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Saturday, August 5, 2017

MY BEST SAIMIN EVER

Only in Hawaii can you order saimin, so much so that my computer keeps changing the spelling.  Well, maybe Las Vegas is the other exception.  The origin of this dish is China, where "sai" means thin and "min" stands for noodle.  They brought the original version during the old plantation era.  However, saimin itself now has been enhanced by the infusion of Japanese ramen and Filipino pancit, with the further addition of what was locally available:  kamaboko (fishcake), char siu (barbecue red-colored pork), spam (Spam--made from pork), linguica (Portuguese cured pork), nori (dried seaweed) and chopped green onions.

My best saimin ever began yesterday, when I was still celebrating my best year of my life.  On the 17th hole of the Ala Wai Golf Course, I drove my ball 264 yards.  Well, the wind was fierce and exactly in the direction of the flying dimpled spheroid.  Did I tell you I have new golf clubs?  No, not the set I bought on Day 37 of Pat's Global Adventure, when I splurged on Callaways.

After using the set for nearly three months, I was unhappy with two of the 14 clubs, so I went to Roger Dunn in Honolulu (a partner of Golf Mart San Francisco) and asked to change these two.  Essentially, they said they can't.  I must return all the clubs.  What a waste, as the others were okay.  They did not have exactly those clubs in senior graphite, so I picked Cobras.  To my surprise and guilt, also provided was a golf credit card worth just over $500, for Cobras are cheaper than Callaways.

It was that King Cobra to the top left that was used for the 264 yard drive.  I still retained that Callaway 3-wood, which was an accessory not related to the set.

Anyway, I felt like celebrating, so on the way home I went to Tamashiro's and bought a fatty blue fin tuna, plus opihi (sea snail or Cellana or limpet) and ogo (seaweed).  The best part to this stop was that I ran into my closest childhood friend, Kenneth, who ran Horimoto Fishmarket, and his wife Shirleen.  
His father and older brother passed away from heart ailments when they were in their 50's.  Kenneth is alive because he has gone to Stanford Medical Center at least six times now, the most recently this spring.  My first statement when I saw him was, what, you're still alive?  He is 77 and looks good.  Next time I'll think of something a bit more upbeat.    Don't have his photo, but that is Shirleen in this photo (second from left), for Kenneth is now into breeding koi.

Anyway, that tuna chunk below alone cost about $50:


I had some frozen Costco blue plate ribeye:


This is where I saw a package of Sun saimin, which I must have bought last year.  I saved some of the fish for the next day, but last night:


I enjoyed watching the sunset:


Finally, getting to my best saimin ever, I had two kinds of fish cake, a gobo version from Amano and the standard kamaboko.  


When I grew up, Red and White Kamaboko had their factory a block from where I lived on Ahui Street.  I still remember getting free samples.  Similarly, one of the pleasures of life is stopping by the Amano Fish Cake Factory in Hilo, buying one tempura and immediately eating it while it was so hot that you had to be really careful.  

Thus, my best saimin links to remembrances and friendships.  Plus it was another sparkling Honolulu day.  
And, the added green onion came from my herb garden growing next to my computer where I'm composing this posting.

You might ask, why do I bother to make saimin in my apartment when I can go down to the dining room and have it for free.  First, all the noodles served here are not at the correct al dente firmness.  This is also so for just about anywhere you go in town.  In Tuscany, al dente means a tad crisp in the center.  That's too toothy for me.  In addition, where can you get chu-toro (fatty blue fin tuna) with your saimin, and my view.  Adding some sake to the broth could have been another difference maker.

Before my continuation of Typhoon Noru's path, I just must convince you to link on Celine Tam from America's Got Talent.  She is all of nine years old and this week got the Golden Buzzer.  There is a maturity about her that is wonderful and fascinating.  Okay, if you are reading this and failed to click, I implore you to go back.

Further, you've already missed most of his films today, as for example, Brigadoon, but Gene Kelly is being featured on TCM. Showing now is Anchors Aweigh with Frank Sinatra and Kathryn Grayson, to be followed by Singing in the Rain (100 rating from Rotten Tomatoes) at 2 PM Hawaii time (8 PM EDT).  Inherit the Wind shows at 4PM in Hawaii (10PM EDT), where Kelly plays a character patterned after H.L. Mencken, who reported on that Scopes trial.  Next at 6:30PM (12:30 AM EDT) in Hawaii, On the Town ("only" 96 from Rotten Tomatoes), where he also directs.  He directs/stars in It's Always Fair Weather at 8:15PM Hawaii (2:15 EDT), which also got a reviewers' rating of 100 from Rotten Tomatoes, and is, effectively, On the Town six years later, with no Frank Sinatra, but with Cyd Charisse.

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Typhoon Noru, barely at hurricane strength, is shifting again, now to be east of Kagoshima, with a path directly over Miyazaki, then Shikoku Island, and next perhaps Kobe:


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