And I Can Cook, Too

Monday, May 22, 2006

May 5, 2006

Art Enthusiast Bar None

To kick off Kim’s birthday weekend in style, the gang arranged to meet at HASR Wine Bar for a quick tasting, to be followed by strolling the streets for Honolulu’s monthly First Friday Art Walk and dinner at Chinatown’s Little Village. Kim and I arrived at the very crowded wine bar to find Walter and Jen smashed into a corner, Jiah slurringly recommending the tequila tasting, and Big Red wondering aloud who he had to **** to get a drink around here. A rather lengthy wait in line resulted in an elbow space at the bar from which I could pass tastings to Kim. As the increasing crowd moved Kim further and further from arms length we decided to move on to the equally crowded Bar 35. Fortunately for us, Big Red is appropriately named. He commanded a 2-foot by 2-foot space at the bar, and we huddled in. Several rounds of dirty martinis later, and it was time for dinner at Little Village. Over Peking duck,, lettuce wraps, green onion pancakes, honey walnut shrimp, 5 bottles of wine, and too much damn eggplant, it dawned on us that we’d managed to avoid seeing a single piece of art.

After dinner, Walter, Kim and I retired to the Waikiki penthouse we’d checked into for the weekend. Over yet more wine, we reminisced about wacky antics from weekends in hotels passed. All was well until Walter determined the necessity of re-living “nude on the lanai”.

I don’t want to talk about it.

Lettuce Wraps

Iceberg Lettuce, leaves separated, washed, and dried
2 tbsp. Soy Sauce
2 tbsp. Oyster Sauce
1 tbsp. Sherry
1 tbsp. Sugar
1 tbsp. Sesame Oil
1 tbsp. Fresh Ginger, minced
1 tbsp. Garlic, minced
½ c. Green Onions, finely chopped
1 lb. Beef, Pork, or Turkey, ground
1 can Water Chestnuts, chopped
1 tbsp. Cooking Oil

Cornstarch Slurry (cornstarch and water mixed together until it is the consistency of heavy cream) Use as necessary.

Bring a frying pan to medium heat. Add the cooking oil and heat. Add the ground meat and sauté until cooked through and just starting to brown. Remove the meat from the pan. Drain all but 1 tbsp. of the remaining fat. Add the garlic, ginger, and green onions and sauté until fragrant. In a separate bowl, combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sherry, sugar, sesame oil, and sugar, and blend. Add the mix to the pan and bring to a simmer. Add the water chestnuts and cooked meat. Simmer for 10 minutes. If the mixture needs thickening, bring it to a boil and add cornstarch slurry, 1 tbsp. at a time. Be sure to bring the mixture back to a boil for a few minutes after each addition.

To serve, spoon a bit of the meat mixture into individual lettuce leaves, and fold the lettuce over to wrap it all up.


  • At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Sarah said…

    oh man, you've got to talk about it! Some of us were stuck in f-ing New York...


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