2005 Hale ‘Aina Cookbook

Healthful—and delicious—food from our award-winning chefs.


Published:

Most of us start off the New Year vowing to eat healthier, so we asked four of our Hale 'Aina Award-winning chefs for some light, healthful dishes. The challenge: use cooking techniques and ingredients that will produce dishes full of flavor, low on fat and high on satisfaction.

You'll be impressed, too, with the simplicity of these recipes. While Kähala Mandarin Orien-tal Hawai'i executive chef Wayne Hirabayashi's ingredient list may seem long, his comforting Roasted Eggplant O-chazuke is simply embellished tea and rice. Alan Takasaki, chef of Le Bistro, steamed 'öpakapaka with earthy flavors in the oven, while chef Russell Siu of 3660 On The Rise used the same type of fish, but poached it in a plastic bag. Both of these techniques keep the dishes low-fat, and enhance the flavor of this favorite island fish. Peter Merriman, of Merriman's, thinks a little fat is good for you: He cooked up a rack of lamb.

"I feel the health industry went in the wrong direction, sacrificing so much flavor for a small increment in health," says Merriman about the no-fat, low-fat craze.

"It's all about tasting good," declares Hirabayashi, a thought repeated by every chef. After all, whether it's fat-free or fat-laden, plain or seasoned, food has to please the palate and the senses. With recipes this delicious, that "I'll eat better" New Year's resolution is a lot easier to achieve.

 

Subscribe to Honolulu