Putting Island Produce First

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - August 10, 2011
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The Made in Hawaii Festival celebrates its 17th anniversary Aug. 19-21 at Blaisdell Center. Each year, the festival brings together many of Hawaii’s chefs, artists, craftspeople, entrepreneurs, designers, farmers and many more to showcase an emporium of products and foods that are certified as made here in the Aloha State.

Derek Kurisu of KTA Super Stores on the Big Island returns to emcee the cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs from some of Hawaii’s favorite restaurants. With a background in agriculture and more than 40 years’ experience in the grocery industry, Kurisu has become an advocate for Hawaiian produce and specialty food items on the international scene. His vision is to have Made in Hawaii products in stores around the world; expanding our markets and generating more skilled jobs here at home. It’s his dream to see a Hawaiian section in each grocery store. At the festival, Kurisu will guide us through the cooking demonstrations and explain just where all those delicious ingredients are grown.

The festival attracts more than 35,000 visitors each year. Find more information at madeinhawaiifestival.com.


True to his love of all things made in Hawaii, Kurisu has shared with MidWeek readers this delicious recipe for Kim Chee Togan Soup. Remember to use locally produced kim chee as it is made with locally grown Chinese cabbage.

Chinese cabbage is related to the Western cabbage. It is a very good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and manganese. It is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, a good source of dietary fiber and contains protein, thiamin, niacin and phosphorus.

KIM CHEE TOGAN SOUP This is a simple but tasty soup. Although kim chee is used, it is mild for even children to enjoy. It is great for large gatherings such as potlucks and parties. Use locally manufactured kim chee like Halms, Kohala or Honda because they use locally grown won bok (Chinese cabbage).

* 1 1/4-1 1/2 pounds ground pork
* 6 (14.5-ounce) cans chicken broth
* 1 12-ounce bottle kim chee, chopped fine
* approximately 40 pieces seeded and cubed 1 1/2-inch-size togan (winter melon)
* 5 slices local ginger
* 1 block locally made tofu, cut into 1-inch squares


Brown ground pork with ginger, then drain off fat. Add chicken broth, winter melon and kim chee (entire bottle including juice). Simmer for about 30 minutes until togan is tender. Add tofu before serving!

NOTE: Togan (winter melon) can be cubed and frozen until ready to use. If using frozen togan, place directly into soup without defrosting.

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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