Some of you already know I’m in Hawaii with my boy. We’re here dog-sitting (really) and making the most of everything Oahu can offer and high up on that list would be food. I’m not an expert on Hawaiian cuisine but I did a little research before I arrived, the last thing I want to do is come all this way and eat what I could easily get back in California.
Wherever I travel to I always like to try and eat at local spots and hole-in-the walls. There’s definitely an Asian feel to some of Hawaii’s food and that’s cool with me. But for now Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner so I’m feeling some island inspired fish tacos.
I found a really cool seafood shop in Kailua called Hibachi, the fish is super fresh and all locally caught. They also have rib eyes marinaded in a thin teriyaki sauce that turns the meat to a rich aged black color. I picked up some Hawaiian mongchong which is a flaky white fish (halibut or tilapia would work just as well) and gave it a simple season then pan seared it quickly on either side. Remember I’m not in my own kitchen so I felt like I was taking part in an episode of Chopped without the mystery basket. I topped the tacos with some spicy pineapple salsa which Quinn loved…even with a whole jalapeno added to it.
We’ve been busy since we arrived which is the key to guaranteeing your three year old will fall asleep easily at night! Oahu doesn’t seem to big and I think we’ll cover it easily in two weeks. I love driving along the coast and stopping at some of the roadside stalls which offer everything from the best sweet buttered shrimp I have ever tasted, to juicy pineapples and shaved ice.
Forgive me if I post lots of beachy, sunny pictures for the next two weeks here and on Instagram, I’ll try not to make it overkill…
Quinn always loves to gather sticks, sometimes so many he can hardly walk.
A pineapple from the Dole Plantation. This place is a little on the cheesy side but their signature Dole Whip ice cream is worth going for!
Loco Moco. A hamburger patty topped with brown gravy and a soft fried egg and served with rice. Tasty but sooo heavy.
Mamoru Matsumoto’s original shaved ice store. Founded in 1951 and still going strong serving up to 1,000 customers per day.
Hawaiian Monchong Fish Tacos
For the salsa
- 1 cup fresh pineapple chopped into chunks
- 1 large tomato seeds taken out and finely diced
- 1 jalapeno chili chopped
- 1/4 cup red onion finely diced
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- Salt and pepper
For the tacos
- 8 ounce of monchong or any firm white fish
- Seasoning of your choice
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 3/4 cup Cotija cheese crumbled
- Flour or corn tortillas small
- Cilantro for garnishing
- Prepare the salsa as directed. Add them to a bowl and mix well. Set aside
- Heat a saute pan over a high heat and add the canola.
- Season both sides of the fish and place it gently into the hot oil.
- let it cook untouched for 5 minutes before flipping it and cooking for another 5 minutes.
- Once the fish is cooked let it cool for a few minutes. Using your fingers break it into large chunks.
- Place some fish on to a tortilla and top with some of the pineapple salsa.
- Garnish with some Cotija cheese and fresh cilantro.