Ah Fook's No-Ka-Oi Brand Portuguese Sausage

Ah Fook’s No-Ka-Oi Brand Portuguese Sausage

Pop an extra blood pressure and/or statin pill, because it’s that time again to review yet another brand of island style Portuguese Sausage. This time from the valley isle of Maui, we have Ah Fook’s No-Ka-Oi Brand Portuguese Sausage.

I picked these up directly from Ah Fook’s Supermarket in Kahului…

…which I believe is the only place you can get them. I didn’t see them in any of the Maui Foodland or Star Market locations.

As you see, they have both HOT and MILD. Here’s how they look uncooked out of the package…

Ah Fook’s No-Ka-Oi Brand Portuguese Sausage: Hot on the left, mild on the right

I notice the neighbor island manufacturers make their sausages in this U-shape rack-hanging style, while most of the Oahu manufacturers make their sausages in a straight tube shape. See my infamous Great Portuguese Sausage Shootout to see what I’m talking about.

Here they are uncooked and sliced so you can see the marbling…

Ah Fook’s No-Ka-Oi Brand Portuguese Sausage: Hot on the left, mild on the right

Fry ’em up in a little bit of oil and serve…

Ah Fook’s No-Ka-Oi Brand Portuguese Sausage: Hot on the left, mild on the right, with an Ume Nori Musubi and a slice of Maui’s Uradomo Farms Spiced Takuan

An Ume Nori Musubi works perfectly as an accompaniment to the salty, spicy, meaty sausage. Notice I also include my usual Takuan, which matches beautifully with the Portuguese Sausage – a trick I learned from the mama sans at the late Tropic Fish & Vegatable Center in Ward Farmers Market.

First let’s try the mild…

Ah Fook’s No-Ka-Oi Brand Mild Portuguese Sausage

Considerably salty in a good way. Although the ingredients list sugar in it, I couldn’t quite detect any sweet going on. At least, not nearly as much as my other favorite, Purity brand. Certainly smokey, but not overpowering. Kinda’ “beefy” even though there’s no beef in it, probaby due to the smoke accent. The pork seems to be more in whole chunks than ground up. Plenty of fat marbling for that all-important flavor punch. The casing also seems natural, not the collagen stuff, although I’m not sure, as it doesn’t specify on the ingredients listing.

To sum it up, it tastes more like home-made Portuguese Sausage; da’ ‘kine your uncle with the smoke house on the Big Island would send you every Christmas as a gift. It has that kind of backyard style flavor.

Do I like it? I LOVE IT. Easily at the top, sharing that spot with my other favorite, Purity, and Franks from the Big Island. Solid 5 SPAM Musubi for Ah Fook’s Mild Portuguese Sausage.

Now let’s sample da’ HOT ones…

Ah Fook’s No-Ka-Oi Brand Hot Portuguese Sausage

Ooh man, it’s certainly HOT. Although not quite “Hurry! Get me a glass of water NOW!” hot,  it’s definitely got some kick. Other than that, it has all the same attributes I described of the mild version. Which means this one also gets a solid 5 SPAM Musubi rating.

So next time you visit Maui, make sure to stop by Ah Fook’s Supermarket in Kahului and pick up a few packages of their No-Ka-Oi Brand Portuguese Sausage to bring home. In the now crowded arena of island style Portuguese Sausages , theirs is “no ka oi” (number one best) indeed!

What? Ah Fook’s No-Ka-Oi Brand Hot and Mild Portuguese Sausage
Where did you buy it and how much did it cost? Ah Fook’s Supermarket in Kahului, Maui. $2.49 per 7 oz. package
Big Shaka to: Perfect blend of salt and other seasonings. Perfect accent of smoke flavor. Perfect amount of pork fat marbling. Solid chunks of seasoned pork. Casing has a pleasing, natural texture.  AMAZING with Maui’s Uradomo Farms’ Takuan.
No shaka to: Currently not available at Oahu retailers (to the best of my knowledge)
The Tasty Island rating: 5 SPAM Musubi

Related links:
The Great Portuguese Sausage Shootout – The Tasty Island

P.S. While I was at it, I tried making Kinpira Gobo with Portuguese Sausage from Jean Hee’s most excellent local cook book series titled ‘Best of the Best Hawaii Recipes’.

Here’s how it turned out….

Kinpira Gobo with Portuguese Sausage, featuring Ah Fook’s No-Ka-Oi Brand, served with Takuan and an Ume Nori Musubi

Here’s the recipe:

Kinpira Gobo with Portuguese Sausage
• 1/2 pound gobo, scraped clean, slivered and soaked in water
• 1 tbsp oil
• 1 tbsp dried shrimp, minced
• 1/2 cup Portuguese sausage, cubed
• 1/4 cup soy sauce
• 3 tbsp sugar
• 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
• 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
• dash pepper

Heat oil and saute shrimp. Drain gobo and add shrimp; stir-fry 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and continue cooking over medium heat until sauce is absorbed.

Variation: Slivered carrots may be added for color.

So I followed this recipe to the “T” (except I used the frozen packaged, precut Gobo and Carrots) and it turned out pretty good, but I think it calls for too much shoyu (1/4 cup), as it was kinda’ salty and over-marinaded with that flavor. At least with the Yamasa brand shoyu I used. If you make this, I’d recommend using less shoyu – like say about 1/8 cup – or perhaps using a more mild shoyu like Aloha’s low sodium stuff. Other than that, the Portuguese Sausage certainly brings plenty of complimentary flavor to the Kinpira Gobo party, as does the subtle accent of the minced dried shrimp (Opai).


11 thoughts on “Ah Fook's No-Ka-Oi Brand Portuguese Sausage

  1. OMG- I always have a supply of these as well as Kulana Blood Sausage in my freezer. Thank god for neighbor island relatives. LOL

  2. These are great stuff to throw on the grill at the beach. Eat em with rice and Takuan…ONO

    Next time when you’re picking up some of No Ka Oi Sausage, get some of thier boiled peanuts too…..

  3. Pomai, when coming back from Hawaii I brought some of Ah Fook Spicy Sausages and use it in Jambalaya and pizzas. It was great and mild one for quinches with spinach.

  4. I never thought of eating portuguese sausage with takuan. What an awesome combination! I’ve seen Costco selling rectangular shaped portuguese sausage – a port. sausage/takuan musubi sounds good, too!

    I’ve never had home-made portuguese sausage. It makes me want to fly to the neighbor islands just to get some.

  5. I love Ah Fook’s. The old store, before the fire, was really cool, old-time vibe. This one’s fine too, really nice people in there. And yeah, the sausage is THAT GOOD. 😉

  6. Marcus, the new Ah Fook’s is very small compared to the old location, but even within that tiny space, they have some very unique merchandise you can’t get in the big supermarkets. Da’ kine “Chinatown” ‘kine stuff.

    Deanna, give Portuguese Sausage with Takuan (a.k.a. Takuwan) a try. It’s really ono! Especially with some scrambled eggs and rice to go along with it. It’s good with Beni Shoga too. Any Tsukemono. I think it’s the fattiness and the spices that make the two taste good together.

    If you don’t know anyone that makes home-made Portuguese Sausage, Ah Fook’s No-Ka-Oi brand would be your best bet.

    Spotty, like I said in the opening sentence, make sure to pop an extra statin pill. My body’s still trying to recover from the last Great Portuguese Sausage shootout. lol

    Raph’, thanks!

    Betty, I wouldn’t use Ah Fook’s brand for something like say Portuguese Bean Soup. It’s tastes too good for that, where it would otherwise get drowned out. Best eaten as is, just pan-fried. It’s also a little more expensive. I’d use a cheaper, easier-to-get brand instead for recipe dishes (I won’t name names).

    Val, funny you mentioned that. I went spock da’ boiled peanuts in the reefer case and they looked so ono. IIRC, they also had spicy boiled peanuts and garlic style. If you come to Oahu, you gotta’ try Alicia’s large Virginia style boiled peanuts. Seasoned and cooked PERFECTLY. One of the best on the island, IMO.

    Yoro, how about some Sun Noodle Portuguese Sausage Ramen? How you figgah’, would work or what? Nah, I don’t think so. Maybe Portuguese Bean Soup Ramen. lol

  7. Pomai, well I got to see if it would work well all I can some people who ate it said need more to it other not sure. So there you have even I would say not sure also.

  8. Pomai…I just went to Ah Folks…and there was a sign saying that No ka oi was closing. I grew up eating their sausage and will be heartbroken when they close. We come from Oahu, and every time we come to Maui we just got to load up on the good stuff……another childhood favorite turns into just a memory.

  9. keliipono, bummers! Ah Fook’s No Ka Oi is definitely in my top 3 of brands, sharing the same spot equally with Frank’s (Big Island) and Purity (Oahu). I think I still have a couple in my freezer, and I’ll certainly savor it when I eat it. Good thing I got to blog about it so the memory will love on. Mahalo for the update.

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