I have eaten my fair share of “local food”, meaning the multicultural food culture the diverse people of Hawaii have created and made uniquely their own, and includes influences from ethnic Hawaiian, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Portugese, and Filipino food. When you eat “local food”, you’re eating from a cultural melting pot that has successfully married unlikely partners such as Spam and the sticky rice and nori from sushi. Don’t call it Spam sushi – it’s Spam musubi (pronounced “moo-soo-bee”, accent on the first syllable). It used to be a guilty pleasure, but I no longer eat it because it (1) contains factory farmed pork , (2) contains sodium nitrite, and (3) is high in sodium.
One of my local (and comfort) food favorites is Loco Moco. This is a simple dish: rice, topped by a hamburger patty and sunny side up egg, smothered in brown gravy. A scoop of macaroni salad and a side of kimchi are typical (and tasty) accompaniments. Nope, not what I’d call health food – eat in moderation!
When I make it at home (and that’s the only way I can have it where I currently live because of how I choose to eat and the dearth of local food restaurants here), I just brown grass-fed ground beef rather than cooking a patty. I also skip the macaroni salad – only because it doesn’t make sense to me to make a batch when I’d only need a scoop or two. I ensure that the egg still has a runny yolk so that its creaminess will combine with the other flavors and enhance the gravy.
I may skip a couple of the traditional parts of the loco moco, but I do load it up with homemade kimchi…it really punches up the flavor and the seasonings work perfectly with the other ingredients. This dish is ono!