihi and Kikapoo juice January 5, 2009

Posted by marksun in Dad, Hawaiian, sause, seafood.
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Opihi live in herds on the rocks in the ocean splash zone.  There are two basic kinds which we distinguish by the color of the foot – yellow and black – the yellow generally are considered to be better eating.  Opihi, like most Hawaiian ocean wild-life, are seriously depleted by over-fishing.  Fortunately, opihi are not anything like endangered, but edible/legal sized opihi are hard to find.

Kikapoo juice is what my dad used to call a mixture of Hawaiian red chili peppers, shoyu, vinegar, worchestershire sause, and ketchup.  Dad did not remember where he got it the word or the idea; however,  I can tell you that  it’s from the comic character Li’l Abner whose over-all clad kin made kikapoo joy juice, out’n in the woods by the light of the moon.

Kikapoo juice – combine in small bowl –

  • 2 hawaiian chili peppers, crushed
  • 1 T shoyu
  • 1 T vinegar
  • 1 T worchestershire
  • 2 T ketchup

That should be enough for 1 cup or so of fresh, raw, shelled opihi.

Giant opihi
Not too long ago, Joel gave me a present of frozen giant opihi about 3″ in diameter each that he had been cultivating.   At this size , opihi are a  tough and the flavor strong.  Joel’s advice – big opihi are better cooked.

On the grill:  dowse with kikapoo juice and roast in the shell on the grill until bubbling.

In the toaster oven: Make a foil catch pan and roast.

Slice the cooked opihi into strips to serve.


Laulau – pressure cooker recipe November 12, 2008

Posted by marksun in Dad, Hawaiian, pork, pressure cooker.
  • 12 large  luau taro  leaves or more smaller leaves
  • a pound of pork,  cut into big chunks and divided four ways
  • big piece of salted butterfish, divided four ways
  • 8-10 big ti leafs
  • twine

Divide the luau into four piles
divide the pork and butterfish into four piles
wrap and tie up, 2 ti leaf per lau lau, trim to make nice package.
My dad tried using rubber bands a few times – not such a good idea because of the  rubber band taste.

Fire up pops big pressure cooker  ( I still have my dad’s pressure cooker)
3″ of water on privet – line bottom with ti leaves.
place laulau in pressure cooker

Cook at pressure for 2 hours.
Most pressure cooker recipes say 1 hour but in my pressure cookers 1 hour is just not enough.  I go 2 hours.  The luau leaves need to be completely cooked or you may experience the unpleasant scratchy feeling in the mouth and throat.  It won’t really hurt you  but it is unpleasant.  If the cooked leaves still separate into individual leaves, it is not cooked enough.  2 hours at pressure in the pressure cooker is 100% reliable.
No pressure cooker?  If you use a stovetop steamer, cook 4 hours (or more)!   If you have a better method for timing/cooking the luau,or better pressure information for a pressure cooker,  please post a comment!

Steamed Trout or Mullet November 12, 2008

Posted by marksun in Dad, seafood.
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This is written in my dad’s hand on two yellow sticky notes in my book – from 1990.  

Steamed Trout or Mullet

  1. 1. Clean fish thoroughly scaled
  2. Salt belly and around fish lightly
  3. place sliced lemon in belly and head section
  4. cut onions and place along side lemon
  5. sear ti leaves over stove to wilt it. place it on thick foil
  6. place fish on ti leaves seal sides but leav top open to permit steaming. place about 2 tablespoons of water within ti leaves. This will create sufficient gravy and keep fish moist
  7. steam for about 20 minutes. After initial steaming lower flame to medium. 

Note! When you don’t have a cover for steamer, seal tight with foil.

  1. Note! when you don’t have a cover for steamer, seal tight with foil.