Huli Huli Seitan

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So….I was so busy and excited during my wedding luau that I forgot to take pictures of food….bad food blogger…

I made Huli Huli Chicken for the meat eaters and Huli Huli Seitan for the vegetarians. I chose Huli Huli because I wanted to give our guests something unique to Hawaii. And it’s easay.

Hul Huli “Chicken”

But I have made Huli Huli “Chicken” and seitan before on this blog. So I essentially combined the two for this recipe. It looks almost exactly like Seitan Ribs, just more sauce and in cutlets.

Seitan ribs

I put the seitan out during the party and just told the vegetarians what it was. Everyone else started eating it too. Some thought the texture was different, but my answer to that is “duh”. I’ve said this before, nothing will ever taste and feel exactly like meat, except meat! But everyone still ate it, despite their comments. So it must be pretty good 🙂

This recipe makes 20 servings. It can easily be cut down for a smaller crowd, but seitan keeps well in the fridge and freezer too.

Huli Huli Seitan
1 carton of vegetable broth
1 package Bob’s Red Mill Vital Wheat Gluten
2 and 2/3 cups water
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 gloves of garlic, minced
2 and 1/2 cups of ketchup
1 cup brown sugar
1 and 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
4 cloves minced garlic

In a large pot, add the carton of veggie broth and fill the pot up to 3/4 of the way full with water. Bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl add the vita wheat gluten, water, soy sauce and 3 cloves of minced garlic. Mix together until it forms a smooth and elastic dough. If you like, you can knead it together when it starts to get thicker.

Once the dough is ready,  divide into 20 smaller balls. Shape the balls into little cutlets. The dough is elastic so this might take awhile, you can let it rest if need be too.

Now drop the cutlets into boiling water and cook for 1 hour. They will puff up so give them a stir to resubmerge them occasionally.

Remove them from the pot and place in a large Tupperware container.

In a small bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients to make the sauce. Pour over the seitan, coating it well.

Seal up the container and  let it marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Now you can finish cooking it any way you want. I suggest throwing them on the grill until they get some nice grill lines. Or under the broiler just until they start to blacken. Or pan fry until nice and golden.

A lovely chicken substitute to remind you of the islands.

Hawaiian "Chicken"

I saw a version of Hawaiian Chicken in crockpot on Pintrest and loved the idea.  I never  saw something exactly like this anywhere in Hawaii, so I cannot say it is an authentic dish. However,  almost every party I went to had BBQ chicken or pork, fresh pineapple or other fruits, and plenty of rice.

I used soy strips instead of chicken, which does not need to cook very long, so I did not use a crockpot.  I used canned pineapple, but if you have fresh, use it.

This recipe makes 4 servings.

Hawaiian “Chicken”
1 tbs olive oil
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 medium onion, cut into strips
1 bag of Gardein Chick’n Strips, minus the sauce
1/2 cup Teriyaki sauce
1 tbs white vinegar
8 oz can of Pineapple chunks in 100% juice
2 tbs soy sauce
1 clove of garlic, minced
Cooked rice

Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat.

Once the pan is hot, add the chopped bell peppers and onion. Cook until tender.

Add the chick’n strips and heat through.

Add remaining ingredients (including the juice from the can of pienapples), except the rice. Cook until the sauce thickens slightly.

Serve over some rice and enjoy some (maybe not authentic) Aloha!

I miss Hawaii so much. I can’t wait until Michael and I can take a vacation back to the Big Island!

Huli Huli "Chicken"

Out past Pahoa is one of my favorite spots on the Big Island, the Ahalanui warm spring. It’s a natural geothermal pool that has been retained by a cement foundation and is refreshed with ocean waves. I love going there early before all the people arrive and swim a few laps in the nice warm water—just be warned there are little fish that will pester you every time you stop.

On the drive to the warm spring, I’d always past this sign for homemade huli huli chicken, and always wondered what it was. One time I finally Googled it and learned it essentially Hawaiian barbecue chicken.  Huli means turn in Hawaiian and it’s called “turn turn” chicken because it is traditionally cooked on a spit so it would turn and turn as it cooked over a fire.

But, I am vegan there is no real chicken and I am broke college kid so no spit fire roasting. Instead, I used seitan strips and cooked it in a skillet over a stove. I have made this several times before and finally decided to post the recipe.

This makes 2 servings.

Huli Huli “Chicken”
2 servings of vegan chicken (any form is fine, I used strips)
1/4 cup ketchup
4 tbs soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbs white wine vinegar
1 1/2 inch piece of ginger, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced

In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients, except the fake chicken.

Now at the chicken and it it marinade for at least a half an hour.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the marinaded fake chicken and the sauce. Cook until the fake meat is heated and the sauce has thickened.

I served mine with cole slaw and rice. Tangy, sweet, and totally worth trying. I think Hawaiian barbecue is my favorite style.

Birthday Cupcakes: Kona Mocha and Tropical Coconut

Today is my birthday! I am 24 years-old today and pretty happy about it. I am not where I thought I would be at 24, and that’s a really good thing. The most important thing I have learned in my 24 short years of life is to just go with it. Life takes you places you never imagined and the best thing to do is not fight it. If you told me when I was 16 that I would be living in Hawaii pursuing a degree in geology, I doubt I would have believed you. I still don’t have it all figured out, but life is more fun with surprises 🙂 I  would have believed you if you told me I was going to become a vegan though.

I put more thought into what treat I wanted for my birthday than is probably needed because I hardly ever make sweets. It’s a real treat when I do. I searched the web, found many yummy options but none really caught my eye. I couldn’t decide between something coconut/mango-y or mocha/chocolate-y. Then I realized I could make both! But I didn’t want to end up frosting 48 cupcakes all day so I decided to make a normal 24 batch and just split the batter.

I used a box mix because, it’s just easier. But, it’s organic and does not have tons of scary chemical ingredients. I am not opposed to packaged products occasionally, but they should not be the stable of your diet. But a nice treat on your birthday is fine.

I made two cupcakes from a single box mix, Tropical Coconut and and Kona Mocha. It’s not hard to doctor-up a simple box mix with your own variations. The Tropical Coconut have pineapple-mango preserves in the batter, a pineapple-mango buttercream frosting and are topped with coconut shavings. The Kona Mocha have Kona coffee and chocolate added to the batter, chocolate buttercream frosting, and are topped with some coffee grounds. If you want to make full batches of either or both of these, just don’t split the batter and add double preserves in the pineapple mango and double the chocolate and coffee in the Kona Mochas.


By the way, Kona coffee is the only coffee that is completely grown and produced in US. Make sure it says 100% Kona coffee on the label for the real stuff.

The Cupcakes
1 box of vanilla cake mix (I used Dr. Oetker)
4 and 1/2 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer
6 tbs water
1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup applesauce (I used cinnamon but plain is fine too)

Pineapple Mango Variation 
3 tbs unsweetened pineapple-mango preserves
1/4 cup soy milk
1/4 tps baking powder

Kona Mocha Variation
1/2 extra strong Kona coffee
2 ounces of dark chocolate, melted

Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees and spray a cupcake tin with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, add the cake mix.

In a small bowl, whisk the Enger-G Egg replacer and water. Add to the large bowl.

Add the soy milk and applesauce to the large bowl, mix together well, making sure to get air in the batter. If you aren’t a broke college kid like me, you can do this in your stand mixer.

Now evenly divided the batter into two bowls.  I only have one cupcake tin so I had to make them one at a time.

For the Tropical Coconut, in one of the bowls add the perseveres, 1/4 cup soy milk, and baking powder. Mix together well again.

Pour the batter into the cupcake tin, filling eat 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 10-12 minutes. They are ready when a tooth inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Let them cool in the tin for bit, then remove from and let cool completely.

For the Kona Mocha, in the other bowl add the coffee and melted chocolate. I added some extra coffee grounds in for an extra kick too. Mix together well again.

Pour the batter into the cupcake tin, filling eat 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 10-12 minutes. They are ready when a tooth inserted into the middle comes out clean. 

Let them cool in the tin for bit, then remove from and let cool completely. 








The Frostings
1 box of vanilla frosting mix  (I used Dr. Oetker)
2 stick soften vegan shortening
1/4 cup soy milk
Tropical Coconut Variation
1 tbs pineapple-mango preserves
unsweetened shaved coconut
Kona Mocha Variation
2 ounces dark chocolate, melted
Kona coffee grounds
If you have stand mixer, use it. It sucked mixing this all by hand. 

In large bowl, beat together the frosting mix, shortening, and soy milk until smooth. 
Divide into two bowls.
For the Tropical Coconut,in one bowl add in the preserves and mix well. 
Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle on some shaved coconut. 

For the Kona Mocha, in the other bowl add the melted chocolate and mix well.
Frost the cupcakes, and sprinkle on some coffee grounds.
I decided to be nice (and it’s healthier for me not to eat them all anyways) and share them with the geology department. So UHH geology majors, go check the seminar room today.
I left some out for me to eat tonight of course, but one conveniently didn’t fit in the box when I was packing them up last night 🙂 Oh, the frosting is so good. And I love how moist the applesauce makes the cupcakes. Not as pretty as my mom would have made but delicious nonetheless. Happy Birthday to me indeed!  
PS, When I checked the geology seminar room at 12:30, only a few cupcakes where left. Guessing they were a hit!

Beer Crust Hawaiian Pizza

After about a month of conflicting schedules, my friends Rick and Kyla finally made it over from Kona to come visit me. It was nice to seem them and nice to have someone to cook for for once.

Awhile ago I saw a recipe for a pizza beer pizza crust. I can’t remember where I found it, but it was called something like “lazy single guy pizza crust” and that is essentially what it is. Just dump a some beer into flour and there you go. I was curious and decided to give it a try. The recipe claimed it would rise a little bit after 10 minutes, but it lied. It was still good though. It tasted just like a normal dough recipe, yeasty favor and all. It was a a little denser and chewier, but no big deal if you like thick crust.  Overall I liked it and it was definitely easy to make. I used Long Board from Kona Brewing Company because it’s awesome and thought it would be nice to use something local.

I made one Hawaiian pizza, topped with fresh pineapple that Rick brought and vegan ham from Yves (the store was out of vegan Canadian bacon but it’s same thing really), and one veggie with my usual toppings so refer to my Veggie Pizza post for those.

Both were cheese-less but topped with hummus instead. And, I am finally including my hummus recipe in this post. And yeah, I know traditional hummus has tahini and other fancy stuff, but this basic recipe is still good and easy to make (how many people really keep tahini in the house on a regular basis, let alone a single college girl?) And, I used a store-bought sauce this time because I had some on hand.

Easy Hummus (makes enough for 2 pizzas plus extra):
2 cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs Ener-g Egg Replacer
Red pepper flakes, to taste
Pinch of salt and pepper
1/2-1 cup water, ass needed


Beer Pizza Crust (makes 2 pizzas):
4 cups all purpose flour
22 fl. oz. of bottle of beer
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs salt

Hawaiian Pizza:
1 beer crust, unbaked
3/4 cup hummus
1/2 cup tomato sauce
Vegan Canadian bacon (Try Yves), chopped
1/2 cup pineapple, chopped

For the hummus, throw everything into the blender and blend until smooth. I suggest adding the water in slowly as needed to help it come together so it doesn’t get too runny.

It may not be traditional, but tastes just as good to me.

The crust is just as easy. Pre-heat the oven to 500 degree Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, add the flour. Next add the oil and salt. Then pour in the beer slowly. Add a little bit at a time and mix well before adding more. Depending on climate, you may need more or less. I actually needed a little less then the whole bottle. It is ready when it’s slightly tacky but moist.

Since it doesn’t need to rise, it’s time to knead. Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface and knead gently. Don’t over work it, just till it’s smooth and workable. Roll the dough into the shape of pizza pan. Transfer to your pan and shape to fit. If it tears, just mold it back together.

Time to top. Spread the hummus on in an even thick layer.

Spread the tomato sauce on top.

Then finally top it with the Canadian bacon and pineapple.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the crust is all golden and crunchy.

It was so nice to share lovely vegan food with lovely friends! Thanks for coming guys!

Haupia, Coconut Pudding

Picture from here

Sometimes I browse the bakery section at normal grocery stores to see how horrible those innocent looking treats really are to remind myself why I am vegan. I know that sounds weird, but I wish everyone would do this just once. Take the time to actually read the ingredients in those doughnuts or cakes, and you will probably never want to eat them again. But one day I came across something I had never seen before. It was a small little white square covered with shredded coconut. It had only a few simple ingredients, was fairly low in fat and calories, and was made at a local bakery. And it was vegan. I bought the little white square and surprised when I bit into it. It was squishy like gelatin, but sweet and coconutty. I am not a fan of gummy or jelly things, but I love coconut so I was torn on whether I liked the treat or not. And to be honest, I am still torn. Yet, this is the second time I have made this dessert at home.

Haupia is a technically coconut pudding made from starch and coconut milk, but has the texture of gelatin. Gelatin is not vegan (ever heard the saying “take the horse to the glue factory”?) so I was kind of skeptical that the haupia square at the store was labeled properly. But my skepticism was set aside when my homemade version was just as gelatinous.

I can’t find much information on the history of haupia besides it became popular after World War II and was originally made with arrowroot starch. It is easy to make but requires your full attention while cooking. This recipe is based on two fairly similar recipes, one from a luau recipe website and one from Food.com. Both recipes call for cornstarch, which I don’t use that often so I usually don’t keep in the cupboard.  I was about to cave and buy some when I realized that Enger-G Egg Replacer, which I usually have on hand because it is so versatile, is made from starch. So I gave it a shot and it worked just fine.

A side note about canned coconut milk I mentioned in my Yellow Curry post: light coconut milk is a waste of money.  It is just watered down normal coconut milk and usually costs more. Save the money and just add water yourself if you want cut down on calories.

Haupia
1 and 1/2 cans coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Enger-G Egg Replacer or cornstarch
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt

 

In a small sauce pan, heat the coconut milk, water, and sugar over medium heat while continuously whisking.

When it is about to boil, gradually add the egg replacer or starch and continue to whisk.

When it starts to thicken slightly, add the vanilla, salt, and shredded coconut flakes and continue to whisk.

Remove from the heat when it is smooth but as thick as pudding.

Pour into desired dish and chill for at least two hours so it can fully set up. Here is a little advice on what shape of dish to use. The first time I made this, I tried to replicate the one I got from the store so I used a square pan so it would be just as thick. But the pan was too small so it came out really thick. Since I don’t like squishy/gelatin things, I used a sheet pan this time so it would be thinner. But it was too thin and did not come out of the pan very nicely. So, I next time I make this I am going to use medium-sized square pan, and shoot for around 1/2 inch thickness.

Since they did not come out of the pan in a decent looking form, I didn’t take any final pictures. But I promise they were yummy, if you like squishy things that is. I topped mine with some additional shredded coconut too, it helped cut down on the squishyness.

Hawaiian Mac Salad

When you order a Hawaiian plate lunch, you can be certain of two things: large portions and macaroni salad. They usually aren’t vegan so I have to order all rice instead.  But to keep up with my Hawaiian post trend, I thought I should make my own version. There isn’t anything that makes this dish unique to Hawaii besides the fact it’s very popular here. It’s pretty much the same recipe you mom makes for picnics. I kept everything traditional, the only difference is I used Veganaise instead of mayonnaise.



Mac Salad
2 cups large elbow macaroni, dry
1/4 cup carrots, grated
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
1 cup Veganaise
1 tbs sweet relish
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove. Cook the macaroni according to the directions on the package.  Drain and set aside.

 

Broke college kid doesn’t have a grater, so I chopped my carrots

Grate the carrots and chop the celery.

 

 

The glass bowl makes it look like it’s sitting on the counter.

In a large bowl, add the macaroni, carrots and celery. Add the Veganaise and relish then mix together. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

Veganaise is the best thing ever. Way better than dairy mayo.

Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. This gives the macaroni time to absorb all the flavors.

I ate mine on it’s own, but it’s a fabulous side dish for any entree…man, now I wish I made some BBQ tofu to go with this.

Pineapple Fried Rice

What could be more Hawaiian than pineapple? To learn about the history of pineapple in Hawaii, visit the Dole website, they explain it better than I can. FYI,  the maze at the plantation on Oahu is hard.

Pineapple is very sweet and juicy. I have to admit that I don’t like them on their own, too sweet for my taste. But I love them for cooking and baking because they pretty much eliminate the need for any additional sweeteners.

They have been used as an anti-inflammatory since ancient times and have lot of vitamin C. They are also a great source of manganese and thiamin. It also has an enzyme that aids digestion so it is good after a heavy meal.

However, this fried rice dish isn’t heavy at all. It is a nice balance between sweet and savory. I used canned pineapples because I hate peeling and coring whole ones. When buying canned fruit, make sure it is stored in 100% juice, not syrup. No one needs extra sugar water. I also used edamame (whole soy beans) instead of peas because it gives it more texture.


Pineapple Fried Rice
2 cups cooked brown rice
Sesame oil
1/2 block of firm tofu, drained
1/2 cup onion
1 clove garlic
1/4 inch of fresh ginger
2 medium carrots
1/2 cup edamame, shelled
1/2 cup pineapple, canned or fresh
4 tbs soy sauce
2 tps rice wine vinegar
1 tps red pepper flakes
Green onion, chopped, for garnish

Everyone has their own technique for making rice, so make it the way you like and set aside to cool. It will “fry” easier when cooled.

Finely chop the onion, garlic and ginger. Next chop the tofu, carrots, and pineapple into bite-size pieces.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the sesame oil. Add the tofu and cook until the outside is slightly golden. Then remove from the skillet.

If needed, add a bit more oil to the pan. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and cook until the onions are slightly golden.

Next add the carrots, cook until tender.

Add the rice, cooked tofu, edamame, and pineapple. Mix together well.

In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, vinegar, and red pepper flakes. Add to the skillet and mix in well.

Press into a flat layer and let it cook for a few minutes. Break it up, press it flat again, and cook for another few minutes. Repeat until it reaches desired level of “fried.”

Sprinkle with the green onion before serving and enjoy a sweet taste of Hawaii!

Purple Sweet Potato Salad

I realized I live in Hawaii but haven’t made any Hawaiian food yet! So the next few posts will be devoted to Hawaiian dishes.

I knew sweet potatoes came in other colors, but I have only seen orange on the mainland. The first time I went to the Hilo Farmers Market, a lady was selling a bag marked “potatoes” for $2. I thought awesome! Cheap fresh little finger potatoes. When I cut into at home, I was surprised that they were purple inside.  I asked my roommate at the time, who was from Maui, and she looked at me like I was crazy. “They are sweet potatoes…You know like Thanksgiving casserole?”

Purple sweet potatoes, or ‘uala,  are a member of the morning glory family and are native to Japan.  Japanese immigrants brought them to Polynesia more than a century ago. However, it is believed that the Polynesians brought some form of sweet potatoes with them on their travels throughout the Pacific prior to the Japanese introduction. All sweet potatoes are loaded with antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. They also have tons of fiber and vitamin A.

Although common to Hawaiians, they were totally strange to me. I love them now though. Not only are they my favorite color, but they are also delicious. They aren’t quite as sweet a the orange or yellow ones, and bit more starchy. They are great for fries or chips, but I love them in curries.

I decided to make a healthier version of a very common side dish in Hawaii: potato salad. Potato salad and macaroni salad are  are always part of the classic Hawaiian plate lunches. But, they are loaded with fat and calories, and I have yet to find a plate lunch place that has a vegan version. For this recipe, so no one can argue I took the Hawaiian-ness out of the salad, I used as many local products as I could. Local organic purple sweet potatoes, and carrots, plus Sweet Maui onions, and Maui Sweet Onion dressing from Rainbow of Tastes.

This recipe calls for some very specific ingredients and if you can get them, great! If not, you can always adapt the recipe to what you can get. However, I would not recommended using regular orange sweet potatoes in this recipe. Like I said, purples are starchier and sturdier, more like a real potatoes than creamy orange sweets. If you cannot get purples, just use regular potatoes.

Purple Sweet Potato Salad
8-10 small purple sweet potatoes, peeled and chop into chunks
2 medium carrots, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1/4 Sweet Maui Onion, diced finely
2 tbs sweet pickle relish
1/2  to 1 cup  Maui Sweet Onion by Rainbow of Tastes
Salt and pepper, to taste

Fill a pot 2/3 of the way with cold water.

They aren’t solid purple, more like marbled.

Rinse, peel, and chop the sweet potatoes into chunks. Put in the pot and bring to boil over medium-high heat.

 You can shred the carrots if you like too.

While the potatoes cook, dice the carrots, celery, and onions.

 

Still purple when cooked.

Once the potatoes are soft enough for a fork to be inserted with little resistance, remove from the heat and drain. You do not want them totally smushy like for mashed potatoes, but soft enough to eat and still remain in chunks. Do not rinse, it will make them smushy. Let them cool for a few minutes. The potatoes will absorb more flavor while warm, so don’t let them cool entirely before dressing.

I should have got a bigger bowl…

In a large bowl, add the potatoes, diced veggies, relish, and dressing. I recommend putting the dressing in a little at a time so you don’t over do it. It takes a minute for it to absorb. Mix it all together, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Try not to mash up the potatoes too much.

Cover and let it chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

I love the colors, and the sweet onion dressing is the perfect compliment to the sweet potatoes.