kruizing with kikukat

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Stinky Food: Ulu and Bacalau Salad

I'm dedicating this post to two of the nicest Oregonians I know, Dawn and Mardale.  Dawn and Mardale make up the fantastic School Synergy team.  They have been on the Big Island for several months, assisting schools in KKP with a school audit.  Dawn and Mardale are not just "two haoles who fell off a turnip truck in Puna".  They are honorary kama`aina who have developed quite a penchant for local foods.  In fact, they even brought a bag of seasoned edamame to an audit.

One of the birdwalking conversations at a recent school audit was about breadfruit.  Dawn and Mardale had been very intrigued with breadfruit and were eager to try some.  I'm not sure what they did, but they said it was horrible.  Then Anne gave them an idea of making breadfruit salmon hash.  Dawn said it was out-of-this-world fantastic.  Well, Dawn, I've got something else you can do with breadfruit.  But be warned. . .if the smell of the fried squid made you weak, this breadfruit dish might be something you just enjoy in 2-dimensional form!

There are a few things that I cook which cause the Ds to clear out of the house.  D2 cannot stand the smell of vinegar on the stove.  When I made the sauce for kama (about a month ago), she kept her nose pinched.  But both kids will run out of the house when I cook bacalau.  I think even Desi & Kenni take cover.

I love bacalau.  Growing up, Dad used to soak it in water, cut it into cubes, and deep fry it.  It was great with rice.  Carol & David brought bacalau hash patties to a tennis potluck once, and I thought it was better than corned beef hash patties (except for Aunty Betty's version).  I use bacalau in a potato salad:  bacalau, potato, shoyu & oil.  But when I'm lucky enough to be given ulu (breadfruit), I make spicy, tangy salad with the ulu and bacalau.

click on recipe title for printable recipe

     1 piece bacalau   
     1 firm ulu, peeled, cored & cut into chunks
     2 cloves garlic, smashed
     1 1/2 tbsp rock salt
     1/4 c olive oil
     1/4 c apple cider vinegar
     1 tsp sugar
     1 chili pepper, seeded
     1/4 onion, thinly sliced

Cut bacalau into pieces that will fit into a medium saucepan.  Add water to cover.  Bring to a boil.  Discard water.  Repeat boiling and discarding water 5 more times.  Bacalau should still taste salty.  Pick off bones and shred meat.  Set aside. In a large pot, place ulu, garlic and rock salt.  Add water to cover.  Bring to a boil and cook 15 minutes or until ulu is tender.  Drain water and discard garlic.  Set aside.  Combine olive oil, cider vinegar, sugar, and chili pepper.  Stir until sugar is dissolved.  Smash chili pepper against side ofbowl.  Let sit.  Cut cooked ulu chunks into 3/4" pieces.  Combine with with sliced onions and shredded bacalau.  Remove chili pepper from oil mixture and pour oil mixture over ulu.  Toss gently.  Chill until ready to serve.

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