Saturday, April 30, 2016

Marukai Stuff

I went to Marukai yesterday and I just wanted to share a few finds with you today. 

First is this hyaluron powder. Ever heard of hyaluron acid? WebMD says this: People take hyaluronic acid for various joint disorders, including osteoarthritis. It can be taken by mouth or injected into the affected joint by a healthcare professional.

My hips aren't that great, my right hip especially. I can't do stairs too good anymore. And my fingers are getting pretty stiff too. So this hyaluron thing sounded interesting to me . . . especially with the added benefit of promoting younger-looking skin. 


Here's what the back of this container says:  This Original blend of extracts, essences, and natural elements helps the body build beautiful, flexible skin and joints FROM WITHIN. HYALURONIC ACID nourishes and hydrates collagen-based tissues, joints and eyes. Low molecular fish-peptide COLLAGEN maintains strength and flexibility in skin, as well as in connective tissues, ligament, bones, joints, muscles, tendons, gum, teeth, eyes, blood vessels, nails, hair. ELASTIN keeps skin resilient and firm. VITAMIN C is vital for collagen production in the body. BIOTIN is essential to skin, hair and nails. PEARL COIX strengthens joints, hair and skin and provides digestive support. These vital ingredients enhanced with wheat germ and aquatic calcium provide a total skin support program. 

Sounds good, hah?

AND it was on sale . . . so I bought it.  I saved $23! 

It kinda looks and smells like Knox gelatin to me. 

You put one spoonful into 6 to 8 ounces of hot water or your favorite drink. You can also mix it with yogurt or cereal. It dissolves well. I'll let you guys know if it works.

In the produce section I checked out the eggplants.  Look at the difference between our local eggplant and ones from Japan. The local ones were $3.99/pound and the Japan ones were $4.99/pound. You can see why the Japan ones would make better tsukemono, yah! I didn't buy any . . . maybe next time I'll get some of the Japan ones. I had to dump my pickling mix after my poisonous eggplant fiasco. 

If you go to Marukai Dillingham this weekend between 10 am and 2 pm you should get this somen bento. It's made with my favorite Ibo no Ito somen and was $7.99. Me and Wendell shared it. I had the upper left corner, egg omelet/ginger and the bottom row, crab/broccoli, vegetable tempura and hijiki/edamame. Wendell had the top middle and right, raw fish and shrimp, and the middle row, unagi and karaage chicken. Wendell said that the raw fish wasn't that great, but everything else was gooooood!

I wanted to show you this egg timer that I saw in the kitchenware area. It's $2 more than my swap meet one, but it's cuter than mine.

The bargain area was pretty bare yesterday. You guys went raid um, hah! This is the only thing I got from there.  It was 99 cents.  The label says "Island Red Pepper".  I looked it up. It's made in Okinawa and is good on Okinawan soba, ramen and soup. 

I ran into Wendell's friend Steven who recommended this candy. It was $3.29. The flavors are cider, grape, peach and apple. It effervesces in your mouth and has a nice flavor.

Lastly is this Hokkaido Yumepirika rice that I got. It's on sale now. This 4.4 pound bag was $11.99. Here is what I found online: "One of Hokkaido's finest rices. For a rice that exemplifies the importance the Japanese industry places on attention to detail, it is hard to beat Yumepirika rice. This Japonica rice has been grown with three principles in mind: The finest raw ingredients, the best in rice-growing techniques, and the goal to grow the best rice in Japan." You can find out more here

I'm saving it to make for Mother's Day lunch with my family. I hope that my mom likes it.  


Friday, April 29, 2016

Beware of the Poisonous Eggplant

The following is from the website Savorsa.  Thanks for the info, Linda!

Q. I recently went to a farmers market and bought two smallish eggplants. They were not quite all purple, but the person selling them said the white streaks on them came from exposure to the sun. I took them home and within a couple of days sliced them, salted them, drained them and sautéed the slices to put in a pasta dish. Before assembling the dish, I took a small taste from one of the slices.

Eggplant should be ripe and (for this variety) have a firm, deep-purple skin.
It was terribly bitter, and though I didn’t swallow it, it made my throat burn. It was a very small bite, but it took a long time to get the taste out of my mouth. I threw away the eggplant and we had pasta without. Why were these so bitter?  This has never happened to me with eggplant before.
A. First of all, the problem is that these were probably young eggplants, which have a greater concentration of solanine, which is toxic. (Solanine is also found in the green part of potatoes, under the skin, and it is not good to eat it in this case, either.) Eggplant, as well as potatoes and tomatoes, are members of the nightshade family.
No matter where you are buying eggplant, be sure you are buying a mature, ripe eggplant. The information below is from Wiki Answers:
Heat (as in cooking heat) has no effect on solanine. The best way to avoid this harmful substance is to 1) choose only very ripe eggplants, 2) soak for a couple of hours in very salty warm water, rinse and soak again in tap water, 3) cook until the eggplant is very well-done (this has nothing to do with exposure to heat but rather to the breakdown in fibers and leeching out of poison this causes). Another precaution, according to Wiki,  is to peel the skin.
This is not necessarily a warning about buying produce or anything else at farmers markets. Eggplants, and many other delicious and healthful foods can be purchased there. It is a warning about knowing what you buy and how to prepare it, and what difficulties might be involved — no matter where you purchase it.

Thursday, April 28, 2016


Guess what this is.


It's the best chichi dango that I've ever eaten. And guess where I bought it from. 

WAIMANA EGG VENDOR at Kaiser High School Open Market!!!  I wonder why it's purple.

It made me so ono for more kinako-coated mochi that I made some of my own, though it wasn't as good. 

Recipe can be found here

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Kitaro's Matsuri

I scored this CD for 50 cents at the swap meet. I first discovered the musician Kitaro a couple of years ago when I was searching for music to go along with a video that I did showing a caterpillar turning into a cocoon. I chose Kitaro's Aqua. It matched perfectly.  You can check out my video here


My favorite song on this CD is called Matsuri. Here is a YouTube video of Matsuri being performed live. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sagohachi Pickling Base - Part 3

Here's the eggplant tsukemono. It's getting dumped on rubbish day. My taste buds were ruined for hours after tasting just one. Soooo bitter.  I didn't even swallow . . . I quickly spit it out.

It's probably the eggplant and not the pickling base.

Lose money.


Monday, April 25, 2016

Landon's Shrimp Sarciado

Landon kinda (but not exactly) followed my sister Didi's recipe at the end of this post.  It came out super ono!


This was almost gonna be "Jalna's" Shrimp Sarciado except that just as I got done with the prep, Landon came home from work and was able to take over from here.  Yippeeee!!  

He put a little oil in the pan and quickly fried up one small sliced onion and about a pound of shrimp. 

He removed the onion and shrimp and set them aside. He threw in three minced garlic gloves, a large sliced tomato and about 2 tablespoons of patis.

He put the shrimp/onions back into the pan and sautéed.

Lan added some chili pepper sauce, some dashi powder and the eggs. The recipe calls for three large eggs.  Our eggs (Waimana, of course) were medium-sized so Landon used five. 

He simmered until the eggs were cooked. Masarap!!! (tee hee . . . thanks for the "delicious" word, Susan!)

Here's Didi's recipe:

1 lb. small shrimp, peeled, deveined 
½ tsp. salt 
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper to taste 
2+2 tsp. oil 
3 cloves garlic, minced 
1 large tomato chopped 
1 small onion, chopped 
4 stalks green onion, chopped, white parts only 
½ c. water 
2 TB patis (fish sauce) 
3 large eggs, well beaten 

4 stalks chopped green onion, green parts only 

In a skillet over medium heat; saute shrimp in 2 tsp. of oil. Remove from skillet, set aside. Into skillet; saute garlic, tomato and onions in remaining 2 tsp. of oil. Add water and patis. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and bring to a simmer. Add shrimp and beaten eggs; simmer until eggs are cooked through. Season as needed with salt and pepper.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sagohachi Pickling Base - Part 2

Look how da cucumbers came out! The texture is perfect. The malty flavor is nice.  One problem . . . 


sooooo salty. Maybe I left it in the paste too long . . . around 15 hours.  

So after I took the above pictures I threw them in a bowl of water.  I might have to do something like this to tone down the saltiness. We'll see.

Look what I got at the swap meet yesterday for $2. 

I've read that I can reuse the pickling base, so I put the eggplant in it. 

After about 5 hours nothing much was happening. With the cucumber, liquid would start accumulating and every couple of hours, I would have to drain it out. It wasn't doing that with the eggplant. So I dug them out, rinsed off the paste and cut them into pieces. I'm gonna throw them back into the paste and see if I can get more of some kind of reaction. But somehow I'm not feeling it.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Sagohachi Pickling Base

My favorite area at Marukai is where they have the 99-cent mark-down items. That is where they have expired or soon-to-expire stuff. At Dillingham it used to be near the rice. Now it's on the far right wall kinda before the seafood section.

A few weeks ago this caught my eye. The only English writing on the package said "Pickling Base. Ingredients: Rice, Malted Rice, Salt, Water". Even though I had no clue how to use it, I bought it . . . 'cause I was curious . . . and for 99 cents . . .


I looked for the shelves where all the pickling stuff were. I saw that the package normally sold for $5.29. The little plastic container which sometimes holds English instructions was empty.

After researching I decided that all I needed to do was to add some water. 

These mini cucumbers were on sale at Marukai yesterday so I chose them to test on. 

I think I'm supposed to do this and leave them at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours. It smells like beer.

Guess how much I paid for this Tupperware marinating container.

One dollah . . . swap meet!  Anyway, stay tuned. Will let you know tomorrow how the cucumbers turn out.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Kam Swap Meet Food Vendor

There are several vendors that serve food at the Kam Swap Meet. Here is just one of them.




There is no sign for it, but that's deep-fried manapua in the  middle of the back row.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Kay's Mom

Kay of Musings emailed me this photo of her mom enjoying her Tamago Kake Gohan. I love it!


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Shabu Shabu

We're making good use of the electric skillet that I bought! We had this shabu shabu the other night. 


Landon first made a dashi-type broth with a little bit of spiciness to it. He added the vegetables in first. 

And then the meat. I got these at Marukai. 

I busted out all the different sauces that we had in stock to use as dipping sauces along with a couple concoctions that Landon created. 

I used about four different ones myself. No egg this time.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Da Bomb Furikake

Coworker CQ gave me this bag of furikake.  Her parents brought it back from Okinawa. It is so so so so ono. I Google-translated a description which I found here


Amazon Japan sells it for 514 yen. You can check it out here

Amazon USA sells it for $8.12!!  So expensive!  You can check it out here. I put one in my cart. But $8.12!! That's NUTS, right? I'll probably click on "save for later" instead. 


Sunday, April 17, 2016


Swap-meet shopping was especially fun yesterday because Honolulu Aunty and Kay joined us. Honolulu Aunty ended up with her arms overloaded with treasures. You can check out her finds on her post here. Kay purchased a strap for her Hydroflask and I think her husband Art might've bought some tools. 

Here is my best buy of the day . . . totally cool sunglasses for my nephew Colin. It was $3. 


How funky is that?

You can lift up lenses if total ultraviolet protection is not necessary.

Cool, hah?!

If you don't need sunglass protection at all you can open up layers even more. 


Colin wasn't home when I dropped off the glasses, but he Facetimed me later to show me how it looked on him. Love it!!

I also found this mask for Colin.  I think it was 50 cents.  So cute.