Vacationing on the Hawaiian island of Oahu is paradise to be sure. The perfect weather, beautiful scenery and sunny beaches are beyond imagination. Couple all of this with a plethora of international and local cuisine, and this food writer was in heaven while vacationing there several summers ago.
Being accompanied by our two children, ages eight and 10 at the time, made experiencing the local flavors all the more enjoyable, as we watched them delight and sometimes turn up their noses to new foods. Miso soup and steamed rice for breakfast, bowls of ramen for lunch, dinner from the loco moco (take out restaurant) as well as an introduction to Spam, were all part of their culinary journey.
Enjoying the island with my children inspired me to introduce more children to Hawaiian cuisine, and I have taught several groups of youngsters how to prepare a bevy of Hawaiian dishes during my summer cooking camps.
This month’s menu, A Hawaiian Barbecue, features some of the recipes I’ve shared with my classes, and the menu is perfect for summer entertaining – with the help of the kids. Island Barbecued Shrimp is a tasty bacon-wrapped shrimp appetizer that is a shrimp-lovers dream. Long Noodle Salad combines sweet and salty flavors with the crunch of cucumber and carrots, and a topping of small shrimp.
Kalua Pork Sandwiches are delicious, whether you cook the meat over indirect heat on your Viking Outdoor Grill or in your Viking C-4 Cooker, Outdoor Electric Smoker Oven or Oven. Served on Easy Hawaiian Rolls and drizzled with Pineapple Barbecue Sauce, these recipes take pork barbecue sandwiches in a new direction. The barbecue sauce is used with both the shrimp and the pork sandwiches, saving you a bit of time.
Since the islands have a heavy Asian influence, what better way to end the meal than a dessert of Tropical Tempura Tidbits in which fresh banana and pineapple pieces are fried up in tempura batter, drizzled with honey and sprinkled with sesame seeds and coconut flakes.
Using a beach towel as a table cloth, and decorating the table with colorful candles and wooden bowls and platters is an easy way to bring the theme together. The Shoyu Chicken Wings and the Pina Colada Cheese Cake recipes posted on the Viking site would be a welcome additions to the menu.
Island Barbecued Shrimp
It is hard to imagine improving on a combination as sublime as jumbo shrimp wrapped in salty bacon, but my recipe for Island Barbecued Shrimp takes a stab at it.More.
Easy Hawaiian Rolls or Bread
Sweet Hawaiian bread is a special treat, and it is readily available in mainland supermarkets. However, with the help of this recipe for Easy Hawaiian Rolls or Bread, you can create a big batch of homemade Hawaiian-inspired bread at home.More.
Kalua Pork Sandwiches
Kalua pork is ever present at the Hawaiian luau, but the smoky shredded pork is simple enough to prepare at home. While the luau version is usually cooked in an underground steam oven, called an imu, you can easily replicate the dish with a Viking outdoor grill or oven.More.
Long Noodle Salad
Chicken Long Rice, a dish featuring shredded chicken over cooked long rice noodles, and Sunomono, a light cucumber-shrimp salad seasoned with rice vinegar, are popular luau dishes on the Hawaiian islands. I’ve toyed with the recipes and merged the two, coming up with my Long Noodle Salad.More.
Tropical Tempura Tidbits
Japanese tempura is usually associated with crisp batter-coated vegetables, shrimp and chicken, but the concept is delicious when the items battered and fruit.More.