My New Year’s resolution: Try eat dis and 2 oddah tings

No sked, these foods I going go get 'em

You going try anyting new for your New Year’s food resolution? 

Part of da reason I love writing for Frolic is da opportunity for personal growth. It’s my chance for learn more about foods and cultures and for try dishes I might nevah oddahwise sample. I remembah couple years ago going to my first Frolic meeting. We wuz at da Brilliant Ox at Ala Moana and my editor suggested I try da bone marrow. I nevah ate bone marrow before, and I wuz hesitant, but I figured I bettah suck ’em up, cuz I nevah like get fired on da first day, right. Lol.

And so my journey continues, cuz my editor called me up and asked me what’s my New Year’s food resolution. I thought that one resolution would be more of one individual ting, but together WE came up with da idea for ME that my resolution would be for be even more adventurous and eat even more tings I nevah ate before.

So don’t judge, K? Cuz adventurous for one person (me) maybe not da same as adventurous for one noddah person (you). In 2020, these is da three foods I resolve for try. Hopefully. Da last one is kinda hard for get.


Years ago my mother-in-law got some warabi from Uncle Big Truck on da Big Island. First question I had wuz “What is that?” “One fern,” she answered. “Where he got ’em from?” I asked. She thought, then said, “From up the mountain. On the side of the road someplace. I don’t know!” Didn’t sound too appetizing when she said side of da road. Is it even safe for eat, I wondered. I decided for pass.

I remember looking ’em up, but being unable for find any kinda reference to ’em. I asked what da Hawaiian name, maybe people in Hawaii know da Hawaiian name more, but she nevah know. Much later on, I learned da Hawaiian name hoio or pohole and da haole name fiddlehead fern. And I found out it’s one old skool local delicacy and I regretted not chancing ’em. It wuz what locals in da know ate and I wuzn’t in da know! Back then, information on warabi wuz hard for look up. My editor says it’s been trendy da past few years. So I asked her how would I get warabi, cuz I no see ’em at Safeway. She recommended I call up da restaurant Mud Hen Water. See you dea!


Da greatest crepe in da world according to its maker. — Photo credit Chloe Chong

To me, crepes is high-falutin’ food. As proof I offer this story. Almost every local person I know grew up having made shrimp chips with their grandma at least one time. But then I met my high-falutin’ local friend Chloe Chong, who we all affectionately call Little Miss Big Head. Das her nickname cuz she once asked if I knew where had da best steak. I forget what I said, but it wuz wrong cuz she said she cooks da best steak. So I asked what her secret. She said she use rib eye and she makes ’em sous vide style. I just said Ohhhhh. And naturally I had for go home and Google that. Then I went back and told her I sous vide too, you know … when I buy frozen Zippy’s chili! She wuz not impressed.

I guess unsurprisingly she had never made shrimp chips with her grandma. “Eh, what kine local you?” I asked. “So what you used to make with your grandma den?” “Crepes,” she responded. So fancy her grandma.

Anyhow, when Aloha Crepes opened in Waimalu I asked my friends, “What dat, Creep-eeze?” They all laughed. Since I got tease, I kinda avoided crepes eva since. Especially since I no could even pronounce ’em right. For this piece, cuz Chloe is da crepe expert, I asked her, “So where get da best crepes?” I dunno why I ALWAYS ask. “The best one is the one I make, of course” was her answer. Rolling-my-eyeball emoji. 


My family in Lahaina. We no more one picture of all da animals they had. Cuz back then they nevah take pictures of animals or food. Just people.

My family all Okinawans. My faddah side grew up Maui in da Mahinahina plantation camp. Later on my family wen move to Lahaina when they bought one house and they always tell stories about how they had their own pigs, chickens, ducks and even cow. So I asked what about goat, since I heard that in Okinawa, Okinawans like for eat goat. But my family nevah have their own goat and nobody in my family ever ate goat.

So I guess das da genesis of my curiosity with trying goat. When friends visit Okinawa, they ask me what should they eat. I let ’em know that I nevah been Okinawa, but for me da one ting I most curious about is GOAT! And then they always make that contorted face that says, why goat? I thought you wuz going say Okinawan soba or something. Out of da dozens of Okinawans and non-Okinawans who I asked to eat goat for me, none have. Wuz too much Fear Factor for all of them. My friend says he no need try ’em cuz he already knows how it tastes. I asked him how does it taste. He said tastes GRUFF. Yeah, he’s not funny. Lol. 

You know anyplace in Hawaii that serves any kinda Okinawa-style goat dish?


So das my New Year’s resolution for 2020. What new foods you going try?