Chef Hightower’s Kona Kampachi

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - May 30, 2007
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Bali By The Sea’s Orange Miso Glazed Kona Kampachi
Bali By The Sea’s Orange Miso Glazed
Kona Kampachi

Bali by the Sea, the culinary landmark at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa, is one of my favorite restaurants. Bali by the Sea manager Alicia Antonio greets guests with her friendly smile and sets the stage for a fabulous dining experience. The combination of relaxing ocean views, elegant ambience, mouthwatering cuisine, an award-winning wine list and extraordinary service makes it a favorite with local folks as well as visitors.

As chef of Bali by the Sea, Adam Hightower is truly living - and working - his dream at the tender age of 28. As a child, Hightower was exposed to many different cultures and foods through his travels around the world. His father was born in Honolulu, and the family would often come to the Islands to visit. When he was just 12 years old, he told his parents he would “one day be living and working in Hawaii.” By his senior year in high school, Chef Hightower enrolled in Schoolcraft College’s Culinary Arts Program in Livonia, Mich., and graduated in hotel and restaurant management. Since then he has had a wealth of experience; one of those positions was restaurant chef at the Houston Country Club, where on occasion he prepared President Bush’s favorites.

He joined the Hilton Hawaiian Village in 2005, where his skills and creativity were quickly recognized, and less than a year later he fulfilled his dream of heading the kitchen at a beachfront restaurant in Hawaii.

At Bali by the Sea he has displayed masterful perfection in unveiling a new menu. Some of his signature dishes include the Kona kampachi with orange-miso glaze, and the chocolate tower dessert. It is easy to see why Bali by the Sea is one of the most popular dining spots in Honolulu!

Chef Hightower has graciously given me this recipe to share with MidWeek readers.

Note: Kampachi in Hawaii was tested by the FDA and certified to be totally safe, so enjoy this delicious fish!


KAMPACHI With Truffled Lentil Salad,

Waialua tomatoes Big Island Heart of Palm and Pea Shoot Salad

Mango Vinaigrette

* 8 2.5-ounce Kona kampachi fillets
* 8 ounces Orange Miso glaze
* 10 ounces Lentil Salad
* 2 Waialua red tomatoes, (monder) seeded and cut in quarters
* 2 Waialua yellow tomatoes, (monder*), seeded and cut in quarters
* 8 spears asparagus
* 4 ounces Heart of Palm and Pea Shoot Salad
* 8 ounces Mango Vinaigrette

Season and pan-sear the Kona kampachi on both sides. Cook halfway and glaze with Orange Miso; finish cooking in the oven until medium-rare.

Place on top of lentil salad. Garnish with asparagus, tomato and mango vinaigrette.

For Heart of Palm and Pea Shoot Salad: Toss 3 ounces julienne of heart of palm and 1 ounce pea shoots with 1 tablespoon of Mango Vinaigrette. Season and place on top of the Kona kampachi.

For Orange Miso Glaze:

* 1/2 cup white miso
* 3 ounces orange juice reduction
** * 2 ounces sugar
* 2 ounces mirin
* 1 ounce sake

Mix all ingredients together and reserve.

For Mango Vinaigrette:

* 1/4 cup chopped shallots
* 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
* 1/4 cup mirin
* 1/4 cup mango puree
* 1/4 cup orange juice reduction
** * 3/4 cup grape-seed oil
* 3/4 cup olive oil
* juice of 1 lemon
* zest of 2 oranges

Mix the shal-lots, vinegar, mirin, mango puree and orange reduction.

Whisk the olive and grapeseed oil, add the lemon juice and orange zest.

Season with salt and pepper. Chill and reserve.

For Lentil Salad:

* 1 cup cooked lentils
* 1 tablespoon brunoise of carrot, blanched
* 1 tablespoon brunoise of zucchini
* 1 tablespoon brunoise of yellow squash
* 1 tablespoon brunoise of shallots
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
* 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
* 2 tablespoons truffle oil

Note: Brunoise is a mixture of vegetables cut into small dice and cooked slowly in butter.

Mix all ingredients together, season and refrigerate until serving time

* Monder: To remove the skin of tomatoes, this operation is facilitated by plunging the tomatoes a few seconds in boiling water then putting them in ice water.

** Orange Juice Reduction: 32 ounces of orange juice reduced to 6 ounces

(This reduction is for both the Orange Miso glaze and Mango Vinaigrette)

(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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