An Island-style Mexican Favorite

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - March 29, 2006
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When the Diamond Head Crater Celebration happens Saturday (April 1) all eyes will be on the headliners: Steve Miller, Linda Ronstadt, the musicians of WAR, Matt Catingub and the Honolulu Symphony, and a host of other performers.

The credit for making this historic event happen goes to Ron Gibson of GM Entertainment and his partner Mark Mellik, marking the first time in three decades that the crater has been used for such a huge public event.

There will be booths from the Pacific Handcrafters Guild offering locally made products, and an incredible sampling of food: Dixie Grill, Compadres Bar & Grill, Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, Grilled Hawaiian Steaks, and a booth from North Shore Farms/C&C Pasta that will specialize in fried green tomatoes, to name a few. A good variety of beers and wine will also be offered.

Here’s a recipe from Chef Gordon Lum at Gordon Biersch for the Blackened Island Fish Tacos he’ll be serving that day. The Asian slaw recipe can be used with other dishes as well, and contains a healthy serving of cabbage.

Cabbage, a member of the Cruciferae family, is an Asian plant believed to have been brought from Asia Minor to Europe around 600 B.C. Cabbage was valued for its medicinal aspects, and was considered a cure-all by the Greeks and Romans. Today the largest producers of cabbage include Russia, China, South Korea and Japan.

There are about 400 varieties of cabbage varying in shape, type and color. When purchasing, choose heads that are heavy and compact. The leaves should be shiny, crisp, well-colored and free of cracks and bruises. Cabbage will keep for about two weeks in the vegetable compartment of your refrigerator. Once cut, it should be stored wrapped and away from other foods. Raw cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C and folic acid, and a good source of potassium. It also contains vitamin B6. Cooked cabbage is a good source of vitamin C and potassium, and also contains folic acid. Cabbage is said to have cancer-inhibiting properties and is also credited with antibiotic, antidiarrheal and remineralizing properties, is an appetite stimulant and combats scurvy.


* 5 ounces fresh Island fish, cut into strips
* 1 tablespoon Cajun spice
* 2 ounces butter
* 1 (12-inch) flour tortilla
* 1 cup Asian Slaw (recipe follows)
* 1 ounce mozzarella cheese, shredded
* 1/4 cup pico de gallo (salsa)
* 2 tablespoons Sriracha Honey Mayonnaise (recipe follows)

For Asian Slaw:

* 5 ounces red cabbage, shredded
* 5 ounces green cabbage, shredded
* 1/2 red bell pepper, julienne
* 1 small carrot, julienne
* 1 ounce green onion, chopped
* 2 ounces bean sprouts
* 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

Combine all ingredients and blend well.

For Sriracha Honey Mayonnaise:

* 1/4 cup Sriracha Sauce
* 1/4 cup honey
* 1 cup mayonnaise

Combine all ingredients and mix well.

Season fish with Cajun spice. Saute in butter until done. Place Asian Slaw, pico de gallo and mozzarella cheese in center of tortilla. Place fish on top of other ingredients. Drizzle with Sriracha Honey Mayonnaise. Roll tortilla, folding in ends similar to a burrito.

(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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