Tag Archives: food

Cool Summer Salad – SOMEN


Happy Birthday America! Imagine being 239 years old. That begs for a celebration for sure. This holiday weekend we had lots of grilling, marinating, chilling and freezing. It is such a production but when you see satisfaction and delight on everyone’s faces as they partake in the feast – it all feels worth the work.

These past few weeks it has been extremely hot. In planning for the 4th we knew we would have to have some cold dishes. Yes, cold watermelon, cold potato salad or cold desserts are good but nothing like cool somen noodles.

Here in Hawaii we love our noodle dishes. I don’t think any party, buffet or plate lunch house doesn’t have some type of noodle dish. As a young girl I fancied vinegar. Shoyu, sugar and vinegar was a go to mix for vine ripened mango and guava. At an aunts house I tried somen salad and I was in love. However as I grew up I quickly found out that not all somen’s were made equal. I’ve tried many recipes, pre-made bottle sauces and non-compared to aunty’s sauce. This is a winner, tried and true potluck dish you would want to share.


2 Bundles somen noodles

½ Lettuce head sliced julienne style

You can also chop your veggies!

Cooked Meat sliced julienne style (Char siu, ham, spam, luncheon meat)

2 Cooked scrambled egg sliced julienne style

1 Kamaboku sliced julienne style

2 Carrots sliced julienne style

1 Cucumber sliced julienne style

Green Onions chopped (enough to sprinkle as garnish)

Toasted Sesame Seeds (enough to sprinkle as garnish)


Individual serving cups with chiso or lettuce cups

You can also try individual serving cups with chiso leaves or lettuce cups.

1 T oil

2 T sesame oil

¼ C vinegar

½ C sugar

½ C shoyu


Boil noodles according to package instructions. Drain. Rinse until cool. Drain well. Grab a serving of noodles (fist size) and twirl into a ball. Continue to make single serving balls to cover the bottom of a large platter. Layer vegetables, meat and egg over the noodles. Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds. Combine ingredients for the sauce. Mix well. Allow guests to put their own sauce.


Vegetables are normally in this order: Lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, meat, eggs and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.

I’ve made it where each topping item was in a separate dish where guests could make their own.

I’ve tossed the entire dish together with the sauce. I do it this way only when I know I will not keep the leftovers or there will be no leftovers. Noodles sitting in sauce over night is not good. It gets mushy and spoiled fast.

My favorite is to make a pretty design. Lettuce is key. You can never have enough lettuce, so I sometimes layer the lettuce like a hedge around the dish covering half of the noodle surface. I then place the vegetables strategically such as a row of cucumbers, a row of carrots, a row of kamaboko, row of egg, row of meat and repeat until the entire surface is covered. Then sprinkle the garnish.

Another favorite topping is ocean salad. I love the crunch and salt that it brings to the dish. Just beware that your noodles will turn green wherever the salad is sitting. If your guests are familiar with ocean salad – no big deal. If not, you may want to leave on the side so they can add as garnish.

Noodles do not have to be twirled into a ball. I do that because the noodles can be a little sticky and it helps when guests serve themselves. It also gives me a good idea of how many servings I have.

I also like serving the noodles in a large glass bowl. I can quickly tell if too much water has settled from the vegetables and if too much sauce is sitting on the bottom.

The sauce, if served separately works well in a salad shaker bottle or condiment bottle where it can be shaken before application. The oils will separate and you will need to give it a nice shake.

I also double the dressing recipe. If you toss the salad yourself – the ratio is perfect. However, when guests serve themselves they tend to use more. It is so delicious that they just can’t help themselves!

Enjoy ♥

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Yummy Summertime

barbeque pork ribs

barbeque pork ribs

When you think of summer – it always conjures up playfulness and fun! When attending school I always looked forward to summer break. It was pure bliss to hang out on the beach, at home or with friends. It was a time to be a kid. We played outside from sun-up to sun-down and we weren’t bogged down with homework and getting to bed by 8pm. As an adult, summer is also something to look forward to. Less to no traffic in the morning commute, family trips and summer food. Yes, summer food. This time of the year we get sweet local mangoes and lychee. In the stores the oranges, strawberries, cherries and melons are sweeter. The corn is fresher and the peas are crispier.

All this talk about food is making me hungry. In fact I smell something delicious. Ah, it’s Kalea eating ribs! Fall off the bone baby back ribs was a treat at the family bbq and it would accompany the local favorites of Korean chicken, somen salad, baked beans, steak, macaroni salad, shoyu chicken, baked salmon and more.

As Yoko is more interested in the fresh fruits and Kalea is more interested in eating – I’ll give you a family recipe for fall off the bone ribs that has been around for three generations. Enjoy!kalea

4 lbs Bone in Spareribs

Boil ribs 1 hr with 3 inch crushed ginger

Marinate  Overnight

  • 1 C Ketchup
  • 1 C Brown Sugar
  • 3/4 C Shoyu
  • 1/3 C Oyster Sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and brown ribs for 20 minutes flipping the ribs once or fire up the grill and brown the ribs making sure the internal temperature is 160 degrees.

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ESPN 1420 Sports Festival

On Saturday, June 29, HiTel FCU employees were on hand at the 3rd annual ESPN 1420 Sports Fest at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall. This action-packed event spotlighted the latest and greatest in sports and fitness products, featured autograph sessions by local celebrity athletes, a wrestling exhibition, food, games and more.

Hawaiian Tel Federal Credit Union employees were there to promote “financial fitness” and to let patrons know how good a Credit Union can be for one’s pocketbook. HiTel FCU’s very own loveable mascots, Yoko and Kalea, delighted keiki of all ages who flocked over to get their pictures taken.

The event was well-attended, and HiTel FCU staff had a grand time giving out prizes to the lucky spinners of our prize wheel and increasing public awareness of HiTel FCU’s wonderful products and services. Mahalo to all Credit Union members (and there were quite a few of you!) who stopped by the booth!

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My Weekend

This weekend was great! Like Yoko said, on Saturday I went to cast my vote in the Primary Elections!  It was a perfect sunny day so I met up with my buddies after voting to hit the beach.

On Sunday, one of my friends planned a BBQ at his house in Kailua.  We got there early so we were able to take over his awesome pool before everyone else showed up.  His pool is perfect for parties because there is a large seating area that’s shallow enough to just lay back on.  Several of my friends are really good cooks so of course the spread was awesome! We had steaks, chicken, poke, lau lau, pasta and more!  There was so much food and so much leftovers.  I took some food home and it looks like I’ll be having lau lau and steak for lunch for the next week or so!

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