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Apr 1, 2009 01:39 PM

Cooking on Kauai

I'm heading to Kauai on Sunday - 5 nights in Hanalei and 3 in Poipu. I've searched through and read all the great posts about places to eat and shop for food on the island. Thanks!

I'll have a kitchen at our place in Hanalei and am looking forward to cooking with the great local seafood and produce we'll find there. I'm wondering if anyone has any great advice and (especially) recipes using some of the food items that a mainlander such as myself is not used to.

Alternately, are there any good cookbooks I should pick up before leaving that highlight Hawaiian ingredients?

I'm a pretty competant cook, and rather adventurous. I just want some recipes that will help me do the ingredients justice and incorporate the fruit, vegetables, and seafood of the island. We won't be in Hanalei for the Saturday market, but I plan to make it to the farmers market on Tuesday.

(For the record, I eat / cook seafood and poultry but not pig or cow -- though I would deign to cook some pig for my husband and daughter if it came from a reliable, local source.)

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice!

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  1. Glad to hear that you're interested in working with the local goods. Since you'll be doing the farmers markets, a great option is to speak with the sellers about recipes. Other shoppers are also great resources. They'll probably tell you about other local ingredients too.

    As for the fish, the seller is probably one of the best resources. It'll likely be either a "raw" recipe or their grilling technique.

    I keep my pacific rim cookbooks in Hawaii since the ingredients simply aren't as readily available at home (WA). They're waiting for me there on Kauai when I need 'em.

    I do keep some pacific rim cookbooks on the mainland that have recipes with modifications for mainland cooks. For example, a couple cookbooks that convert kalua pork recipes to the crockpot. Yes, onolicious kalua pork in the fridge right now! Unless you find yourself in to all the local grinds, you might not want to invest in any books yet.

    1. You might want to stop at Costco or Barnes and Noble to peruse through the cookbooks there. You could also type in local hawaiian recipes in favorite site is:

      1. Thanks for the advice! I keep thinking I need to have more of a plan, but you're right, goofy. I just need to see what I find and ask the locals for advice.

        Oh, to have a place on Kauai to keep *my* cookbooks . . .

        1. We are just finishing with 9 days on Kauai and we cooked most of the time due to having young kids with us and the fact that I think we can cook better at home than eating out most places here. We hit up both Hanalei farmer's markets and the Kilaeau one as well. Things I like to use from Kauai and great produce we got include

          Scallions and Onions
          Herbs including basil, thai basil, mint, cilantro, parsley
          Amazing Lettuce
          Rambutans, papaya and citrus
          Goat cheese

          We cooked:

          Tuna Belly
          Mahi Mahi
          Lettuce wraps with spring roll wrappers were a big hit
          Kalbi Short Ribs
          Hanger Steaks