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Ono, You Know

Know That Ginger is All I Need

By Alana Folen Photos By Anthony Consillio
November 16, 2014

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Since I’m open and honest with you, my OYK readers, I’ll fill you in on a little-known secret. I’m a “wannabe” pop star, who sings and dances around the house to my favorite jams at full blast. Embarrassingly enough, I don’t hold back. I’m a total diva (in my head, definitely not in reality). Recently, Meghan Trainor’s newest hit Dear Future Husband has captured my attention. It’s the perfect song. Guys, you’ll want to pay attention to the lyrics, they speak words of wisdom and will benefit you every single day of your life.

While the lyrics may apply to many; the following is my rendition of the song and my message for my future husband:

Take me on a date, though I already ate, but don’t forget that food is the best escape. ‘Cause if you feed me right, I’ll be a happy wife … But don’t take me to sea, don’t take me to sea.

Just know that setting sail will make me so pale … getting weak in the knees, weak, weak in the knees. But then I know for sure, ginger’s the perfect cure. Yeah, ginger’s all I need … yeah, ginger’s all I need.

There you go, that is my sad attempt at songwriting. All jokes aside, ginger is the best remedy for nausea, motion sickness, dizziness and so much more. On top of that, it’s delish!

So, this week, a couple of my favorite OYK restaurants wooed me with their ginger specialties.

Chef Chai

When at the mercy of chef Chai Chaowasaree’s cooking, all I have to say is lucky you! As one of the Island’s most beloved chefs, Thailand native Chaowasaree takes creativity and runs with it — his works of edible art are revealed at Chef Chai at Pacifica Honolulu on Kapiolani Boulevard. The restaurant’s casually elegant and contemporary charm is easy on the eyes, but it’s the healthy, innovative eats that turn heads. The cuisine generally is low in fat and contains no butter. Chaowasaree relies on natural aromatic herbs, olive oil and coconut milk as flavor enhancers, and lean meats and seafood also are abundant.

Chef Chai’s repertoire is stellar, and while I easily can rave about many dishes on the menu, trust that Chaowasaree’s Steamed Coconut Milk Ginger Brown Rice is the best rice I’ve ever tasted.

“The brown rice that we use is very unique, because it’s mixed with grains of red rice. Red rice adds even more health benefits to the brown rice — it’s high in fiber and vitamin B,” explains Chaowasaree.

A side of this special brown rice (or white rice) accompanies every entree, adding a burst of added flavor to the meal. Ginger plays a subtle role in this side, just enough to enhance the aromatic flair and bring a bit of spice to the rice.

“We steam the rice with coconut milk and pieces of ginger, and once the rice is ready, the actual pieces of ginger are removed; what you are left with is a mild ginger flavoring infused into the rice,” says Chaowasaree of this popular starch that is unique to the restaurant.

Studies show that ginger offers gastrointestinal relief, helps with nausea and vomiting, and is anti-inflammatory. Great! So, future husband, just treat me to a bowl of Steamed Coconut Milk Ginger Brown Rice, and it’s smooth sailing from there.

Chef Chai
Pacifica Honolulu
1009 Kapiolani Blvd.
585-0011

Hoku’s

Hoku's Cantaloupe, Carrot, Lime and Ginger Juice ($10 a la carte)

Hoku’s Cantaloupe, Carrot, Lime and Ginger Juice ($10 a la carte)

The Kahala Hotel & Resort’s star of a restaurant, Hoku’s, illuminates Hawaii’s dining scene with its award-winning, avant-garde dishes etched with Asian, Hawaiian and European influences. Hoku’s ultimately is my pick for Sunday brunch, as it shines a new light on contemporary island cuisine. The fine-dining restaurant has received international accolades for its Sunday brunch, which is offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Priced at $65 per person and $32.50 for children ages 6-12, the buffet line features a life-changing array of everything from Butter Poached King Crab Legs to Hoku’s Eggs Benedict, Pacific Lobster, Banana Fresh Toast and more. Of course, the purpose is to enjoy and indulge, but to not cleanse with a chilled glass of Cantaloupe, Carrot, Lime and Ginger Juice would be a shame. Imagine two parts cantaloupe, one part carrot, lime and ginger freshly juiced and served over ice or chilled, and garnished with a zest of lime.

Chef de cuisine Michael Imada says the juice is rich in antioxidants, and boosts the immune system.

“Ginger possesses numerous therapeutic properties, and gives the juice that wow factor and zing. We wanted to offer something refreshing and healthy to our guests that would stimulate their palates.”

The juice is complimentary with the buffet, and also is served a la carte at the restaurant for $10. With a total of 166 calories, the refreshingly vibrant juice is packed with vitamins and nutrients, making me healthy and happy.

Hoku’s
The Kahala Hotel & Resort
5000 Kahala Ave.
739-8888