Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"Hawaii Cookbook and Backyard Luau" - Steamed Pork Patties

Date I made this recipe: August 23, 2009

Hawaii Cookbook and Backyard Luau – The First Completely New Hawaiian Cookbook in 25 Years by Elizabeth Ahn Toupin, Introduction by James A. Michener
Published by: Silvermine Publishers, Inc.
© 1964, 1967
Recipe: Steamed Pork Patties

Well folks, on the 21st of August, Hawaii celebrated 50 years of statehood. Hard to believe that it hasn’t always been a state but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a popular tourist attraction even back then.

After exploring several possibilities, I decided on Steamed Pork Patties. These are really meant to be an appetizer but we accompanied them by a salad and all was fine…well, almost.

These turned out to be (to my palate) pretty darned salty. I tasted the sherry and the salt and little else. So my advice is to go with the ½ tablespoon of soy sauce (and I even used low-sodium!) and cut the additional teaspoon called for in the recipe and see how that works. (I also nixed the monosodium glutamate—does anyone even use that anymore?).

The other problem I initially had was that 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and ½ egg are not enough to bind the patties and so I kept adding cornstarch (approximately 3 tablespoons total) until it looked like the mixture would hang together a little bit better and then I stuck the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes to seal the deal.

Finally, I would definitely serve with a sweet-sour sauce (or some kind of sauce) to add a little zip to the dish.

But other than all that, the dish was easy to make and I would probably do it again, sans the salt.

As to the introduction written by James A. Michener, those of my generation will know him as the author of the book, Hawaii, as well as several other books chronicling the evolution of Hawaii (and Africa – The Covenant - and outer space – titled, go figure, Space - and….). Michener leaves no detail behind and honest to God started one book by talking about a speck of dust that eventually turned into civilization. At any rate, Michener’s book, Hawaii, was made into a movie by the same name and from what I understand it.was.horrible. But if you want to really understand a particular culture, Michener’s your guy.

Happy Birthday, Hawaii! Aloha!

Steamed Pork Patties – Serves 6(May be prepared ahead)
1/3 pound fresh shrimp, finely chopped
½ pound pork, ground
1 tablespoon cornstarch (you’ll probably need more)
1 tablespoon sherry
½ tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt (I’d advise leaving this out)
½ teaspoon monosodium glutamate
½ egg, beaten (to make this easier on myself, I put one egg in a measuring cup, whisked it to blend and then poured half of it into the meat mixture).

Combined all the ingredients. Shape into 1 ½ inch rounds, ½ inch thick. Place in a serving dish. Set dish on a bowl and place in pot over 1 inch of hot water. Cover and steam for 20 minutes.

Serve with apricot hors d’oeuvre or spicy or sweet-sour sauce.

To prepare ahead: Follow instructions for making and steaming pork patties. Cool and refrigerate. Remove fat. Reheat by steaming for 5-10 minutes.

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