I'm really not sure what I was doing. I SWEAR I hit the "publish post" button, but I guess I didn't. I must've lapsed a lot because I found several of these "drafts" just hanging in limbo. So without further ado, here is where my head was in July 2010. . .
Lately I've been really ono for okazuya food. On my recent trip to Honolulu, I passed by Fukuya and wondered if they still make that awesome fried hash. Fried hash and chow funn from Fukuya were treasured parts of my weekend fare when I lived on Oahu. Unless you've actually had fried hash from Fukuya, you might have a difficult time grasping what it is.
Fried hash is NOT a corned beef hash patty like the kind offered at most okazuyas. In fact, I can't definitively say there is actually potato in Fukuya's fried hash. Same goes for corned beef. What I can say is that fried hash is your typical "patty" shape. Its roughly a 2" diameter disc thats about 1/2" tall and pan fried just a shade past golden brown. Its almost like a sweet potato mochi patty I had at some meeting, but I cannot say with conviction that it contains mochiko either. Sad. If anyone out there knows how to make Fukuya's fried hash, please let me in on the recipe. I promise I won't open up an quasi-Fukuya here in Hilo.
So far, this blog has been filled with many doubtful thoughts, so I'm going to go the other way and tell you what I do know. I know that my Aunty Betty makes THE BEST corned beef hash. Aunty Betty lives in Mt. View, and on occasion, when work took me to Ka'u, I would stop at Aunty Betty's on the way home and have lunch with her. Aunty Betty would ask me what I wanted to eat, and I would always request her corned beef hash. No okazuya can touch her hash.
What separates Aunty Betty's hash from others is the way she prepares the potatoes. Most people boil potatoes and mash them. Then they add in other ingredients. This is how Mom does her, and I will admit here that for most of my life, Mom's corned beef hash was great . . . until I had Aunty Betty's. Aunty Betty doesn't cook her potatoes before adding in the other ingredients; she grates raw potatoes and then combines the raw potato shreds with corned beef (canned, of course), egg, parsley, salt and pepper. Then she plops them in an oiled pan, flattens the plops and cooks them until golden brown. Same thing with the other side. The result is a slightly scraggly patty with potato shreds which still have body. Mmmmmm.
Unlike my previous posts, this post doesn't have a recipe after the jump. I've just included pictures of Aunty Betty's Hash. Well, not exactly Aunty Betty's Hash. I made the hash, using Aunty Betty's method. I've been eating her hash for nearly a decade, and no matter how I try, her hash still comes out better.
But for those of you who still do the double-cooked potato method, here is a trick Mom taught me for getting those patties really nice. After you flatten them into patty shapes, dust them lightly with flour before frying. The flour will hold the patties together. Trust me, the patties look really nice, but still, when it comes to great hash, scraggly looking or not, NOBODY can touch Aunty Betty's hash.