HULA’S KITCHEN: PART 1

Every time we visit Japan, we always visit Aya’s friend Kio. They met way back in the fifth grade and have kept in contact all these years. She was even one of Aya’s bridesmaids in our wedding. I find that quite impressive considering the long distance between. It would have been very easy for them to lose touch with each other. Through their friendship I met Kio’s mom, Izumi, at our wedding party in Japan. And with the power of Facebook, her mom and I are now “friends.” She doesn’t speak very much English and I don’t speak Japanese, but we both understand the same language; FOOD.

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THANKSGIVING KOROKKE

One Japanese food that’s always good to eat is korokke (croquette). Korokkes are a mashed potato patty with a filling coated in panko and then deep fried. Fillings can vary. Meat, cheese, vegetables, and all the combinations. While it’s fun to eat, it’s not super fun to make because they are very labor intensive. That’s why I usually only make them once a year and make enough to keep in the freezer. And with a mountain of leftover mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving dinner, it’s the perfect time to make them.

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LEFT-OVER TURKEY RAMEN

Every year my wife “vulture-izes” (as my mom calls it) the turkey carcass. Every little bit of meat is scraped clean and either eaten during this process or saved aside for future use. With these scavenged bones, wings and legs, I make a hearty homemade turkey broth. This broth makes the perfect base to make turkey ramen! (Now, when I say ramen, I’m not talking about authentic Japanese ramen. So all you ramen purists out there, keep that in mind.)

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TURKEY STUFFING

If I could eat only one thing on Thanksgiving it would be the stuffing. In my opinion, it’s by far the best thing on the table. I like it in the bird, out of the bird, leftover, and even cold out of the fridge. It is the BEST!

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CRANBERRY SAUCE vs. RELISH vs. the canned stuff

Cranberries; a small yet essential part of every Thanksgiving dinner table. It definitely isn’t one of my favorites, but I can’t imagine a Thanksgiving with out it. It would be like a rose that doesn’t bloom. With such importance on a small item, you still have big choices. Are you a relish person, a sauce person, or the canned stuff person?

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