char siu -glazed pork and pineapple buns- & hawaiian macaroni salad

[photos courtesy of my uncle gene]

Welcome to Hawaii Week on Evil Chef Mom.

"I'm shakin' the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and I'm gonna see the world. Italy, Greece, the Parthenon, the Colosseum. Then, I'm comin' back here to go to college and see what they know. And then I'm gonna build things. I'm gonna build airfields, I'm gonna build skyscrapers a hundred stories high, I'm gonna build bridges a mile long..." George Bailey... It's A Wonderful Life.

I don't know about you but ever since I have been a kid I have always had a list of places I wanted to travel to. This is what happens when you read National Geographic at an early age.

The Maldives
A safari in Africa
Petra, Jordan

I never wanted to go to Hawaii. Sorry, it just wasn't happening. In my mind every time I imagined Hawaii I saw crowded beaches and lots of pasty white tourists (me included). Having to hit all the major sites in packed tour buses, boats, or small planes. Not a tropical paradise by any stretch of the imagination.

And then a couple things convinced me otherwise. A friend of mine showed me her honeymoon pictures, there they were kayaking with no one for miles around... miles of pristine shoreline in the background with very few people. Then Will had to do a state report on Hawaii and started telling me about Molokai and Lanai... places he knew that would appeal to me. No stoplights, places with very few people, where Hawaiians go to get away. And then I saw my Uncle Gene's pictures. Well... now I am hooked. I want to go to Hawaii... so badly I can taste it.

char siu- glazed pork and pineapple buns-: sunset magazine june 2009

1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract*
2 pork tenderloins (about 1 lb. each)
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
12 slices of peeled and cored fresh pineapple
24 King's Hawaiian sweet rolls or other small soft rolls, warmed on the grill if you like
1 cup cilantro sprigs

*recipe calls for Hawaiian vanilla extract

Make brine: In a large pot, bring 3 1/2 cups water to a boil. Stir in salt, brown sugar, and vanilla. Chill until cool.

Put pork in a 9- by 13-in. pan and pour on brine. Chill at least 3 hours and up to 12.

Make char siu glaze: In a small bowl, mix together ketchup, hoisin, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. Pour half the sauce into another small bowl.

Prepare grill for indirect medium heat (350° to 450°; you can hold your hand 5 in. above cooking grate only 5 to 7 seconds). Lay pork over indirect-heat area and cook, covered, until meat reaches 135° on a meat thermometer, 15 to 20 minutes.

Using a pastry brush and one bowl of glaze, cover pork with glaze, saving 2 tbsp. for the pineapple. Cook pork (if using charcoal, add 6 to 8 briquets to maintain temperature), turning occasionally, until glaze has caramelized slightly and meat thermometer reaches 145°, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer pork to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest 15 minutes.

Lay pineapple slices on direct-heat area of grill, brush with 2 tbsp. reserved glaze, and cook, turning once, until grill marks appear, about 4 minutes per side. Remove slices from grill and cut in half.

Cut pork into 1/2-in. slices. Cut a deep diagonal slit across the top of each roll. Fill each roll with a piece of pork, half a grilled pineapple slice, a cilantro sprig, and 1/2 tsp. glaze from second bowl. Serve rolls with remaining glaze for drizzling.

hawaiian macaroni salad:

large macaroni
1/4 cup grated carrots
1 cup Best Foods mayonnaise
1/4 cup milk
salt & pepper

Cook macaroni till tender. Add grated carrots, mayonnaise,and milk till well coated. Salt & Pepper to taste.

Tasting Notes: Make this or I will kick you in the shins! This has been talked about in our house since we made it over a month ago. Matter of fact.... this is so good we have planned Katie's graduation party around this whole meal.


katie said...

That sounds wonderful! We are going to Hawaii in August. We are going to Oahu and spending a week in the busy Honolulu area and a week on the more secluded north shore. I can't go and not explore Pearl Harbor even if its full of tourists. Of course what I am most looking forward to is the food!

maybelle's mom said...

thats funny. my husband and I have the same thing about Hawaii, but my cousins keep telling me it needs to be on the list. My list also includes Petra and the Maldives but also the Azores, Mongolia and St. Petersburg. I also blame national geographic.

SaintTigerlily said...

I have family there and have been only once. Mad, you say? Don't I know it.

I can smell that sandwich.

TheKitchenWitch said...

Mmmmmmmm, that sandwich looks delish.

The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

This meal has me written all over it. I am so making this. The macaroni salad I need to have now, like 10 minutes ago now! You had me at grilled pineapple woman!

Julia said...

I love char sui, and I love that Pan Asian twist with the pineapple.

Stacey Snacks said...

I'm a little late.....I am loving this new clean look....but I still miss the little monsters in aprons and the fire header!
Aloha, Spacey Stacey (not your sis)

LilSis said...

Maui is one of my most favorite places. We love it so much there that we've never ventured to any of the other islands.

That was perfect timing on this recipe. I just found out that the theme for our 4th of July party at our boat dock is a Hawaiian Luau. I was just starting to research some different pork recipes. I need something that I can keep warm in a crock pot to feed a gazillion people. These sandwiches look awesome.

BigSis said...

Hi, I have to agree with LilSis (as usual)! Hawaii is a magical paradise, and you have to go! You will be so happy that you did! I could live there.

Jamie said...

Yeah, same here, I never felt the pull of Hawaii most likely as I was raised in Florida on the beach and never liked it. Yet my brothers both love Hawaii.

And that glazed pork and pineapple looks fantastic. I'd go to Hawaii for that!

Kristin @ Going Country said...

I lived on Oahu for a few years when I was young. It is indeed crazy with the tourists and I would personally avoid it, but I do want to see the other islands. Particularly Maui. Lots of good hiking.

I could eat a whole package of King's Hawaiian bread by myself. YUUUUM.

noble pig said...

I love Hawaii. It's truly a tropical place but I always feel safe there...unlike the Caribbean when you wander off the beaten path it is truly, truly scary...i.e....Jamaica...shudder.

Beautiful sandwich!

TexasDeb said...

King's Hawaiian Bread Rolls is (are?) my secret weapon when it comes to making sliders. They are the perfect size and the soft sweet bread is the ideal foil for well seasoned meat.

As to visiting Hawaii? YEAH you should. Just spend most of your time away from Oahu and you'll be absolutely entranced. Pinky swear.

Anonymous said...

Love this mac salad!! Thanks for the recipe!
Great site and GREAT pics! Thanks for sharing!

Spryte said...

That pork looks AMAZING!!!

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coffee and queso said...

oh my gawd; this sounds wonderful! man, you are truly the maven of all summer sandwiches and snacks this week. everything looks amazing, as does your new banner!

i like the pasta--looks deceptively like regular cheezy mac and cheese... but it ain't. i just have to be sure an not tell the hubby there's MAYO in it. :)

Snooty Primadona said...

Wow, I feel as if I just had a mini-vacation. Must try both recipes very soon.

I lived on the island of Kuai for a year and it was truly the most fun year of my life...

Cakespy said...

Um. Jealous!!!!!!!!! The pictures or gorgeous and everything sounds SO delicious. Would you believe my uncle lives in Hawaii and I've never been!?

Melissa said...

"I don't know about you but ever since I have been a kid I have always had a list of places I wanted to travel to."


And ditto about Hawaii until I talked to other people who had gone for vacation to the types of spots you mentioned. The quiet places. Bliss.

"Make this or I will kick you in the shins! "

ORLY? Well then. I believe you. But I don't have a grill. I'm asking on this one... do you think my grill pan would suffice?

Anonymous said...

Did you make the rest of the menu? The caramelized onion did was my personal favorite.
If anyone would like the the rest of the recipes they can go to Sunset.com and look them up.

Anonymous said...

I want to make this for a birthday party (and don't want a kick in the shins; ouch!), but am wondering how far in advance I can actually cook the pork, and prepare the sandwiches as well? I'm looking for a recipe that I can have everything done before guests get there. People will be arriving at 11:00am and probably not want to eat right away. Advice?

krysta said...

anonymous... well i am going to have the same dilemma too here in june...

here's what i am planning to do: placing the pork in the slow cooker with 3/4 of the sauce and then shredding the pork and serving some sauce on the side. i hate recommending grilling it a couple hours ahead of time because i wouldn't want the meat to dry out.

hope this helps,


krysta said...

i guess i should also say that i am going to cook it for 6-8 hours on low. that might help.

Carol (aka Anonymous) said...

Thank you that idea really helps. In fact, I was specifically looking for a slow-cooker recipe as a solution. With guest arriving early I might actually have to start it the night before though...??? Dunno, will see. Thanks again for the idea. This certainly does help.

carol said...

Update: The slow-cooker worked fantastic! By the time I actually assembled the sandwiches, the pork was probably on there close to 8 hours, but at 6 it would've been cooked thoroughly as well. My only mistake was not making more...
We made the macaroni salad too, but didn't love it. Seemed to just taste like mayonaise. I had a guess politely tell me that he thought I needed to add more of the seasoning. (But there was none to add...) Oh well, everything else was delicious.
I made the maui maui onion dip too http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/flavors-of-the-west/hawaiian-luau-menu-recipes-00400000044798/page5.html and it was DIVINE!!!
Thanks again for everything

krysta said...

carol... i am glad you loved it. and i am so glad the slow cooker idea worked. the mac salad? i hear you. it's weird because it's such a traditional dish that serve in hawaii with meals like this. my kids ask for it but i like you and your guests don't really get it. it seems so bland. maybe i will update it and see if i can get some flavor in there without telling my kids first. anyways it's really all about the sandwiches, isn't it?

Louise said...

Hi Krysta,

Can I use a pork-loin instead of a pork tenderloin? I'm not sure if there is a difference or maybe the term is interchangeable. I'm heading out your way next month. Running the 10k Mermaid Run San Francisco on 11-12-11. I hope the weather is warm. Keep up the great recipes.

krysta said...

hey louise! you can use pork loin instead or a tenderloin but the result will be that loin will be a little tougher than the tenderloin. they are two different cuts of meat. the loin being bigger and get more work than the tenderloin which is a a longer thinner muscle that doesn't get much muscle use. let me know how it turns out using the loin and good luck on the 10k run!