Maui Mom's Specialties

Warabi Salad

My girlfriend’s mother from Maui stayed with us this past week and cooked a few of her favorite dishes while here. What a treat!

One of those is her friend’s Warabi salad recipe, as shown in the first photo. That’s made with Warabi (fiddle fern), tomato, cucumber, kamaboko (fish cake – the pink and white stuff), seaweed salad (Korean style with sesame oil in it), prepared kombu (seasoned seaweed) and bago’ong (a Filipino fermented anchovie sauce).

How is it? EXCELLENT. A flavor and texture EXPLOSION. This is something I’d bring to a potluck.

A spin-off from that is this Tofu Salad…

Tofu Salad

While the picture isn’t going to win any awards since this was a packed lunch I took to work, the dish is perhaps a contender.

This uses the same prepared kombu, which has shoyu and sugar in it, imparting a robust, well-rounded flavor to the mild tofu and crisp cucumbers. Sugoi!

My girlfriend has Russian, Filipino, Spanish and Hawaiian heritage, with the Filipino side coming out strong from her dad’s (100%) side.

From her Filipino side, we have here one of the family favorites, Grandma Mary’s Tinola…

Tinola – Filipino style Chicken and Papaya soup

Tinola, a.k.a. chicken and papaya soup is a simple dish, made with chicken, green papaya, ginger and either Bago’ong or Patis. In this case, Bagoong (Bago’ong). Chili pepper leaves or other greens are also usually added, but not in this case.

How is it? I polished off about a half-gallon’s worth of it, if that’s any indication. It’s tastes like chicken long rice, sans the long bean noodles, plus the papaya, which has a squash-like quality, both in flavor and texture. MASARAP!

Next up, she made Dinuguan and Pancit…

Dinuguan (Filipino Pork Blood Stew) and Pancit)

Yes, pork blood stew. Traditionally the dish uses innards (gut stuff) from the pig, but modern recipes (like this) use only pork butt (shoulder meat). It’s sometimes referred to as “chocolate meat”. It may not LOOK very appealing, but let me tell you, it’s absolutely MASARAP (delicious)!!! There’s a secret ingredient (don’t ask, cause I’m not telling) that Maui Mom puts in her Dinuguan that sets its texture apart from all the rest. Not too dry, not too thin, but just saucy-thick-right over rice and noodles. The best!

Finally we have Granma Mary’s Pork Rolls…

Granma Mary’s Pork Rolls

This is like a Maki Sushi in architecture, where instead of rice making up the bulk of it, there’s marinaded and cooked pork. Inside of that is macaroni, eggs, red peppers and raisins, along with a tempura-style outter-crust, making this a contrasting flavor POWERHOUSE. It takes your taste buds into all kinds of directions. It’s totally crazy, yet absolutely OISHII-MASARAP-ONO-BROKE DA’ MOUT’ WHINNAHZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Aahhh, nothin’ like Mom’s cooking.


13 thoughts on “Maui Mom's Specialties

  1. Oooh, the pork rolls look the most ono to me. It looks like the kind of thing people make for special occasions like parties so I probably wouldn’t have much luck finding it at any Filipino restaurants, would I…

  2. C, you just might know her mom. She’s one of those “Everybody’s Aunty” kinda’ people person. And those pork rolls are a secret family recipe only she would know how to make.

    Nate, I never thought of putting Chili Pepper water in Tinola, but it sounds like a great idea! I can see that extra kick enhancing it.

    Molly, the Pork Rolls aren’t a Filipino dish, nor is the Warabi and Tofu salads. Only the Pancit and Dinuguan. You’re right about them being special though, as they’re time-consuming to make, requiring a number of steps and procedures.

  3. Hi, I’m curious about that Warabi salad recipe!!! It’s the first time I’ve heard of it! Been looking for a similar recipe online but can;t find one. Aaaaaa!

  4. Mica, the Warabi Salad recipe is pretty much listed in the description below the dish. The only thing I forgot to list was Opae (dried shrimp). To prepare the Warabi, you blanch it in boiling water for a couple minutes, then shock it in ice water to stop the cooking process and preserve its green color. Just mix everything as listed according to taste. Easy.

  5. Aloha:

    I met your GF mother recently and she told me about your blog – specifically this Maui Mom’s article. She seemed really tickled that I knew of your blog before she said anything about it. I think she was skeptical until I mentioned the Spam Musubi rating guide that you use. I told her I had stumbled across your blog while Googling for stuff on Shave Ice when I was trying to explain the difference between Shave Ice you get in Hawaii, and what they call Sno-Balls on the Mainland. Small world, made smaller by computers.

  6. Aloha “McGoogle”, nice name. lol

    Indeed a small world, made smaller by computers and even smaller by our common interest in FOOD! Next time I talk to her, I’ll certainly mention your comment here.


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