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Sam Choy's Island Flavors

by: Sam Choy

New York NY: Hyperion Press 1999, $27.95, Hardbound
ISBN: 0-7868-6474-5

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Winter Volume: 1999 Issue: 6(4) page(s): 20 - 21

Written by what some have termed Hawaii's beloved chef and restauranteur, there are more than two hundred recipes of local-style dishes, most of which have their roots in things Chinese. Emeril Lagasse says "Yum, I could eat this book" while we advise "just make the recipes and eat them."

Choy has several restaurants in the state of his birth, Hawaii, others in places such as San Diego and Tokyo. No wonder, his Spicy Chicken Wingettes served at them are cause alone to buy it. There are the Colassal Shrimp with Black Bean Sauce, another must at your next dinner party; and the Big Island Beef Short Ribs can win on any island or mainland, as can his Spicy Braised Chicken with Ginger.

There are recipes with other influences such as those that use macadamia nuts, the native nut of Hawaii, or some that use cream or a Japanese sauce. They are great, too, and they do provide lessons in current fusion fare. To miss the Honomalino Marinade is to miss the understanding that all foods are representations of a frame in the motion picture of time. Stop the camera long enough to get your hands on the foods of this native son. On the way home, buy a boneless lamb loin and put it in this marinade. After you cook it, this Island Flavors can win its way into your Chinese culinary heart even if serving these without the recommended Satay Sauce.
Spicy Chicken Wingettes
1/2 cup soy sauce (we recommend thin soy sauce)
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 Tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 cup dry sherry or rice wine
3 pounds single-bone chicken wings
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup glutinous rice flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 cups corn oil, for deep frying
1. Mix the first four ingredients and marinate the wing pieces in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
2. Mix the two flours and the cornstarch in a plastic bag.
3. Drain the wings but do not dry them. The heat the oil to 325 to 350 degrees F. Put half dozen wings in the bag, shake it then shake off excess flour and immediately put them into the hot oil to fry for four minutes. Then drain on paper towels. Repeat until all the wings are fried.
Note: Can be served with or without a dipping sauce.
Lamb with Marinade
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 Tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 Tablespoon peeled mince fresh ginger
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tablespoon minced fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
2 to 2 and a 1/2 pounds of boneless lamb loin
1. Combine all but the lamb and mix well.
2. Marinate the lamb in this in the refrigerator for six hours, then drain but do not dry.
3. Broil for about five minutes per side, slice and serve.

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