Getting on the good side of ribs’ master shredders

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September 7, 2014

Story By: Rachel Breit | Photos by: Rachel Breit

Finger-licking backyard-barbecue style grinds await at Kau Kau Grill. The traveling food truck is just the spot to fire up your appetite for proteins so tender there’s no need for a knife.

Dig a fork into the truck’s signature ribs and you’ll see: the meat easily shreds into saucy chunks. But who needs utensils? Eating ribs is that much more satisfying when you get your hands messy. Don’t worry, napkins are standing by.

How does Kau Kau Grill’s team get BBQ Baby Back Ribs ($8 mini, $12 regular) so fantastically fork tender? With a dry rub, a low slow cook and a turn on the grill. Breaking the rack up into individual ribs before grilling ensures there’s an even char on each side. A slathering of sweetish barbecue sauce adds the final touch.

Order the ribs with Krazy Rice ($1 upgrade) for a double dose of barbecue flavor. Kau Kau Grill co-owner Miles Oyasato was just playing around in the kitchen one day when he came up with the spicy barbecue fried rice studded with shredded ribs.

The recipe for Kau Kau Grill’s “Ono” Poke Bowl (spicy or shoyu $8), however, wasn’t stumbled upon by chance. To nail the spicy ahi’s perfect blend of creamy, spicy and a hint of sweet, Oyasato conducted extensive research. “I went around and ate almost every spicy ahi bowl I could find. Whenever I saw one, I’d try it,” he explains. The exact recipe is a secret, but Oyasato readily shares that the fresh ahi is sourced daily from the auction and Kau Kau Grill’s cooks cut it by hand.

Another recipe that’s under wraps is the one used to prepare Garlic Shrimp ($8 mini, $12 regular), but Oyasato is proud to announce one ingredient that’s missing: butter. So much flavor comes from the butterflied shrimp, garlic and seasonings that the dish is simply better without butter. Another bonus: “You don’t have to drive all the way to the North Shore to get it,” says Oyasato.

Kau Kau Grill

Instagram: @kaukaugrill

11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Outside of Central Pacific Plaza at Alakea and King streets

11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Across from HMSA building on Keeaumoku Street

11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Eat the Street
555 South St.

11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Kaheka and Makaloa streets

Through September, 6-11 p.m.

Sept. 13, 2-7 p.m.

Note: Follow on Instagram for up upcoming events. Catering available by calling or emailing in advance.

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