Made in Hawaii Recipe: Chef Chai

The 15th annual Made in Hawaii Festival takes place August 20-22 at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center. Festival-goers will enjoy shopping for a selection of ono food, books, unique gifts, arts & crafts, music, plants, jewelry and more. A highlight of the festival each year is the cooking demonstrations from some of Hawaii’s finest chefs.


Cooking demonstrations are made possible with the support of the participating restaurants and the Department of Agriculture’s Hawaii Seal of Quality program.

Chef Chai Chaowasaree, the executive chef and owner of Chai’s Island Bistro and Singha Thai Cuisine, will start the second day of cooking demonstrations on Saturday, August 21 at 12 p.m with two curry dishes.

Chef Chai will feature Thai Red Chicken Curry and Pineapple Shrimp Curry recipes.

Thai Red Chicken Curry

Recipe Serves 2

1 lb Chicken breast cut to bite sizes
1/2 tablespoon of Thai red curry paste
1 cup of coconut milk
1 tablespoon of fish sauce or low sodium soy sauce
Dash of sugar
½ lb. of Bamboo Shoots (or any vegetables)
2 oz. of slices or dices bell pepper
Kaffir lime leaves
10 leaves of fresh basil

In a sauté pan with medium heat, add red curry paste, coconut milk and sauté for a couple of minutes. Then add chicken, fish sauce and sugar. Bring it to a boil then simmer for about 5 minutes.

When the curry sauce is ready to be served, add bamboo shoots and cook for a minute then add bell pepper, Kaffir leaves, and fresh basil to finish up. Turn off the heat. Serve with plain steamed rice.

Pineapple Shrimp Curry

Recipe Serves 2

Photo: courtesy of Chef Chai

1 lb black tiger prawns, clean, peeled and divined
1/2 tablespoon of Thai yellow curry paste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 cups of coconut milk
1 cup of chicken stock
1 tablespoon of fish sauce
1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 cup pineapple chunk
1 cup Steamed potato
1 cup steamed carrot (bite size)

In a sauté pan with medium heat, add vegetable oil, yellow curry paste, 1 cup coconut milk (save the other 2 for later), sauté for couple minutes then add remaining of coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce, curry powder and sugar. Bring it to a boil then simmer for about 5 minutes.

For the pineapple cut the top and keep for garnish, remove the meat from the center of pineapple and keep about a cup for the curry and use the empty pineapple as a container.

When ready to served add shrimp, pineapple, carrot and potato and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the shrimp is done. Serve with plain steamed rice.

You may substitute shrimp with scallop vegetables or tofu.

For information on attending the festival, visit

About the chef

Chef Chai Chaowasaree, Chai’s Island Bistro and Singha Thai Cuisine

Chef Chai is the owner/chef of Chai’s Island Bistro and Singha Thai Cuisine. Chef Chai is one of Hawaii’s best known chefs and is the host of a popular TV show "Dining Out with Chef Chai". He is one of the founders of Hawai‘i’s Island Chefs (HIC), an organization devoted to promoting agriculture and aquaculture in Hawai‘i, and a promiment figure in Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine.
Chef Chai has a cookbook, The Island Bistro Cookbook, available now from Watermark Publishing.
Chef Chai opened his first restaurant, Singha Thai Cuisine in Waikiki, 20 years ago. A decade later, he followed with Chai’s Island Bistro at the Aloha Tower Marketplace in Honolulu, which has won a Hale Aina Award in every year since it opened.

The Made in Hawaii Festival Cooking Demonstrations are coordinated by HONOLULU Magazine and are sponsored in part by the Hawaii State Department of Agriculture’s Hawaii Seal of Quality program. All of the recipes featured include farm fresh Made in Hawaii local produce or seafood resources.

The Hawaii Seal of Quality  represents the cream of the crop of Hawaii’s agricultural producers. It was established to protect the integrity and value of the marketing cachet for Hawaii branded farm and value-added products.  Products with this seal are genuine, Hawai’i-grown or Hawai’i-made premium products, a guarantee that is enforced by the State of Hawaii.

When choosing your ingredients, consider the Hawaii Seal of Quality. For more information, visit: