Mixed Plate Friday

Time for another edition of Mixed Plate Friday with your host Jenny (maybe?). Just some random thoughts and pictures.

Yeah another TikTok thing. I hate cooking bacon on the stove top and I’ve seen recipes telling you to bake the bacon. Cool. Well this TikTok trend told you to twist the bacon up and bake, it achieves the perfect balance between crispy and chewy and you still get to like lose the fat as it seeps out through cooking.

Here’s the after photo, I’ll let you judge for yourself if you wanna do this or not. There were good comments on this one.

Along with that meal, I made eggs and rice. And of course the eggs were cooked in bacon grease, come on. But my all time favorite? Longanisa sausage. Oh so good. Pretty easy to cook too! I pick up a pack from Don Quijote every now and then if I want a treat.

Okazuya Pac | $13.25
Zippy’s rendition of popular Okazuya Plate. Fried Noodles, Hot Dog, Corned Beef Hash, Hoki and Fried Chicken.

Jumping off of the okazuya post I did the other week, I got all excited when Zippy’s started offering an Okazuya Pac this month. Oops, I think today will be the last day you can get this.

Let me save you the trouble, I don’t think it’s worth it. I don’t know if you can tell but this pack is actually in one of their like mini plate containers, this is not a full plate. The chicken was dry as all heck and it’s just not worth $13.25 to me. I think I was also salty cause I ordered an Apple Napple and got Ube Napple and didn’t know until I got home. Ugh.

A little experiment I made last week. Bought cone sushi wrappers, boiled up some somen noodles that I dressed with Gyotaku Wafu Dressing. I then topped it with tuna mayo (kewpie mayo), chopped up ocean salad and chopped up taegu to throw on top. I really enjoyed this dish. I wanted to use a more savory dressing (wafu dressing versus oriental dressing) for the somen noodles cause there’s already sweetness in the cone sushi wrapper and ocean salad. One feedback I received was that the noodles could use more dressing…I actually liked it this way and it passed the kids taste test with flying colors. Would make again!

Recipe: Yakiniku Fried Rice

Yes guys, it’s another TikTok recipe post. Kind of a short lived trend and I think this recipe was just alright, nothing special but not bad either. You know how can tell it’s not that great, when the kids no like gobble it down. To me it was good! I just can’t eat all that rice…it’s too much!

Looks good ah? Not practical at all. This is merely for looks. This is not a good way to cook the meat, lol.

After you cook the meat a bit, add two pats of butter, can of corn and green onions. Mix it all together and then add store-bought yakiniku sauce. I got mine from Don Quijote. If you are curious which one, let me know and I will add a picture of it.

Okay, I guess I lied because I’m not really typing out a full recipe. You can see the ingredients all in the pictures and it’s really just throwing them all together and then eating. It’s the yakiniku sauce that makes all the difference. Pretty easy thing to throw together and tastes pretty good.

Papa Kurt’s – Honolulu, HI

Been wanting to try Papa Kurt’s ever since they opened and was excited to get the chance this past week! We had a few folks show up for in-person work so we took advantage and ordered out! The only disappointing thing? They didn’t have teri sticks or bentos…which their website lists but menu doesn’t. Perhaps this is a temporary change due to Covid? Anyhow, they only do takeout during lunch time and they have a nifty online ordering system!

Bottom Left: Ahi Burger | $9.00
Top Center: Teri Burger | $6.00 + $1.00 (Teri Sauce and Cheese)
Bottom Center: Teri Burger Deluxe | $6.00 + $1.00 (Teri Sauce and Cheese) + $1.00 (Deluxe (Tomato, Lettuce and Grilled Onions)
Top Right: Teri (No Cheese) Deluxe Burger | $6.00 + $1.00 (Teri Sauce No Cheese) + $1.00 (Deluxe Tomato, Lettuce and Grilled Onions)

**The soup containers were for the saimin orders.

My burger was the teri burger deluxe, was good! Actually, my coworker split her ahi burger with me so I had half/half. The ahi burger was good too! Not at all dry, I think they cut up the ahi into almost a fish paste so it was very moist mixed in with veggies, had a ginger seasoning. Glad I got to try it but I would probably stick to my teri burger if I ordered again from here.

Fries | $3.50 each

I didn’t order fries myself but got to nibble on some from a coworker. They do a really good job of seasoning and frying up these fries. How do they do it? They stayed crispy for hours, forreal. If you like crispy fries, get these.

Wonton Min | $13.00

I had to try their saimin and actually, their won ton too! I’m a sucker for dumplings, what can I say? They pack your noodles and soup separate. I really like their saimin, and you know what else? I appreciate the attention they pay to each topping. The choy sum was cooked perfectly al dente so I know they cooked it separate and took care in it. The char siu tasted great and I enjoyed the homemade wonton a lot. The soup…very strong dried shrimp taste, in a good way! I enjoyed it! Would order again.

Recipe: Seitan

Have you folks ever heard of Seitan? It’s basically gluten and has been used to create the meat alternative in many dishes. My familiarity with it stems from small kid days through Jai. I think gluten has always been my favorite component of jai, I just never knew what it was and always assumed it was a form of tofu. Well there was a very short lived trend on TikTok the other week where people were making seitan out of flour, water and a few spices. I was intrigued. It’s an interesting process, you first mix flour and enough water to form a dough. Let it sit…then rinse the dough ball. You are literally washing away all the flour and what you’re left with is just the gluten. In the end, you end up with these lumps of gluten that you can shred apart that looks like shredded chicken! Do you agree? Peep the picture above.

This is the big ball of dough I had after I washed it in water. It’s just so interesting!

I think I added salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika…I think that’s it.

Gotta let it rest again after adding the seasoning.

I separated the big ball into smaller chunks that I tied into knots and pan fried…

Ooh look at that color…

Oops, think I got a bit too much color on this side. This is after both sides are browned, you add the broth of your choice and braise them…

After braising, check out how big they get!

Looks pretty “meaty” yeah? Tastes pretty good too! I think it can definitely be used as a good meat substitute.

Jenny’s Seitan

2 lb organic bread flour (found at Whole Foods) or 5.5 C of bread flour
2 C of water (I actually used 2.5 C and it was too much)
Garlic Powder
Smoked Paprika
6 C of Broth (Veggie, Beef, Chicken, whatever you prefer)


Mix flour and water until it forms a dough. Let sit under a towel for an hour.

Rinse dough under water and knead until water becomes a light rice water color.

Added 7 cranks each of salt and pepper, and then 1 T each of garlic powder and smoked paprika. Knead seasoning into gluten and rest for another hour (no towel needed).

Separate into smaller balls, I knotted each ball to help create more texture. I pan fried the dough balls to get some color and then added about 6 cups of vegetable broth and brought it to a boil. I then lowered the heat to a low simmer and continued to braise for an hour.

Remove from heat and let it cool, you can slice the seitan or shred like I did!

Connoisserus Veg’s Seitan Recipe

Chengdu Taste – Honolulu, HI

I posted a review of Chengdu Taste in 2019 but decided to do an updated post for now! Still a great restaurant and I am sure glad they have adapted to the pandemic. I have ordered take out and dined in during this time and they have a great website (though it seems to be best used on mobile) they are using for both take-out and in-dining, pictures with every menu item! Why all restaurants don’t do this is beyond me. Let’s get to the food!

Flavored Spicy Beef Noodle | $11.99

Tender Chicken with Double Chili Pepper | $16.99

Looks super spicy, is it? I can’t say it is TOO spicy, the chicken is nice and tender like the title says. I mean don’t order this if you can’t handle spicy, just look at the name of the dish! I think it’s delicious.

Special Red Tofu with Intestines and Beef Tripe | $19.99

Ooooh this is a newer dish I tried recently and I loved it. I love intestines and it’s just swimming in hot chili oil goodness. Can you see some other things? Pig’s blood…SPAM…I love this kine dish.

Toothpick Lamb with Cumin | $18.99

One of my favorites, delicious! And yes, there is a toothpick on every single piece of lamb. Do I really need the toothpicks in this dish? No, I would order it to eat without the toothpicks.

Wonton with Red Chili Sauce | $10.99

They have two versions, this one and one with the szechuan numbing pepper sauce. I’ve tried both and I rather keep sensation in my mouth so I order this one.

The next series of photos are how they serve their dishes for take-out! Happy to say their portions remain the same.

Kung Pao Chicken | $15.99

Twice Cooked Pork | $15.99

Spicy Crawfish | $19.99

Toothpick Lamb with Cumin | $18.99

Special Shrimp with Fries | $21.99

Don’t even ask. Let’s just say we have kids in the dining group, hence this order. It was okay but…shrimp and french fries? Hahaha

Chengdu Style Fried Rice | $10.99

I said this in my previous post, this dish is a must order each time I go. I still can’t seem to get a consistent order…sometimes it’s super good and sometimes it’s just alright. What is it?? Anyway, it’s never been bad so that’s why you can order it. Give this place a try!

Recipe: Miyeok Guk (Korean Seaweed and Beef Soup)

This is going to be a very undetailed recipe post, I’m so sorry. I will link a few other recipes for this…I actually learned this from a friend long time ago and was amazed at how easy it is. When I make it now, I just eyeball the ingredients honestly. I don’t know if I shared but I’ve been needing to up my iron intake and this is a good recipe to do that, all that wakame and beef…they feed this soup to new moms for a reason. Get those nurtients in!

After I saute the chunks of meat for a bit of color, add water, bring the to a boil and then lower heat to simmer for 2 hours!

After the 2 hours, turn off the heat and remove the meat to cool. Once meat is cool enough to handle, shred it up! The meat is all soft and tender now.

I add my rehydrated wakame into the pot. I just buy the already cut wakame packs from the store…rehydrate in water, drain and then threw it in this broth. Added the meat back in…added the seasoning which is mainly salt, pepper, and some sesame oil and you’re all set. Oh so good. I’m sure if you wanted to add some konnyaku noodles, you can!

Jenny’s Throw Together Miyeok Guk

1-2 lb. Beef Chunk (Chuck Roast or Brisket)
1 package of Cut Wakame (2.5 oz package)
3-4 cloves of garlic, smashed
10 C Water
1-2 T Sesame Oil
Salt and Pepper
Fish Sauce

In a big soup pot, I place oil (I used avocado oil) and slightly sear both sides of the beef chunk(s). Add water and garlic cloves and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 hours. In a separate bowl, add enough water to cover cut wakame and let it rehydrate (2 hours is plenty of time to hydrate), drain and set aside.

Turn off heat and remove meat from stock. Once meat is cool enough to handle, shred into smaller pieces. Add wakame into stock and bring mixture back up to a boil, add meat back into pot and mix to incorporate and bring to final boil. Add sesame oil, salt and pepper to your taste. You can also adjust the salt if you want to add fish sauce or Korean soup soy sauce, just taste it as you season! Once perfect seasoning has been reached, turn off and enjoy!!

Serious Eats Miyeok Guk
My Korean Kitchen Recipe
Korean Bapsang Recipe

Mixed Plate Friday

Today’s post forreal going to be one mixed plate. From three different restaurants! Let’s gooooo!

Lamb Biryani (Spicy) | $16.95
traditional aromatic rice tossed with variety of herbs and spices, garnished with nuts

One day, for some odd reason, I got a hankering for Biryani. It’s weird because I have never even had biryani but I must have seen a picture of it online and really wanted to try it. I love me rice dishes and basmati rice is the best. I looked up Indian restaurants on Yelp and found Kamana Kitchen, they are located in Downtown so it’s not the easiest restaurant to dine in…no parking that I can think of. I was able to grab a pick-up buddy and wait curbside. Fair warning, there are a number of homeless around the area too. I’ve had a few occurrences when picking up (yes, I’ve had this dish more than once!).

I love this dish, they ask what spice level you want and I always say spicy. Well, it is SPICY. Do not go for spicy if you no can handle. Nice chunks of lamb in this dish though you can’t tell in the pictures. They give you raw onions, fresh lemon and side of some type of yogurt sauce (helpful for the mouth fire). I’ve also had their samosas and they were good too! Give them a try if you want some Indian food!

Iyasume Pac | $6.48
fried chicken, arabiki pork sausage, teriyaki sapam, egg tamago-yaki

Okay, when did Musubi Cafe Iyasume open up like 10 locations? Granted they are all located within 5 miles of each other, haha…but still good! I headed to the Keeaumoku location after a shopping errand. I hope that price is still correct, I thought it was a pretty good deal! Nice portion, not too much but not too little.

Konbu Maki | $3.05
Hot Dog | $1.80
Tuna Musubi | $2.60
Spam Musubi | $1.99
Chow Fun | $2.85
Side Order Nishime (not shown) | $3.35

Ho brah, now that I type up the prices…am I made of money? I took a trip out to Gulick Delicatessen cause I was hankering for some okazuya. Do you folks remember when they used to be on South King Street? It was so convenient to pick food up before work, I was so sad when they closed down. Their Kalihi location isn’t the easiest place to go, get a few stalls for parking but they are hard to secure. I went super early before work one morning and decided to die of carbo loading. I couldn’t help it. When you’re ordering at the counter, there’s no prices so you just go for it. I found the receipt in my wallet and decided to type it out for you folks. HO THE PRICES. That one konbu maki is 3 bucks! But hey, konbu maki is a pain to make I bet so I think you’re paying for the labor. $1.80 for one hot dog? Come on guys!

Nah nah, it’s okay, to me it was worth it. Their chow fun is really good and I enjoy the spam musubi. It’s not like 7-11 kine spam musubi but I like the plain white rice and unseasoned spam…the side nishime was for another meal. The side order nishime comes one of those poke clear containers (I think a 1 lb container). I like their nishime!

Ethel’s Grill – Honolulu, HI

Ethel’s Grill is one of the old school restaurants that you hope will never close down. We’ve had too many mom and pop shops close down so let’s try our best to keep Ethel’s going okay? They’ve adapted to the pandemic well, they only do take-out now but take phone orders and are very efficient! I’ve been able to go twice in the last few months and it’s always good and they never mess up our orders.

Another place with very very very little parking but there is street parking…somewhere. You’re in like the industrial area of Kalihi/Nimitz Highway, good luck to you.

Sweet & Sour Spare Rib | $12.95

Chili Crisp Fried Chicken “Ra-yu Chicken” | $13.95

I was super excited to get this dish. You know my obsession with fried garlic right? Well how can you go wrong with fried garlic and chili oil on top of chicken? I’m scared to even share this, I wasn’t a big fan of this dish. There was something lacking, I can quite put my finger on it. Upon review of the photo, perhaps I should have squeezed that lemon on top of the chicken…it may have lacked that citrus layer…something to cut through the chili oil and fried chicken. Shucks. But what is in their salad dressing? That dressing is like crack.

Ume Shiso Chicken (Ver. 2.0) | $13.95

Okay, this was a special they had one day and I have to say it is probably one of my favorite plate lunches of all time. Not pictured is a shiso sauce served on the side of this dish…it was SO good with this chicken. This whole plate was winners and I wish it wasn’t just a special because I would order it every time. They should make this a main menu item!

I didn’t get a picture of this but they are also known for their ahi tataki and that dish is winners too. We shared it as an appetizer and their sauce for the ahi tataki just MAKES the dish. Ethel’s should just bottle up all their sauces and sell them, especially the salad dressing, I’d get in line to buy that stuff!!!

Gyotaku Hawaii – Honolulu, HI

I’m going to tell you a little bit about my history and through this story you will know how old fut I am and if you remember this, you gonna be one old fut too (sorry that’s just how it works). Gyotaku Hawaii used to be Kyotaru Restaurant, do you folks remember? They had their Pearl City location and the South King Street location but for those in the know, they also had two bento shops in downtown Honolulu. I was one young kid looking for work and found a job at the bento shops as the “breaker,” I’d come in during the busy lunch hours to help give full-timers at both locations their lunch break. One bento shop was located in Bishop Square and the other bento shop was located in Pioneer Plaza.

Oh man, those were the days, I had a great time working there. Probably wasn’t supposed to but I definitely kept some leftover bentos at the end of the day to take home. I remember some menu items vividly, including their “Special Bento” which I compare to 7-11 “Big Bento,” it was a great deal…a big bento with a soda for $3.95!! At lunch rush, me and the other cashier memorized all the totals for the bentos and would just ring with our drawers open and give change from memory. I also fondly remember the HECO ladies who would come and get a large cup of ice for 25 cents (26 cents with tax). Anyway, when Kyotaru decided to close down their operations, our managers decided to buy the restaurants and named them Gyotaku and ultimately decided to close down the bento shops. I was young still yet so for me it wasn’t a huge deal, it allowed me to move onto another job since I was just doing part-time work then. I got to visit Gyotaku the other week for lunch and their restaurant is nicely renovated (South King Street anyway)! Thanks for reading through story time, let’s get to the food!

Shrimp Tenpura & Sashimi | $26.95
shrimp & vegetable tenpura served with ahi sashimi, rice, miso soup & salad

Assorted Poke Don & Tenpura | $24.95
assorted fresh poke served over rice served with tenpura

This is my absolute go to dish at Gyotaku. And you gotta get the assorted poke don, not the all ahi poke don. This is one of my favorite all time pokes ever, forreal. The assorted seafood bring different layers of flavors in the scrumptious sauce over good ole white rice. A fair warning, the sauce is very strong in sesame oil flavor so if you don’t like sesame oil, you won’t like this don. Their tenpura is always coated and fried light and crispy. So good. Kind of pricey for lunch but it’s worth it. Comes with the salad and miso soup too!

Side Salad (with their famous Wafu Dressing)

Miso Soup

Okinawan Sweet Potato Pie | $5.50

STOP. If you come here, you HAVE to get this dessert. I’m not even like big on desserts all the time. I usually go without ordering dessert but you would be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t order this. I would go as far as to say this is my favorite pie of all time. Is this made in-house? I don’t know, but if anyone has the hook-ups to the recipe, please let me know. I’d like to make it myself so I don’t have to pay $5.50 a slice but boy is it worth it.

Top layer is a light whipped cream, second layer is haupia, third layer is okinawan sweet potato and then the crust. Oh the crust, it’s gotta be like a sugared ginger graham cracker crust. I don’t usually like whipped cream but the whipped topping on this is so good, I don’t mind it at all. The haupia is the perfect texture and the okinawan sweet potato filling? Not at all dense…it’s just a perfect pie. Please try it and tell me I’m wrong.

Recipe: Shrimp Fried Cauliflower Rice

A lot of my recipes come out of trying to clean out my freezer or fridge. As you know, I’ve been on a bit of a health kick so cauliflower rice has become somewhat of a staple in my menu. Well I decided to experiment with it to make a fried rice and it came out really good! The people I shared it with really enjoyed it too so I decided to share the recipe with you folks. The instructions are a bit casual, let me know if you have any questions.

This has become my style, adding fried garlic to EVERYTHING.

Adding the previously sautéed shrimp back into the cauliflower and garlic mixture…

Adding the scrambled eggs back in. No mix ’em too hard, I like my eggs chunky.

Shrimp Fried Cauliflower Rice

4 small bags of frozen cauliflower rice (I got mine from Costco – the entire package contains 4 small bags of rice so I used the entire package)

2 T Butter
4 eggs, beaten

2 T avocado oil (whatever oil you prefer)
1 box of Kauai shrimp (the box from Costco), thawed, de-headed and peeled (I didn’t devein because who cares)
Salt and Pepper

2 T avocado oil (whatever oil you prefer)
1 1/2 heads of garlic, minced
White pepper (optional)


Heat up about 2 TBS of butter, add eggs. Cook to a soft scramble, should still be wet. Remove from pan and set aside.

Heat up avocado oil in pan, add shrimp, sprinkle salt and pepper (about 2 cranks each). Flip after about 2-3 minutes, add salt and pepper again and cook. I didn’t cook the shrimp completely since you’re going to add it back to the rice later anyway. I think I cooked it maybe…6 minutes? Remove shrimp from pan and set aside. 

Heat up avocado oil in pan (I didn’t wash the pan after the shrimp) on medium low heat. Add garlic and cook, constantly stirring. It will take a while but the garlic will turn nice and brown without getting burned. Be patient.

Once garlic has reached golden brown status, add the frozen cauliflower. The frozen cauliflower is easy to break apart in the wok. Break down rice and mix it with the browned garlic. After about 3-4 minutes, add shrimp and eggs into the rice and mix together. I try to be careful because I like my eggs to remain in big chunks. I add a bit more salt and white pepper to taste at the end. It’s really up to you for seasoning, just season to taste.