When I travel, a visit to the local farmer’s markets is always high on my list and the one at Kapiolani Community College (KCC) on Saturday mornings in Honolulu has become my favourite. I love the PDX Saturday market, but this one edges that out for its fantastic location at the foot of Diamond Head, the hi-def colours of the produce in the market and the wonderful sun that hits your skin in the middle of winter. The best thing is that this market truly caters to tourists with its high number of ready-to-eat items showcasing their amazing local ingredients with a Japanese flair. I guess that can be a bad thing though, as over the last few years, it’s becoming overrun by tourists and the long lines can be a bit unbearable. I’ve just learned to go early and visit the stalls that don’t have lines because just because it hasn’t hit the pages of the Japanese tour books, doesn’t mean it’s not delicious.
The abalone stall usually has a long line-up, but it didnt on the day I visited so I took the opportunity to suck back a few.
I didnt realize that there was a assortment of condiments that I could have topped these creatures with, but they were perfect on their own! I prefer them raw, but these were only lightly grilled, so they retained their delicate taste and texture.
Ichigo Daifuku (strawberry mochi) were next. As much as a food lover as I am, abalone was a bit much as my first taste of the day. This was a lot more appropriate.
Made up of sweet glutinous rice, sweet red bean and a kiss of Hawaiian strawberry, I cant help feeling like a kid when I eat this, (although I hated the red bean part as a kid).
At this point, I needed to take a break from eating, so I strolled around the market to delight in the colourful bounty of Oahu.
It wasnt long before I became distracted by the food again. These sushi surf sliders made of ahi tuna topped tempura kale was very unique. The sturdy, yet lightly fried kale was a wonderful vehicle for the generously sauced ahi tuna.
In between buying food, I did some sampling as well.
I wasnt going to bother with the long line at Pacicikool, but since theyve closed their Waikiki beach stand I knew this was my only chance of getting their ginger cooler. Ive tried replicating this at home, with homemade ginger syrup, lemon, basil and carbonated water but its never the same. Maybe being in Hawaii makes it taste better.
I couldnt leave the market without having some sweet papaya with a squeeze of lemon!
Feeling stuffed, but totally happy… another successful adventure at the Farmer’s Market!
Kapiolani Community College Farmer’s Market – 4303 Diamond Head Rd, HNL Saturdays from 7:30-11am