Photo by Aaron Feinberg
Editorial Note – The recipes presented within this department, Cooking Fresh are without directions and measurements. Here is a quote from chef Adam Watten that will help guide you.
“My hope was that I could translate the process of approaching food this way to print. By doing so, my thought was that we could teach people to look at the cooking process differently. They now have to be much more engaged and open to the concept that cooking can be more than a repetitive process. They assume more of a role in the act itself. It becomes an intimate experience and adds another level of excitement to making a meal. It helps create awareness of our time and place here in Hawaii. The recipes do require some knowledge of cooking. I think that most of your readership will have the ability to make any of those dishes. By showing people this method we can hopefully empower them to eat this way. I believe that it’s good for our small local producers, our health, and our collective well-being.”
Course: Main Course
Author: Adam Watten


  • Cast Iron Skillet
  • Knife
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Fine Mesh Strainer



  • Opakapaka Filets (Skin Removed)
  • Cassava And 'Ulu Flour (50/50)
  • Salt
  • Lime Juice
  • Rendered Pork Fat
  • Katuk Blossoms (For Garnish)

Kaua'i Legume Ragout

  • Lima Beans
  • Wing beans
  • Green Onion (Root End)
  • Ginger (Grated)
  • Ni'oi
  • Preserved Limequats
  • Cilantro (Chopped)
  • Opal Basil (Chiffonade)
  • Kaffir Lime (Zest And Juice)
  • Coconut Water
  • Salt
  • Pink Peppercorns
  • Meyer Lemon (Juice)
  • Lemongrass Stalks (Bruised)

Vegetable Torchon

  • 'Ulu (Chips, Ripe, Roasted)
  • Moloka'i Yams (Blanch)
  • Jackfruit (Green, Braised)
  • Squash (Kabocha Or Similar)
  • Ginger (Juiced)
  • Galangal (Juiced)
  • Turmeric (Juiced)
  • Chives (Chopped)
  • Garlic Chives (Chopped)
  • Cilantro (Chopped)
  • Thai Basil (Chopped)
  • Calamansi (Juiced)
  • Salt
  • Sunflower Shoots (For Garnish)
  • Nasturtiums (For Garnish)

Jackfruit Seed Poi

  • Jackfruit Seeds (Braised)
  • Water
  • Salt

Banana Sauce

  • Banana (Cooking Variety)
  • Garlic Chives
  • Green Onion
  • Cilantro (Roots)
  • Turmeric
  • Galangal
  • Ni'oi
  • Water
  • Lychee Vinegar
  • Calamansi
  • Thai Basil (Stems)
  • Coconut Oil


Prepare Opakapaka.

  • Remove skin from Opakapaka and portion to desired size and reserve. 
  • Mix flours and reserve.
  • Heat cast iron skillet to medium heat.
  • Season and dredge fish in flour.
  • Sear in pork fat, flip when golden brown, cook till heated through.
  • Finish with avocado oil and katuk blossoms.

Prepare Kaua'i Legume Ragout.

  • Sweat green onions and chilis in pork fat.
  • Add preserved limequat and ginger, continue sweating.
  • Add beans, coco water, and lemongrass.
  • Season with salt and pink peppercorns, cook until tender and thickened.
  • Finish with cilantro and basil.

Prepare Vegetable Torchon.

  • Cook fruits and vegetables separately.
  • Lay out plastic wrap and season vegetables with juices and herbs, roll tightly to compress.
  • To serve slice torchon into rounds and sear till brown in a large hot cast iron skillet.
  • Serve with ulu chips, sunflower shoots, and nasturtiums.

Prepare Jackfruit Seed Poi.

  • Cook jackfruit seeds in water or liquid of your choosing, blend with cooking liquid once soft.
  • Season with salt to taste and pass through a fine mesh strainer.

Prepare Banana Sauce.

  • Sweat the green onions, garlic chives, cilantro, chilis, ginger, and Galangal in coconut oil.
  • Add lychee vinegar then bananas and water, simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  • Season with salt and calamansi juice.