On the Road to Recovery With Ginger By My Side

Columns Ono, You Know

June 9, 2012

Story By: Dining Out Team |

Happy Sunday, Ono readers! It’s been one brutal week for me. I recently caught a pesky virus that I just couldn’t seem to rid of. Fever, body aches, dizziness, nausea, chills, sore throat, congestion and cough attacks that kept me up all night — you name it, I had it.

Yet, of course, we all know that there’s no rest for the weary, and even though I was lacking an appetite (that’s a first!), I knew I had to make the most of my illness. So, for what it’s worth, I figured why not explore the realms of ginger? A fleshy and aromatic root, ginger has been used in cooking and healing for centuries, and is believed to be a powerful antioxidant that can relieve many health problems, including cough, headache, nausea, dizziness and more. Superb! I was in luck!

So, this week, I ventured on the road to recovery and submerged myself in a complete ginger paradise. And thanks to the following Ono, You Know establishments and their premier ginger specialties, I’m starting to feel like myself once again!

Canton Seafood Restaurant

To begin my search for ono grinds to help rid this cold of mine, I headed to Canton Seafood Restaurant on Keeaumoku Street. Open daily from 10 a.m. to midnight, this popular eatery among locals boasts tasty and authentic Northern Chinese cuisine, including a wide array of flavorful entrees highlighting ginger.

“We have Ginger Chicken, Oyster with Ginger and Onion Sizzling Platter, Ginger and Green Onion Lo Mein (noodles), Chinese Broccoli with Ginger Sauce — there’s so many ginger items on the menu,” says assistant manager Elvin Man.

And while all of these options are alluring in their own right, it was Canton Seafood’s Beef with Ginger and Onion ($10.99) and Sauteed Seabass Filet with Ginger and Onion ($11.99) that made my mouth water with absolute delight.

Beef with Ginger and Onion is a classic as it’s sauteed to perfection and features morsels of tender beef, slices of fresh ginger and a dash of green onion. Not a meat eater? Sauteed Seabass Filet with Ginger and Onion also packs on a punch with its abundance of ginger flair, and the house special shoyu sauce that accompanies it is nothing short of amazing.

“We use a lot of ginger in our dishes because it tastes good and it’s also very good for your health,” Man explains. “There’s an old Chinese proverb that says, ‘Every good quality is contained in ginger.’ Ginger is an excellent source of minerals, especially potassium and vita-min B6.”

So, with that I piled my plate full of these glorious ginger creations and a scoop of rice, certain that I’d be on my way back to health with the very first bite!

Canton Seafood Restaurant
923 Keeaumoku St.
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Anytime Cafe

Anytime I’m feeling down, Anytime Cafe knows how to lift my spirits with its renowned signature cuisine. And now that I’m under the weather, this coveted eatery located in Market City Shopping Center has definitely helped to cure this persistent cold.

As soon as I inquired about the restaurant’s ginger specialties, owner Cindy Wong wasted no time in presenting me with Hai-Nan Chicken Rice. Priced at $12.75 (add $2 for thigh portion), this succulent dish features pieces of tender chicken wing and breast, which is cooked in a house special sauce that is jaw-droppingly good and decorated with bits of green onion.

“The chicken soaks up all the flavors of the sauce, so it’s very tasty as is, but it’s also served with ginger and spicy sauce on the side for added flavor,” Wong states, noting that the entree comes with seasoned rice and a bowl of hot chicken broth as well.

And I must admit, giving in to anything ginger, I fell in love with the ginger sauce, a zesty concoction of just the right amounts of grated ginger and green onion. According to Wong, I’m not the only one who’s a fan of Hai-Nan Chicken Rice.

“It’s doing really well at the restaurant, a lot of people like it,” she says. “This dish is especially popular in Hong Kong and Singapore. It’s a healthy choice, it’s not deep-fried.”

Anytime Cafe
Market City Shopping Center
2919 Kapiolani Blvd. #218
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Nuuanu Okazuya

Ginger, ginger, ginger abounds at Nuuanu Okazuya, my go-to hot spot that caters to all my okazu cravings. This gem of an eatery has been around for nearly three decades, and today you’ll find owner Mark Kitagawa and manager Johnathan Mosley diligently working away, constantly creating new ono options. Take Nuuanu Okazuya’s andagi, for example. With 80 flavors on the andagi menu alone, you won’t know what hit you.

“It’s like playing with vanilla ice cream,” Mosley explains. “You just start playing with flavors that you’re familiar with or gain ideas from other people, and that’s where all the flavors come from.”

Where was I to even begin? My sweet tooth doesn’t subside, even when I’m ill. So, hoping to get the best of both worlds, the choice was easy, and I opted to sample three different varieties of Mosley’s famous ginger andagi. Priced at 75 cents each, you can have your fill of Minced Ginger Andagi, Powdered Ginger Andagi or Gingerbread Andagi.

“They’re all andagi, so, of course, they will have the crunchy outside and soft inside, but with the minced ginger andagi the ginger is more pronounced because it’s minced, whereas the powdered ginger is much more blended into the dough itself,” Mosley explains. Oh, and if you’re wondering about Gingerbread Andagi, my oh my, it’s my absolute favorite — it tastes exactly like fried gingerbread. Yum!

While the 80 andagi flavors rotate on a regular basis here at Nuuanu Okazuya, Mosley says there will surely be ginger andagi available starting today — and I’m quite certain they will sell like hot cakes … or andagi, for that matter!

Nuuanu Okazuya
1351 Nuuanu Ave.
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