Man, this dish really took me back! My dad was stationed in Hawaii when I was 10, 11, 12 … since we lived on base, we didn’t really have a lot of exposure to some of the local favorites. But once they moved back to Hawaii when I was 18, my sister went to school off-base and my family became a little more immersed in some of the culture. (I was only there for summers since I was in college.)
There are a lot of things I really like about Hawaii … and many of them are foods – shocking, I know! I love the food so much that when I found out there was a Hawaiian restaurant in Vegas, I dragged my husband (then, my boyfriend) to it and made him try a bunch of different foods. He didn’t seem quite so impressed by the ‘plate lunch’ – two scoops of rice, a scoop of macaroni salad and whatever protein you chose – huli huli chicken, chicken katsu, bbq beef, kalua pork, shortribs, bbq chicken … you get the idea.
Then, when we went back to Vegas for our wedding, I found out there was an L&L Drive Inn nearby. Once I told my parents it was there, they were sold on making a trip to the fast-food joint. Who can blame them? They’d been off island for about 2 years and hadn’t had good mac salad or Hawaiian bbq since! My sister, the island baby, was beside herself. This was the same place we had cater her graduation party. I think if we could have, we would have eaten there all week. As it was, we ordered one of each plate lunch (I think there were about 8) for six people. It was great! We opened up the boxes, spread them in the middle and just shared …
Since then, we’ve found a Hawaiian joint in downtown Chicago (Aloha Eats – go there if you’re in the neighborhood!). It was so great to have a REAL taste of what I’ve come to know and love as Hawaiian food. Scott is starting to come around. Tonight, he said “You know, this kinda grows on you. I can see why you crave it every once in a while.” And boy do I! So, when I found FOUR blogs about chicken katsu, The spice of life, Crispy waffle, gaga in the kitchen and casual.concocions, I knew I could try making this at home. I mean how hard can it be? Basically it’s a fried chicken cutlet over rice and some sweet/tangy sauce.
1 package boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 cup flour
1/2 package panko break crumbs
Set up a breading station with flour in one container, eggs beaten in another container, and panko in a third container. Bread chicken by dipping in flour, then egg and then panko. Fry until golden brown.
from AmyinHawaii on recipezaar.com
1/3 cup catsup
1/4 cup shoyu (soy sauce)
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
pinch of red pepper flakes
Mix all together. Serve with chicken.
Now .. all I need is a good mac salad recipe … anyone?