February 17th, 2015
Who knew when Lanai Tabura burst onto the stand-up comedy scene that he would turn out to be such a foodie?
From establishing Look Me in the Eye by Lanai wine company to winning The Food Network's "The Great Food Truck Race" with his Aloha Plate food truck, to hosting "Cooking Hawaiian Style," he now brings a taste of Hawaiian cooking to viewers all over the world.
Talk about being a modern renaissance man.
I was invited, along with other social media guests, to sit in on a taping of the show on Sunday during an episode featuring Koko Head Cafe's Lee Anne Wong — no slouch in the media universe herself, having initially captured the public's attention as a contestant on Bravo's "Top Chef," for which she went on to become a producer.
The event took place at the Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery in Kalihi, a nice promo for their kitchens.
It was an eye-opening experience because I didn't know they had to be so precise in the taping. Because I do a lot of editing and chopping on my quickie videos, I always believed these shows were put together with a lot of takes and editing, but no. Pros that Tabura and Wong are, they're just told they have 18 seconds for their intro. They overshoot the target by eight seconds, so they do another take and fall under. Third time's the charm, and so on.
There's also no redo for the mixing of ingredients. In showing how to create her chicken dumplings in lemongrass-chicken broth, excellent fried poke omelet (recipe below) and dessert of macadamia nut pie, each is demonstrated seamlessly in a matter of minutes. There was no second take because there was no second batch of ingredients to mix! They are crazy good at what they do.
("Crazy good" is my new catchphrase, by the way. Last year it was "WAO!")
Of course, the best part came after the taping — sampling what Wong had made. She was a bit dismayed when she learned we had eaten the dumplings because, being on television, they weren't cooked through for final cut. But after sitting in the lemongrass chicken broth, they were indeed cooked. And ono!
The episode will air sometime in April. You can keep up with the show and view past recipes online.
The were gracious enough to share the recipe for the mahi fried poke ahead of the episode's air date. Note that Wong cooks for the masses so the recipe calls for a lot of fish! Adjust to your needs.
LEE ANNE WONG'S FRIED POKE
» 7 pounds mahi filet, diced
» 1/2 cup shoyu
» 1/2 cup mirin
» 1/2 cup saikyo (white miso)
» 6 Tablespoons sugar
» 1/4 cup sesame oil
» 2 tablespoons Sriracha
» 2 cups cornstarch
» 1/2 cup furikake
» 1 cup masago arare
Combine marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add fish and toss to coat. Combine dredge ingredients in a large bowl. Add fish in batches and toss to coat. Heat frying oil. Drop in fish in small batches and cook until light brown. Remove and serve with dipping sauce of mayo and masago mixed to taste.
Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage is in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.