I had the worst time finding the long rice noodles for this Chicken Long Rice recipe. It turns out, they aren’t made from rice, but from beans!!
When you go to your local Asian market, you’ll find about a billion different types of noodles. Here’s what you need: Vermicelli (Bean Thread) Noodles. The brand I got was L & W.
Chicken Long Rice
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken cut into small pieces or strips
6 T soy sauce
1 T sesame oil
2 T minced fresh ginger (I’d use only 1 T)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ tsp sugar
2 T vegetable oil
6-8 oz. sliced mushrooms
2-4 chopped green onions
10 oz long rice (cellophane noodles)
8 oz chicken broth
Combine 2 T soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, sugar, and pepper to create a marinade. Add the chicken and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Cover and soak long rice in cold water for 30 minutes. Cut into eight lengths. (Smaller lengths can be used based on preference.)
Place a large skillet or wok over high heat. When hot, add vegetable oil and marinated chicken. Cook until chicken no longer is pink, turning often. Reduce heat and add mushrooms, green onions, long rice, chicken broth, and remainder of soy sauce. Simmer until hot, stirring often—about 3 minutes.
NOTE!! Long rice requires very little cooking time. It absorbs liquid very easily and can break down if cooked too long.
When I cooked this recipe, I used the leftover breast from an already cooked whole chicken (which I used to make the broth as well.) The fresh ginger is very strong, so unless you love strong ginger flavor, I would suggest using about half of what the recipe calls for.
Chicken Long Rice is a staple at luaus, and my family loved it! I ate it when I lived in Hawaii, but had never cooked it.
Before I got the right noodle, I prepared it with a couple different types of noodles. They worked well too. So, if you’d like to vary this recipe, try the Bun Gao Tuoi Vermicelli (a rice noodle) or Banh Pho Rice Stick, which makes the recipe more like Pad Thai (Photo on left.)
But you’ve probably never heard it quite like this (unless you’re one of my Hawaii readers—but don’t spoil the surprise!)
Pidgin English is a unique form of English spoken in the islands. When I lived there I loved hearing my friends slip into pidgin. Most people speak it only when with friends, simply enjoying the relationships and having a good time.
One of my characters, Kainoa Onakea, uses pidgin every once in a while. Don’t worry, if you’re reading and not familiar with pidgin, another character’s comments will let you know what he means. I hope his use of it here and there adds a realistic touch to life in Hawaii.
Click on this link for a great rendition of The Night Before Christmas in pidgin.
Hawaiians are not actually part of the Asian group. They are actually Pacific Islanders, like the Samoans, Tongans, and Tahitians. But I figured everyone would love to hear about them.
There are a number of specifically Hawaiian celebrations, festivals, and events in Hawaii. Of course, every day is a celebration of the islands and it’s native culture wherever you go—the beaches, the tropical plants and fruits, the music, the dancing, and the luaus.
Food and Flower Events—
Kona Coffee Cultural Festival
Hula Kahiko Series
The Merrie Monarch Festival
Puukohola Heiau Cultural Festival
Races (Not exactly a cultural celebration or festival, but they sure do have a bucket-load of them in Hawaii!)—
Keauhou Kona Triathlon
Kona Marathon and Fun Runs
Big Island International Marathon
Kilauea Volcano Runs
Ironman Triathlon World Competition
There are many other festivals and events in the islands. Here is a web site for more information on these events and more.
The third largest group among the Asian population in Hawaii is the Koreans.
Korean Festival of Hawaii
In July this festival is held in Honolulu at Kapiolani Park. It includes dance performances, musicians, singers, taekwondo demonstrations, artifacts, and food. Korean food items include kalbi (barbecued short ribs), bibim gooksoo (a spicy noodle), and kim chi (spicy, pickled cabbage.)
Korean War Fallen
On June 25, the Hawaiian veterans (including the Korean War Veterans Association) honor those who died in the Korean War. The public ceremony takes place at Punchbowl Cemetery. Wreaths are placed at “The Courts of the Missing.” The number placed represents the number of years that have passed since the Korean War began on June 25, 1950.
Other Cultural Opportunities—
Additional Korean cultural opportunities in Hawaii include Halla Pai Huhm Dance Studio in Honolulu which offers a learning center for Korean dance and music.
The University of Hawaii at Manoa (in the Manoa Valley of Honolulu) has a Center for Korean Studies.
Korean cooking is a very big part of the culture in the islands. I hope to try a couple favorites later in 2011. Look for them! Bulgogi and Kal Bi.
The third largest group among the Asian population in Hawaii is the Chinese.
Chinese New Year
The islands celebrate in Honolulu’s Chinatown with the crowning of a Narcissus Queen, a lion dance, firecrackers, a parade, and a street festival.
On Maui, they celebrate in Lahaina (this may or may not change location) with a lion dance, live entertainment, demonstrations, and food.
On the Big Island of Hawaii, you may find a celebration in Hilo, which includes a performance and an all-day festival in Kalakaua Park.
Chinese Narcissus Festival
In January or February right before the Chinese New Year Celebration in Honolulu.
Miss Chinatown Hawaii Pageant
Created in 1990 as a scholarship pageant by the Honolulu Chinatown Merchants’ Association
If you are interested in the Chinese culture in Hawaii, Chinatown in Honolulu offers a great deal of culture and history. It has become an important center for the arts. There are also tours available.
The University of Hawaii at Manoa (in the Manoa Valley of Honolulu) has a Center for Chinese Studies.
Of course, Chinese cooking is a very big part of the culture in the islands. I am going to try two favorites and will post my experience sometime in early 2011. Look for them! Char Siu and Almond Cookies.
The second largest percentage of the Asian population in Hawaii is Filipino.
It is thought that the first Filipinos to settle in Hawaii were contract sugar workers in 1906. Today the population of Filipinos in Hawaii is growing very quickly.
I’m sure with the growth of this ethnic group, the number of celebrations or festivals will grow.
For now, I only have information on this one event.
Honolulu Filipino Fiesta and Parade
This festival is held in May and begins in the morning with a parade through Waikiki (starting from Kapiolani Park). Then everyone enjoys an all day fiesta in the park, including entertainment and food. The third part of the celebration consists of Filipino women in Filipiniana gowns marching under flowered arches. Often they are representing historic and religious persons. In 2009 they called this the Santacruzan event. In 2010 it was referred to as The Flores de Mayo.
This celebration may be slightly different each year. Guess I’ll have to fly to Hawaii in May and check it out! Anyone up for the trip???
The largest percentage of the Asian population in Hawaii is Japanese.
Later this year when we get closer to the dates, I will post about Girl’s Day (March 3) and Boy’s Day (May 5)
Other Japanese celebrations in the islands include:
Memorial Day Lantern Floating Ceremony
Held on Magic Island in Ala Moana Beach Park. This is a traditional Japanese lantern floating ceremony to honor ancestors and those who have passed away. Imagine all those lanterns lit with candles floating in the water.
Honolulu New Year’s Ohana Festival
A celebration organized by the Japanese Cultural Center. It lasts all day, and includes entertainment, crafts, books, Japanese food booths (and others too), cultural arts, and martial arts.
Joy of Sake
Samples and exhibits at the Hawaii Convention Center.
Hilo Festival of the Pacific
Celebrates Japanese influence on the islands. Includes a tea ceremony, arts and crafts, food and contests.
Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival.
Celebrates Japanese culture and includes a parade, bon dancing, Taiko drums, karaoke, art, crafts, and food.
These are just a few of the celebrations. The only ones I experienced when I lived there were Girl’s Day and Boy’s Day.
Have you ever attended one of these festivals, or perhaps one I didn't mention? I’d LOVE to attend all of these celebrations and festivals, wouldn’t you?
Here’s a great recipe for an amazing salad dressing. I’ve halved the recipe, as the dressing lasts only a couple weeks in the fridge. As you’ll see from the photo, it makes a good amount. But, if you love lots of dressing and eat big salads every day, you may want to double my amounts.
If you read my blog on Monday I challenged you to guess the special ingredient in my dressing. Did you get it right?
Papaya Seed Dressing
½ cup sugar
¾ teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons dry mustard
½ cup red wine vinegar (this is what I used, but you could use rice, tarragon, strawberry, or another flavor)
½ cup vegetable oil
less than ¼ cup minced onion (the full recipe calls for ¼ cup)
2 tablespoons of papaya seeds from a fresh papaya (be sure to remove the strings and rinse them)
Place the sugar, salt, mustard, and vinegar in a blender and mix until it is smooth. With the motor running, add the oil in a stream and blend until it is emulsified. Add the onion and papaya seeds until the seeds are the consistency of ground pepper. The dressing should keep for two weeks in the refrigerator.
The seeds give the dressing a bit of zip! My family loved it and we finished this small batch within the two weeks.
The salad I made is Sunshine Salad which has mixed greens and spinach, thin slices of red onion, slivered almonds, dried strawberries, and mandarin oranges. You can add or subtract ingredients as you prefer. Fresh strawberries or blueberries are always good in a salad too. Add the papaya seed dressing and YUM!!!
Starting next week I’ll be talking about some of the ethnic groups and their cultures.
The state of Hawaii has the largest percentage of Asian residents (about 41%) in the United States, but not the largest number of Asians.
Does that surprise you? Probably not, but maybe you’d be interested in the breakdown of those residents.
The largest ethnic group within the Asian population is Japanese.
The remaining are ranked in this order:
The rest of the Asian population is made up of a number of ethnicities.A few are (I've included Pacific Islanders here): Hawaiian, Okinawan, Polynesian, Samoan, and Tongan.
Beginning next week I will start posting a bit of information on the main Asian ethnic groups in Hawaii. Celebrations, events, centers, etc.
Until then, join me on Thursday for another RECIPE!This one is a salad dressing. Bet you can’t guess what it’s made from! Winner gets . . . uhh . . . absolutely nothing—I’m not published yet, otherwise I’d send you a book!
Mahalo for reading my blog, and I’d love to hear your comments (or check a box below!)
This is part two of my blog about my main character, Leilani Akamai, and her surfboard. She is thirteen years old and has been surfing since she was about eight. She loves surfing and it pretty good at it. She’s currently using a minilongboard. But what kind of board does she want to get?
She wants to improve her surfing maneuvers, which means she should move toward a shortboard. But, by Leilani’s own admission, she tends to crash and burn a lot when trying new things.
The solution? A soft top board. This will allow her to try new moves without the worry of dinging her board or whacking her head too hard. She also won’t have to worry as much about damaging someone else’s board, and the price will be less for the soft top than a regular board.
The biggest drawback with these boards is their weight. They are heavier than the traditional boards.
For more information on the pros and cons of soft top boards, check out this site: