The results of pickling with Sam’s gift…

The results of the first pickling adventure with my brothers pickling gift.  I rushed the pickling and the pickles were bland they had a good texture and a good flavor but we’re on the bland side

The secret ingredient is raisins!

I remember my dad using raisins in his pickles all the time.  I think it was for flavor and to feed the good bacteria

I’m working on the supplies for a new pickling adventure. This one takes weeks to prepare the pickle bed.  I’ll let you know the results in a few weeks


I’m also going to try the quicker pickles again and let them Ferment a little longer

How do sansei eat pickles?  As a snack with hot rice!

Surprise gift!

I received a surprise gift from my brother Sam to help me with my pickling adventures!



Unfortunately the instructions are in Japanese, I am Sansei I don’t read Nihongo!


But I don’t want to let my brother down so I tried to make pickles without direction from memory of watching my dad and from my discussions with my brother.


These are couple of cucumbers from a friends garden with some salt a little miso and the secret ingredient.  She and her husband are not Japanese but love Japanese food and are my guinea pigs this go around  This is after about one hour.  The pickles need a slight pressure so you turn the handle and the little platform comes down and applies pressure. The way my dad used to do this is he get a plate, a clean rock, put the plate on top of the vegetables the rock on top of the plate and voila there was the necessary pressure.

Here are the pickles after about three hours!


They turned out a little too salty I had to rinse them off thoroughly add a little mirin (a Japanese sweet wine) and some more of the secret ingredient and let them press for about 12 hours.  I thought this was a pretty good result slightly sweet slightly salty slightly a little of the secret ingredient slightly crunchy.   Perfect for eating with hot rice!  I’ll let you know what the secret ingredient is when I have the results of the tasting from my friend.


Hawaiian Macaroni Salad results!

The results are in!

By crashing another family get together I was able to test three versions of Hawaiian macaroni salad on Ruby Hada’s family. Ham, chicken and seafood.

The favorite was ham followed closely by chicken and believe it or not seafood came in last.

To the basic recipe and information below I added as follows:

HAM: about 1 cup Chopped ham and the secret ingredient.

CHICKEN: one large can of chicken and the juice it came in and the secret ingredient.

SEAFOOD: about 1 cup imitation crab and the secret ingredient.

What is the secret ingredient? Hondashi! A powdered soup stock much like chicken or beef bouillon. It sometimes is known as bonito flavored soup stock. Make sure you get one without MSG. Use sparingly for this huge recipe 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of this soup stock. I did leave out the salt as people are trying to avoid salt and I forgot to put the pepper, sigh. A little salt and pepper would’ve been nice, don’t skip. I did use the milk to keep it more moist and I used sweet pickle relish instead of the vinegar and sugar. Oh yeah really cook the macaroni till they’re fat and soft.  This is very important to make your traditional Hawaiian macaroni salad.

Ruby’s family was getting together for a visit with her daughter and grandchildren, Visiting from San Francisco.  This family was warm and friendly even though I was crashing yet another one of their get-togethers. A special treat was Ruby’s niece, the pastry chef, made a wonderful cheesecake with homemade chocolate and caramel sauce! Yum!

I have another recipe using hondashi from my brother-in-law’s mother Grace Motoyoshi.  I’ll be sharing that recipe and the story of how I got it with you soon!

******** from the previous post:

Macaroni salad is a staple of the Hawaii-style meal.  Typically served in a mound with a mound of white rice and with barbecue chicken or meat. The macaroni salad is savory and mayonnaise rich.  The basic salad is easy and the recipe can be varied to individual taste.

Basic Macaroni Salad
Cook 1 pound elbow macaroni until soft and fat.

Stir in ¼ cup very finely grated onion.  It should be liquidy.

Approximately 2½ cups of mayo (not salad dressing) more or less.

The add-ins:  whatever suits you, grated carrots are common, milk to keep moist can be added too, celery diced,

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar added to hot pasta and other ingredients plus 1 Tbsp brown sugar added after cooled.

Salt and pepper, to taste. Stir well; refrigerate.