Sausage is the Missing Link

Columns Ono, You Know

November 30, 2014

Story By: Alana Folen | Photos by: Anthony Consillio

Thanksgiving really snuck up on us this year. Now, it’s day three of leftovers — turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberries, yams, pumpkin pie — you name it, it’s probably in the fridge.

Stuffing is my main dish. No joke. Why? Because of the chunks of Italian and Portuguese sausage, which stand out like diamonds in the rough. Now, of course, it’s usually the turkey that receives all the glory at Thanksgiving Day gatherings — but really, what other time of the year do we pay homage to the bird in this high regard? When does the craving for turkey hit other than Thanksgiving? Heck, if I could swap turkey for any other kind of meat, I totally would. I have a deep affinity for steak and sausages — you know … beef!

Before you object, I appreciate everything that Thanksgiving stands for, and the feast as a whole is amazing. But I’ve had turkey prepared every possible way, and it just doesn’t live up to the real essence of beef. Ever wonder what it would be like if sausage replaced turkey next Thanksgiving? Awesome! So, as we consider that notion, if sausage is what you’re after, the following OYK eateries sizzle it up real good! Now, to make myself a plate of leftover stuffing …

Max’s of Manila

When you think Max’s of Manila, you probably think of Max’s famous fried chicken. When I think Max’s of Manila, I think Longsilog. Yum! If Longsilog is foreign to you, you must acquaint yourself with this amazing dish, and then you’ll fully understand why Max’s is the place for the best home-cooked Filipino cuisine.

Priced at $7.50, Longsilog, which features Filipino-style pork sausage with garlic rice and eggs, is a breakfast favorite, but according to Maly San Luis, general manager of Max’s Hawaii locations (Waipahu and Dillingham), the Filipino-style sausage is perfect at any time of the day.

“The pork sausage is steamed, then pan-fried, and seasoned with garlic and pepper,” says San Luis, when asked to describe the simple preparation process.

The sausage is referred to as Longanisa in Tagalog, and tastes best when paired with steaming hot garlic rice, each morsel more nom-worthy than the next. Equal parts sweet and savory come with every bite.

It’s no surprise that Longsilog ranks high on my list of comfort foods.

Max’s of Manila
801 Dillingham Blvd.

Sushi YuZu

Marching to the beat of its own drum, Sushi YuZu in Ko Olina exhibits creative culinary stylings relative to traditional Japanese cuisine sparked with bold ingredients and eclectic inspiration.

Sushi YuZu's Grilled Spicy Sausage ($8.95)

Sushi YuZu’s Grilled Spicy Sausage ($8.95)

Last May, owners Isamu and Moco Kubota opened the sister restaurant of YuZu in Ala Moana Hotel with hopes to breathe new life into izakaya-style sushi. While the Japanese citrus fruit, yuzu, is incorporated into the majority of items on the menu, sous chef Zach Inouye highlights spicy with the popular appetizer Grilled Spicy Sausage. Priced at $8.95 for five pieces, black pig spicy sausage is grilled until tender and juicy. Can you take the heat? I am a lover of all things spicy, so, of course, I was thrilled to find out that each link of sausage is generously seasoned with shichimi togarashi, a common Japanese spice mixture containing seven ingredients, including white and black sesame seeds, ground ginger, yuzu peel, nori and coarsely ground red chili pepper as the main ingredient.

The concept is basic, but the taste is anything but ordinary. Each bite of sausage awakens your senses and adds an extra kick to your step.

Sushi YuZu
92-1047 Olani St.

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best