Every Thursday at 4PM, Whole Foods Market in Kahala Mall has a food demonstration using products found on their shelves. This month, the Kanu Hawaii’s Eat Local Challenge encouraged Whole Foods Market to research their products in more detail. Ms. Natalie Aczon, the marketing supervisor at Whole Foods Market, mentioned that just because a product is produced in Hawaii doesn’t make it local. For example, Whole Foods Market has a Maui onion sea salt that is produced in Hawaii with local Maui onion seasoning, but the salt is not local. This product is not necessarily local.
Ms. Aczon has been in her position with Whole Foods Market for about ten months now and she took on this Eat Local Challenge with ease. The recipe she demonstrated today near the seafood department at the store included ingredients that are local. While preparing her mise en place, or getting her ingredients ready, she said that the dish would include local ingredients, even a few that spectators had never heard of.
The recipe demonstrated today was originally to be a steamed monchong fish, but without a steamer, Ms. Aczon made a poached monchong fish instead. Monchong fish is a deep water fish that is rapidly gaining popularity in Hawaii.
Other ingredients include green onions from Otsuji Farm; cilantro, baby radishes (with the stem), tatsoi (a pak choi or sturdy spinach), turmeric, and ginger from MA’O Organic Farms; macadamia nut oil from Oils of Aloha; and a variegated lemon from the Big Island.
As with many cooks out there, Ms. Aczon did not measure any ingredients. She mentioned that the recipe was developed in her head and she was doing her best to incorporate the local ingredients into a delicious meal. With this in mind, the recipe below is a “guestimate” of measurements used for this dish. Also, do not throw away anything as everything will be used in some way.
1 quart water (at least enough to fill the skillet to about 3/4” deep)
1 ginger root, skin and julienne
2 fresh turmeric roots, skin and julienne
1 fresh variegated lemon, sliced
1 Tbsp Maui onion sea salt (for fish)
3 monchong fish fillets
2 Tbsp macadamia nut oil (for veggies)
1 bunch of tatsoi, cut into four pieces for each stem
10-12 baby radish, sliced in half (lengthwise) and stems cut into two piece each
1 Tbsp Maui onion salt (for veggies)
1/2 c macadamia nut oil (for garnish)
2 Tbsp soy sauce
4-6 green onion, sliced
1 bunch of cilantro, diced
For fish: In a large skillet on medium-high heat, pour water, the skins of the ginger and turmeric, lemon slices, and salt. Allow mixture to simmer.
Place fish fillets into the simmering water mixture. Heat for about five minutes then flip over for another five minutes or so.
As the fish is finishing cooking, baste the water mixture over the fish to help keep it moist. Remove from heat.
For veggies: In another large skillet on medium heat, heat oil (for veggies). Sauté tatsoi, baby radish halves, and salt. Add the radish stems. Fold the radish stems continuously until it is thoroughly cooked. Remove from heat.
For garnish: Heat oil in a small skillet. Sauté the ginger and turmeric until crispy.
Return to the fish: Place a slice of lemon on each fillet. Transfer the fillets to a separate plate.
Place green onions and cilantro over the fillets. Then drizzle the room-temperature soy sauce over.
Pour about a cup of the warm water mixture onto the soy sauce.
On each serving dish or plate, place a bed of veggies in the center. Carefully place the fillet with its toppings onto the bed of veggies. Garnish with the crispy ginger and turmeric on the very top.
Best served warm accompanied with brown or wild rice (or a combination).
Yield 3 servings.
To learn more about the Eat Local Challenge, please visit http://www.kanuhawaii.org/.
To read additional articles about the Eat Local Challenge, please see the following:
- 2010 Eat Local Challenge – Kanu Pau Hana Meet-up tonight
- Chef Leslie to do cooking class for Kanu Hawaii Eat Local Challenge
- Eat Local Hawaii Challenge kick-off this Saturday with special offers locally
- Eat Local Hawaii – How eating local helps our economy
- Try something new for the Eat Local Hawaii Challenge!
- Eat Local Challenge is well on its way for a week of eating local ingredients
- Eat Local Hawaii Challenge isn’t over yet!
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To read more articles by Theodene Yee, visit Honolulu Easy Meals Examiner and Honolulu Farmers Market Examiner.