The Farmer Behind the Food

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The Farmer Behind the Food

The Hawaiian Islands began their own local, fresh and sustainable food movement nearly 30 years ago under the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement. Today the "farm-to-table" concept thrives in Hawaii with many restaurant and at-home chefs building meals around what is grown or sourced on farms across Hawaii—from farmers they know on a first-name basis. But the locavore concept really isn't anything new to Hawaii. It existed here all along.

In this video, meet Dean Okimoto of Nalo Farm Fresh and Kamuela Enos of Ma’o Organic Farms. These two farmers represent two different generations of farmers feeding residents and visitors of Hawaii every single day.


Here are a few ideas of what to do with some goodies you might find at a local farmers market. Happy noshing.

Arugula Salad ~ 4 Servings
Recipe courtesy of Plantation Gardens Restaurant & Bar

1 lb. locally-grown arugula
1 locally-grown mango, diced
½ locally-grown papaya, diced
8 cherry tomatoes, sliced
½ red onion, diced
1 locally-grown and ripe avocado, diced
½ French baguette, grilled then cut into cubes

Place all items into a large bowl.

Lilikoi Cider Vinaigrette
1 cup Passion Fruit Concentrate
¾ cup apple cider vinegar
1 shallot, minced
½ cup Hawaiian Sweet Chili Sauce
1½ cup olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

In a blender, mix concentrate, vinegar, shallot and chili sauce. Once blended, slowly pour olive oil into mixture to create vinaigrette. Add salt and pepper to your liking. Pour over salad mixture.

Pan Fried Green Beans with Mango & Avocado Salsa ~ 4 Servings
Recipe courtesy of Plantation Gardens Restaurant & Bar

20 locally-grown green beans
2 tbsp Olive Oil
½ jar black bean sauce (Lee Kum Kee brand recommended. This is a garlic,
soybean and black bean based sauce that adds great flavor to vegetables and meat.)
¾ cup white wine or ¾ cup water for a non-alcoholic version

Avocado & Mango Salsa – Mix all ingredients
½ locally-grown mango, diced
½ locally-grown avocado, diced
1 tbsp locally grown lemon juice
2 sprigs locally-grown cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat up olive oil in large sautee pan. Once warm, drop the green beans into pan and pan fry for a few minutes until half cooked. Green beans should still be crispy. Add black bean sauce. Start with ½ a jar and add to your liking. Don’t forget to taste as you go. (Adding too much black bean sauce could make the mixture salty.) Add the wine or water, whichever you prefer. Reduce. Top with Mango & Avocado Salsa.

Purple Potato Hash (serves four)
Recipe courtesy of Oasis on the Beach

2 lbs Molokai sweet potato
8 oz. kalua pig (available at any local grocery store)
4 oz. bok choy ( may substitute mustard greens)
Hawaiian sea salt - to taste

Slice bok choy. Steam/boil peeled sweet potatoes until fork tender. Let cool and mix in all ingredients. This is a great breakfast item. Serve with your favorite style eggs, such as poached with a hollaindaise sauce to create a spin on an eggs benedict.

Papaya Butter (serves about 16 portions)
Recipe courtesy of Oasis on the Beach

Use this to top cooked fish, pork, and chicken.

1 1/2 c papaya flesh
1/2 cup cilantro, packed
4 cloves garlic
1 lb butter
1/2 tbs Hawaiian sea salt

Soften butter to room temperature. Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth. Finish your dish with a fresh lemon squeeze to brighten it up.

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