So, I shared in a previous post about how we didn't get to go to Maui for Memorial Day Weekend, but instead took off on an impromptu adventure up the coast. We weren't going to waste any time crying about the whole thing. We jumped on the opportunity to get creative and come up with ways to have fun with some camping and cooking ideas. Because of our awesome and relaxed mind from all the meditation, (and yoga for me. He doesn't really dig the yoga like I do), we were excited to bring a little bit of Hawaii to us! Namely, Hawaiian-inspired snacks, beverages and cooking! We were going to camp, and we were going to camp in style! Because food is too awesome like that, we had a blast going to the Asian grocery stores to explore. In SF, the choices are: Nijiya Market (a Japanese grocery store) in Japantown, Manila Oriental Market (MOM for short, ha!) in the Outer Mission District, and Kukje (a Korean market) in Daly City. Nijiya was the closest, so off we went!
You wouldn't believe how fast we saw this bottle of Hawaiian water. Stocked next to all of the funny-named Japanese beverages (i.e. Pocari Sweat) and various sweetened green teas, there was no doubt that we would take this Hawaiian Isles bottle with us on our camping trip. Look at it. She was calling our name silently with her Lei and dance.
Above this water bottle were also cans of Hawaiian coffee! Sweet! Literally sweet, because it was blended with milk and sugar...mmm...just the way I like it! Not being an avid coffee drinker, I tend to only drink it in rare occasions like this. Just as long as there's milk and sugar. The "mister" likes his bitter, so he'll only have a little taste of this. More for me. Nom nom nom.
100% Bottled Water from Hawaii!
Blended Coffee with Milk from Hawaii Kona (or at least the label says it is)
Next on our delectable menu was Spam Musubi, a snack that's popular on the islands. It looks like a piece of sushi, except there's no fish involved! Also, sushi doesn't look like a rice hamburger like this. Sometimes, the slice of spam is on top of the rice, but we are Rogue Yogis so we can make this however the fuck we want. :)
We already had seaweed sheets and rice at home. What we needed was a can of Spam. I hoped the market would carry a subset of low-sodium Spam (I'm a yogi foodie, but I do care about my sodium intake, yo!), but they only had the normal Spam. Again, being lazy and on "vacation", we decided to just make do and grab the can.
To balance out the saltiness of the normal Spam, we decided to scramble some eggs and make a nice flat omelette-like layer. Sandwiched between two layers of rice, it worked out perfectly well! We were actually stuffed after eating 2 of these pieces. But, not enough to hit food coma, so we took a gorgeous hike for several miles to burn it off and eat some more.
By the time we got back, we were hungry AF! (If you don't know what "AF" means, it means "as F*ck!!").
Thankfully, we had made a bowl of brown-rice and tuna sashimi! Also known as a "poke bowl", it's such a clean yet tasty meal! With chopped up green onions from our backyard, we mixed in some Sriracha and soy sauce. The tuna sashimi was a bit pricey, so we only got one tray and chopped it up for this bowl. Tasty AF!!!
For dinner, we wanted to make Japanese hot pot. Known as "Shabu Shabu", this is the PERFECT thing to slurp on as the sun sets and as the weather cools down into the night. Not only do you get to choose what veggies you want, you also get to choose what seafood and/or thinly-sliced meats go into your belly!
Napa cabbage is always at the top of our list for veggies, followed by dino kale and green onions. Usually, you will see Spinach as an option at a shabu-shabu restaurant. In our case, we just hate that weird after-taste feeling all over our teeth when we eat too much Spinach. Dino Kale softens up real nice after simmering in the hot water, and leaves NO funky teeth feeling.
To join the veggies, we picked up some enoki mushrooms. These are the very thin, very long white stems with a tiny cap at the end. They are sold as one entire bunch and shrink-wrapped to keep them from going bad. Funny enough, there weren't any shiitake mushrooms at this Japanese market. Usually, there isn't an issue getting them even at American grocery stores. Ah, well. We weren't feeling like driving through the SF traffic to find them haha. Our lazy asses just stuck with what we could find here.
For protein sources, we grabbed some FIRM tofu ("soft" tofu tends to break apart easily in the pot), fried fish cake, fish balls, and specialized "shabu-shabu" sliced lamb and pork. Some markets will have chicken, kobe beef and other sliced steak as alternative choices. For starchy carbs (which I can be addicted to, don't judge me), we picked up some Udon noodles without any soup base since we were creating our own broth by tossing all of this shit into the pot and letting it do its magic. Glass noodles could do really well, too, since they take only 10 seconds to cook! If you're that hungry and have no patience, go for the glass noodles, haha.
Seriously, though! What other way would you bring Hawaii to YOU?! This was a really fun and collaborative thing to do in the midst of flowing with life's abrupt changes. Keeping things light-hearted and silly was just what made this whole trip worth it. I mean, isn't that what happens on a normal basis? Things change on you, whether you wanted them to or not. You may not be able to control these changes, but you can have the ability to handle the way you deal with them.