A Crisp And Crunchy Chinese Salad

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - January 31, 2007
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Kudos to executive chef Rey Desala, director of restaurants Marina Jones, and all involved with the conceptualization, development and implementation of MAC 24-7, the new restaurant in the beautifully renovated Hilton Waikiki Prince Kuhio. The main focus of the menu is “modern American cooking,” and thus the name MAC.

The offerings feature gargantuan portions perfect for sharing. Pancakes literally can feed a family and come in varieties such as the Elvis, with peanut butter and bacon! Egg dishes, the loco moco, a Sumo-sized saimin, and all favorites such as burgers, fried chicken (with corn waffles and country gravy) and meatloaf have already become among the most popular items, at this 24-hours-a-day hot spot.

General manager Jay Leonard and his wife, Karen, are regulars at the high-tech, colorful restaurant, enjoying the menu with their four children. Having lived all over the globe plus having spent years in the South, they have “cottoned” to the comfort foods served.

Try it soon - any time, day or night with the great added feature of complimentary valet parking at the hotel entrance.

Here’s one of MAC 24-7’s new recipes for MidWeek readers to try at home.

Jicama was brought to the Philippines by Spanish explorers in the 1600s and cultivation spread throughout Asia and the Pacific. Jicamas look like turnips, with flat ends and a thin, brown skin. The flesh is juicy, crisp and sweet, with a flavor similar to water chestnuts.

When purchasing, choose firm jicama with thin skin and no bruises, and peel before eating as the skin is inedible.

Jicamas remain crisp even when cooked and are used to add a crunchy texture to salads, dips, soups, rice and even fruit salads.

They should keep for about three weeks, unwrapped and stored in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. Once cut, store in perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator where they will keep for about a week.

Jicamas are roughly 85 percent water, are good sources of potassium and vitamin C, contain some protein and are very low in calories.


* 6 ounces chicken breast, grilled
* 3 cups julienne-cut iceberg lettuce
* 1 tablespoon medium-diced Hamakua tomatoes
* 5 orange segments
* 1 tablespoon julienne-cut jicama
* 1/4 cup julienne-cut red cabbage
* 1/4 cup kaiware sprouts
* 1/4 cup julienne-cut green mango
* 2 teaspoons cilantro leaves
* 1 tablespoon almonds, toasted
* 1/4 cup julienne-cut won ton chips, fried crisp
* 2 tablespoons Oriental Dressing (recipe below)

In a mixing bowl add iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, jicama, cilantro, half of the won tons, kai-ware sprouts and dressing. Mix lightly, evenly coating the mixture.

Place the mix on a large rectangle plate, mounding the salad down the middle of the plate.

Slice the chicken breast in 1/4 inch slices, then place evenly over the salad.

Evenly add orange segments and toasted almonds over the salad.

Garnish the salad with the remaining won tons.

Makes one serving (may be doubled, tripled, etc.).

For Oriental Dressing:

* 1/4 cup rice vinegar
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 2 tablespoons soy sauce
* 2 tablespoons sesame oil
* 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
* 1 tablespoon minced garlic
* 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
* 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
* 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Mix all the ingredients except the oil. While mixing, slowly add the oil until incorporated.

Makes 3/4 cup (to cut fat, use sparingly).

(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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