I am so honored to be contributing for Joy of Kosher. My name is Samantha and I write and cook for the vastly cultural blog The Little Ferraro Kitchen. I grew up as your typical Brooklyn Jewish girl next door, watching my mother roll grape leaves and living off of all the wonders that New York delis and Chinese take-out has to offer. When I was a teenager, my mother thought it would be fun (to say the least) to move to Hawaii and start a new adventure there. Now as an only child growing up with a single-parent, who wouldn’t take on such an amazing opportunity? So we packed our Hula-gear and coconut shells and whisked away to the tropical islands of Aloha…or as many Jewish people also call it, Shaloha!
I am now living in Southern California (can’t complain too much about that as well) and mom still lives on the islands. She has passion fruit trees and pineapples at her doorstep and we often hunt for guavas and papayas when I am visiting. As you can tell, Hawaii has been such a huge and powerful influence in my life. Aloha taught me peace, love, culture and appreciation.
I want to introduce you to the beautiful world of Hawaii, how the locals do it. We thought it would be a fun idea to create a “Shabbat Luau”, so here we have 2 recipes that are dear to my Hawaii soul-they are all about comfort and ease.
The first is “Shoyu Chicken”. Just like Hawaii, Shoyu chicken has influences from Asia, hence calling it “shoyu” which is Asia’s term for soy sauce. You will always find shoyu chicken simmering away on “Aunties” stove or at any given luau-it’s just a given. Boneless chicken thighs are simmered with flavors of soy, ginger and brown sugar, just long enough to fall apart at forks touch. You need to enjoy this with rice, as this is a typical staple of the islands.
For dessert, there is nothing better than classic malasadas. Oh my mouth is watering at the thought of these typed words. Malasadas are Portuguese fried doughnuts and are a favorite for both the locals and tourists. This recipe is given by my favorite Malasadas spot on the Big Island, called Tex Drive-In. Light and dense doughnut pillows with a filling if wanted. You won’t be able to stop at just one.
I hope these recipes bring you to the Islands as much as they bring me back home.
Shabbat Shalom and Aloha!