Kahuku Sea Asparagus


Kahuku Sea Asparagus Inari Sushi, $4.00 at KCC Farmers’ Market

Here we have yet another delicious feature item from the KCC Farmers’ Market, in the form of Kahuku Sea Asparagus from Marine AgriFuture, LLC. More specifically, Sea Asparagus Inari Sushi.

“Sea Asparagus” you might ask? I won’t attempt to rewrite the details on the process. You can check it out yourself here at this Star Bulletin article link.

Here’s a closer look at what Kahuku-grown Sea Asparagus looks like in packaged-for-sale form…

What does it taste like, straight-up like this? Definitely cruciferous, and not as “earthy” as your standard asparagus. I’d say it’s like a cross between watercress and ogo, with a salty bite. As for tasting like asparagus, hardly at all. Even though it’s salty, it isn’t obtrusive, but rather pleasant, likely because it’s natural sea salt.

The instructions say to rinse it (to remove some of the salt), but I think it tastes best as is.

Speaking of which, that’s where I think Dr. Wenhau Sun, proprietor of the Marine AgriFuture, should change his recipe and leave the salt in for the Inari Sushi.

As it was packaged, it was a little bland and characterless, with the beni shoga (the red stuff, which is pickled ginger) condiment on the side actually standing out more in complimentary value to the inari sushi than the sea asparagus. If he had left the salt in, it would be a whole nother ball game. And I’m not a “salt head” at all, yet I do know what tastes good, and the essence of this sea asparagus is the sea salt its grown in.

I bought 3 trays of Sea Asparagus a few weeks ago, using it mostly as a (natural) substitute for salt. For that, it’s great in stir fries, which I made a killer stir fry pork with tofu and watercress with this sea asparagus. Was so ono! I also made banchan (Korean side dish) with it, simply adding sesame oil, shoyu, sugar, ginger, mirin and sesame seeds (goma)…

While I haven’t tried it yet, my guess is this would be excellent accompanying some barbecued Kal Bi. It is excellent as is!

Dr. Sun also sells his Sea Asparagus in prepared form, “Lomi” style…

The Sea Asparagus replaces what is traditionally salted salmon. Because it’s naturally salty, it macerates the tomato, softening it and releasing its water. You can make this easily yourself using chopped Sea Asparagus, diced tomatoes and onions. I’d also throw in some green onion for good measure. I did that too. It’s a descent substitute to lomi salmon and ono with poi!

Sea Asparagus is sold in 4 oz. trays at direct from the farmer at $4 each, or, getting your Costco bulk price groove on, 2 for $7, or 3 for $8!!!

Here’s Doctor Sun…

Super nice guy.

Marine AgriFuture, LLC is present most saturdays at KCC Farmers’ Market.

For more information about Marine AgriFuture and their Sea Asparagus, visit www.olakai.com.

After attending yesterday’s KCC Farmers’ Market, I took a stroll down Diamond Head Beach, where – come to find out- there was a new Hawaiian Monk Seal in town!…


Irma, a Hawaiian Monk Seal and endangered species

I thought this was Rocky, but after talking with Tracy Wurth at NOAA Marine Fisheries Service division, come to find out Rocky is PREGNANT and now located on Kauai. This seal’s name is Irma.

No, she’s not DEAD on the beach. She’s just resting. Probably from a day out hunting for food and dodging tiger sharks.

Here’s another angle…

If you sight a Hawaiian Monk Seal on the beach and there’s currently at the time no official (NOAA) signs of their presence, please call NOAA’s National Marine Services Hawaiian Monk Seal sighting hotline at 808-220-7802. Most likely you’ll speak with Tracy, who is the lead marine biologist in charge of Hawaii’s Monk Seal population. Some monk seals have a bleached alpha-numeric mark on their shoulder area. There might also be a red tag on their tail. This will help you to identify the exact seal you’re reporting your sighting of to NOAA. Irma didn’t have any marking, yet Tracy knew who it was, based on report trends.

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12 thoughts on “Kahuku Sea Asparagus

  1. Heard about it but never try it. Thinking of a salad with bay shrimp in it. Rice vinegar some sugar that it. Again I try to be there early at farmer market but packed again so parked a little far but glad get to enjoy shopping there. Bloggers always reading and watching you Pomai.

  2. Pomai, wondering if I use it in soup like seaweed soup ? Kimo’s salad sound pretty good also with some cucumber slices and carrot slices along with it too. Now to check where in San Francisco to find sea asparagus.

  3. Kimo, whatever it is you use these sea asparagus for, think of it as a flavorful replacement for salt. It was really ono in my watercress, pork and tofu stir fry, replacing what I normally would use Opai (dried shrimp) in the dish.

    Betty, soup? Sure, I think it’ll work. I’m thinking it would be great in Miso soup. I’ll try it and let you know later.

    There’s a source in Seattle that sells sea asparagus online…

    http://www.westcoastseaweed.com/seabean/nscp_toc/index.html

    They only sell in bulk though, selling 5 1 lb. vacuum-sealed bags. Their price is actually fairly reasonable though, considering.

    Erica, see the link above.

  4. oh those are yummy! At Diamond Head Grill they have it mixed in with their inari instead of being on top like that I used to eat it quite a bit when I was there.

  5. Noodlegirl, the sea asparagus is mixed into the sushi rice in these inari as well, with a few sprigs placed on top for presentation. As mentioned, I just wish they didn’t rinse the salt off. Having the sea salt on would have really punched out the flavor of the inari rice and aburage.

    I just passed Diamond Head Grill (Kelvin Ro’s place) today after driving home from the beach, and the place was PACKED! I need to stop by there sometime soon and try a few things.

  6. Pomai, I saw on Flickr sea asparagus tempura. Looked so good got to try right away. Soup would not bad with it and it got texture.

  7. I want some of that! I’ve never heard of it before but it sounds yummy. Going to be in the Northwest in a couple weeks, hope I see it in the stores.

  8. I have been wondering what Sea Asparagus was even since I saw it online on the Pineapple Room website. I think they use it in their Ahi Poke too. Mahalo for clearing up the mystery!

    Btw, I started a food blog too, and its still a baby, only a month old πŸ™‚ Please check it out when you have time and let me know what you think πŸ™‚
    http://dahulagirl.typepad.com/smackeral

  9. Pingback: Sunny Saturday « Re-Percussions

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