"" Writer's Wanderings: Papaya, Pickled Mango, and Huli Huli Chicken-Yum!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Papaya, Pickled Mango, and Huli Huli Chicken-Yum!

On our first visit to the Farmers' Market near the condo on Maui, we saw lots of people carrying papaya away. The proprietors were pointing out the fruit that was ready to eat and the ones that needed a day or two to ripen. Good information to have when it's produce you're unfamiliar with. We picked up a papaya that needed one more day to ripen and cut into it the next day.

I couldn't remember if the seeds were edible or not and I wasn't ready to experiment. I found out later that they are and have a peppery taste. I peeled the papaya, sliced the fruit, and tasted a piece before setting it in the refrigerator for a meal later. I was disappointed that it seemed a bit tart. I remembered it being a sweet fruit. The next day when we decided to eat it, I was surprised to find that it had sweetened. Still, it's not as sweet as a ripened mango.

Along our journey on a Saturday when there were lots of locals out enjoying the beaches and the surf, we happened upon a roadside stand selling pickled mango. Sounded interesting. We stopped. The gal gave us several different samples of mango as well as sweet Hawaiian onion and we decided on the sweet/tart pickled mango. It must be a popular item because as we stood there, one fellow bought three cartons from her. We enjoyed the pickled mango like you would a pickle on the side of your sandwich.

Here's a recipe I found for them. They look easy enough to make but there is a special Hawaiian sea salt that has a pink color. And you have to be careful that you don't get the mangoes in the store that are too soft.

Pickled Mango
3 cups green mango slices
1 cup rice vinegar
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup Hawaiian salt

Place mango slices in a clean glass jar. Combine vinegar, sugar and salt in a non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil. When sugar and salt are dissolved, remove from heat and cool to lukewarm. Pour over mangoes. Cover and let stand for 24 hours, then store in refrigerator

Each weekend on a beach we passed to get to church, we saw a homemade sign next to a large grill that said, "Huli Huli Chicken". A group of people cooked and sold this wonderful offering each weekend. We got there too late on a Saturday when they sold out, but managed to connect the next day on the way back from church. And were we glad we did! It was delicious. We got a large size plate (actually a carry out plastic box) and split the meal that included rice and sweet corn.
[I apologize for the sideways picture. It came from my iPhone and I can't get it to stay in the right position when it posts.]

Curious to what Huli Huli meant, we did some Internet research and discovered that Huli Huli is the name of the BBQ sauce. Apparently it's named that because huli was the word that Hawaiians used to indicate that the meat/poultry on the grill needed to be turned. It is quite popular and the site where I found it for sale says that there are lots of roadside stands that use it for weekend BBQs.

So there you have it. Some Hawaiian flavors available most any place you live--thanks to the Internet and delivery companies.

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