Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A childhood dish of Hawaii updated


Thanks in part to Marination Mobile, if you know anything about contemporary Hawaiian food for the masses, you know SPAM is an island favorite. In fact, Hawaii leads the nation in SPAM consumption. Love those SPAM sliders.

But Hawaiians also eat a lot of canned tuna. I would bet even more than SPAM. I don't have any numbers to report, just years of eating Coral Hawaiian tuna and rice with Aloha shoyu (soy sauce) and furikake (dried fish flakes, roasted sesame seeds and seaweed flakes) as well as seeing my nieces and nephews also grow up eating this same dish. In a culture that eats rice at every meal, canned tuna and canned sardines are easy and inexpensive foods that Hawaii kids learned to love as soon as they could eat solid foods. If ever they were left "home alone" my sisters' kids would have survived on nothing else but canned tuna and rice. Now that they have kids of their own, the tradition continues.

I updated this dish today for lunch. I doubt the keiki (children) back home in Hawaii would like it. They wouldn't see the familiar sticky white medium grain Japonica rice, soy sauce or furikake. But, hey, I could be wrong. Maybe they do like quinoa.

Tuna Quinoa Cilantro Salad
Serves 2

2 cups cooked combination of sweet brown rice and quinoa
3.5 oz can Fishing Vessel St. Jude Solid White Albacore Tuna
Handful or more fine chopped cilantro
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Fine grain Hawaiian sea salt, fresh-cracked black and white peppercorns to taste

Make an emulsion of lemon juice and olive oil, about 1/8 tsp sea salt and a few good cracks of pepper. Fine chop the cilantro and combine it with the emulsion. Flake the solid tuna with a fork. In a large bowl mix together all ingredients. Divide into two servings. Variation: Instead of Hawaiian sea salt, finish with your choice of Secret Stash Sea Salts.

1 comment:

denise, the prime magpie said...

Ha - I've been doing the same thing, using quinoa when I'm craving rice dishes. It's a nice way to mix comfort food with whole grains, no? Plus I love the little crunch that quinoa has!