Sunday, September 29, 2013

Locally made Li Hing: Yick Lung brand

Li Hing Everything

The Yick Lung brand of Li Hing Mui, also sometimes called “crack seed” (which is a wetter, literally cracked Li Hing Mui seed) and other related preserved fruits and sweets under that brand dominated endcaps at the checkout stand at the neighborhood Long’s Drugs and Star Market (the latter now only a memory) during the 70′s and early 80′s when I grew up here in Hawaii (dating myself). You can’t mistake that classic yellow label with the rounded top. Remember that?!!!
While Yick Lung has since pulled out of this particular market, today you can find Li Hing flavored snacks under a number of new labels at grocery stores and other retailers all around the islands. Most of which maintaining the quality I remember Yick Lung offered, with the key exception being that Yick Lung was manufactured right here in Honolulu (made in Hawaii) at their former facility on Dillingham Boulevard (gotta’ miss that). This while the brands available today are mostly repackaged from sources in foreign countries.

According to the Wikipedia article on Li Hing Mui, the name translates in Chinese to “traveling plum”, with Li Hing meaning “traveling” and Mui meaning “plum”. I’ll assume being its preserved makes it easily portable, therefore the adjective “traveling”.
Now with the widespread availability of Li Hing Powder, we’re seeing more and more culinary uses for it. Local snack companies offer the everything from Li Hing Arare (Japanese rice crackers), Li Hing lollipops, Li Hing Gummy Bears and Gummy Worms, to an ever-growing variety of Li Hing dried fruits, such as these Fuji Apples…

Local Restaurants to check out

Local Restaurants to check out

Check out these great hole-in-a-wall, hidden treasures making local dishes with locally sourced ingredients.

Places to eat: The Modern Honolulu

Places to eat: The Modern Honolulu

"THE MODERN HONOLULU’s Executive Chef Scott Toner is a luminary. Today, Toner incorporates all organic ingredients, with liberal amounts of locally-sourced ingredients, at the restaurants, bars and catering services he directs at THE MODERN HONOLULU.

Today, Toner incorporates all organic ingredients, with liberal amounts of locally-sourced ingredients, at the restaurants, bars and catering services he directs at THE MODERN HONOLULU.
That fact won’t surprise you if you know anything about our property, an uncommon experience among Waikiki hotels. It is, after all, unexpected to search for sustainable, organic restaurants in Oahu and find the best tucked inside a resort.

Toner’s approach delivers seafood fresh from area waters – Hawaiian sea bass, tuna – six days a week.

Made In-House Each Day

Rich with organic and local ingredients (a signature of THE MODERN HONOLULU Executive Chef Scott Toner), these and other house creations taste even more memorable."

Hawaii's source for fresh, local eggs

Ka Lei Eggs
Located : 439 Kalihi St, Honolulu, HI 96819

Ka Lei has been a trusted island brand name since 1975.  The farm began providing fresh island eggs to Hawai'i families and businessess in 1947.  Today, Associated Producers distributes the eggs from our farm in Wai'anae, on the leeward coast of O'ahu, where we blend the best of the new along with good, old-fashioned country pride.

Good things to know about eggs:
- The only difference between brown and white eggs is NOT the flavor but the thickness of the shell. Brown eggs have thicker shells but the flavor of the eggs are the same.
- The difference between egg sizes (small to jumbo) are the amount of egg whites each egg contains. The yolk in all eggs are the same. Ie. Jumbo eggs have the most egg whites.

Why to buy local:
-Fresh eggs make all the difference when you're making breakfast. And by fresh, I mean these eggs were laid only 2-3 days before they're sold. That's as fresh as you're gunna get if you don't have chickens in your backyard.
-^ Fresh enough to eat raw
-cheaper than supermarket prices

Kalua Pork Nachos

2 pounds pork butt roast (Young's Fish Market)
1 Tb Hawaiian sea salt (Alaea Red Hawaiian Salt)
1 can black beans, 15 oz drained
1 Cup of shredded cheddar, jack, mozerella cheeses (or the 3-cheese blend in a bag works too) (Naked Cow Dairy)
Fresh made guacamole to top (farmers markets)
Pickled sliced jalapeno peppers to top (farmers market)

The Pork
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Rub your pork butt with sea salt and wrap in foil (Brennecke’s uses tea leaves, but until I see those in Ralphs, foil it shall be). Seal the foil completely. Place in a roasting pan with water at the bottom.
Bake around 5 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F (63 C).
Remove and let cool before shredding, and sprinkle the shredded meat with a dash more Hawaiian salt.

Put a layer of chips down first, then pile on the beans, pork, cheese – and repeat, like you’re making lasagna. Once you’ve put on the final layer of cheese, pop the whole plate under the broiler for a few seconds until the cheese is melted. I like to assemble my nachos in a pie plate just so I can pop it in the oven without fear. Then add the final touches of guacamole, sour cream, and pickled jalapeno.

What you need:
Go to your local mom and pop store and pick this up.
-          1 pound of mochiko powder
-          1 teaspoon vanilla
-          1 tsp baking powder
Hawaii has home grown sugar cane felids on Maui. The company Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company sells 100% cane sugar that comes straight from their farm.
-          1 and ½ cup Sugar
-          1 cup brown sugar
From your local farmers market you can find a couple coconuts and chicken eggs can be found there or at a local hatchery.  ANAGI is a small hatchery in Honolulu, Hawaii, located at 1830 Kanakanui Street. They are open Monday through Friday. .
-          3 cups coconut milk
-          5 eggs (beaten)
-          3 and ½ cup grated cooked taro
How to make:
In a mixing bowl take all the dry ingredients together. In separate bowl mix the rest of the ingredients together.  Pour liquids into dries and mix well. Grease a  9x13 pan  and pour in. Bake for 1 hour. Take out of oven and cool. Cut into small pieces and enjoy.

Why buy local?

Thia article illustrates some of the many reasons to buy local as well as offering connections to local farmers.

Oahu's only local dairy

 Currently in oahu we have only one local cow dairy, and the first ever cow milk cheese production in the state of hawaii!Its called the naked cow dairy and is run by women in wainae. They make butter, cheese, and yougurt in many different flavors. It's sold at local foodlands, as well as farmers markets across the island. Here is their facebook page!

Easy Poke Bowl

Ahi poke bowls are hugely popular, and here is a simple recipe, using all local ingredients to make it at home.

  • 2 pounds fresh tuna steaks, cubes (tamashiros, or any local store with fresh ahi)
  • 1 cup soy sauce (Aloha Shoyu)
  • 3/4 cup chopped green onions (farmers market, or homegrown)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil (family food company)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (farmers market)


  1. In a medium size non-reactive bowl, combine Ahi, soy sauce, green onions, sesame oil, sesame seeds; mix well. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Hawaii Farmers Markets

 One of the best ways to get local produce and goods is to shop at a farmers market. In oahu we have great farmers markets all over the island, filled with homegrown produce as well as locally made goods. This includes seafood, North Shore beef, Manoa honey, Kahuku corn, Waialua chocolate, and Waimanalo greens, and much more. Often at the markets there is also jewlery or other homemade crafts, including sunrise shell necklaces. Here is a schedule of the upcoming events:

Local Eats

This site helps you to find the best local, not chain restaurants, within hawaii.