April 28, 2006, Volume 6 Number 17
Dear " Guam Food Guy" Reader,
This past Saturday I had the pleasure once again to be a judge in the 4th Geran Kaddon Pika Competition aka The Battle of the Hot & Spicy Competition, which is an annual event held by the Chamorro Studies & Special Projects Division of the Guam Public School System. This event has two categories - Middle School Category and High School, with three teams competing in both for prizes. The prepping, cooking, and tasting activities took place under a large canopy occupying the corner of the parking lot near the entrance of the Tamuning Cost-U-Less.
It was great to see these young people so involved in preparing this Chamorro favorite hot and spicy chicken dish. They had to start from scratch by cutting up the garlic, ginger, onions, tomatoes, chili peppers, and egg plant, then adding it to a stock pot filled with chicken pieces. This combination simmered into a spicy stew that the judges had to rank according to six different criteria, with the first being if the dish reflected the Chamorro aspect of how kaddon pika is made and prepared. Other criteria included taste; use of ingredients for color, appeal and uniqueness; cleanliness; appearance, and adherence to the rules.
The Oceanview Middle School Team, The Pikaroos, won first place in the Middle School Category and also took first place overall, winning over high school teams from Southern High and GW. The event was a fun competition and everyone went away with prizes.
One of the purposes of this event is to learn and maintain the Chamorro culture and language, which is the only language the students could use when writing their recipes and making their signage. The creativity, imagination, and even marketing skills of many of these young people was impressive. Kudos to all the competing teams who battled it out for the best kaddon pika recipe. I look forward to judging again at next year's Geran Kaddon Pika Competition!
Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"
K57 "Tourism & You" - Guam Good Guy Special Bonus Edition
Saturday April 29 10 am-Noon
1st Hour Guest - Clayton Babas, Executive Chef, Guam Reef Hotel
2nd Hour Guest - Liz Gerber, Owner of Latte Stone Cafe in the Acanta Mall This will be an informative show you don't want to miss. Listeners are welcome to call and join in on the conversation. call 477-5700 or * 57 on your cell phone.
Habitat for Humanity Quiz Night Friday May 5
Come join the fun!
Friday, May 5th
What: Team Trivia Challenge + Dinner
Where: Chamorro Ballroom, Guam Marriott Resort & Spa
Why: To raise money for Habitat for Humanity of Guam
How: Pay $180 for a team of six
Top prize is $600 cash. Every team wins a prize. Teams who have paid by Saturday, April 29th will be eligible for a special early bird raffle. For more information call 565-6480 or 475-HOME or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Nana's Cafe Seafood Surprise
If you've not been down to Nana's Cafe (649-7760) in Tumon recently, you'll be in for a pleasant surprise. They've renovated the dining room so that you feel even more of the romance of the tropics than you did before! Nana's is located on the beach between the Outrigger Guam Resort and the Guam Reef Hotel, and shares the facility with Sails which features open deck self-barbecue.
On the night of my visit, I wasn't feeling all that hungry and wanted something light and not too spicy to settle my stomach. I noticed the menu was new, too, just introduced in March. I decided on two appetizers, the Nana's Honey Fried Shrimp, and the Tropical Seafood Cocktail, both priced at $6.95. I also ordered the Seafood Salad with King Crab Legs ($12.95). While I waited I perused the menu and marveled at the many intriguing and appealing entrees created by Chef Kishimoto, who is known for his Cajun sauces and other sauce treatments. There were Chicken, Steak, Lobster, and other Seafood entrees, and I will return again with a bigger appetite.
For this night, the Honey Fried Shrimp reminded me of Walnut Shrimp, however, the presentation is much more refined. The white cream sauce has only a slight hint of mayonnaise. The outer coating on the shrimp have a honey glaze fried on which goes well with the green onion flecked sauce.
The Tropical Seafood Cocktail came in a small glass and was another visual wonder...appearing more like a Seafood Sundae, since there was some white cream over several good-sized shrimp and mussels, with a few red pepper corns layered atop this. Just below the cream line is a pond of red cocktail sauce, though this sauce was more like a salsa. Other seafood items were Calamari and scallop pieces.
The highlight of the meal was the Seafood Salad. The King Crab Legs were pre-cut to ease pulling the sweet crabmeat out. There was a light vinaigrette over the greens, thin-sliced red onion, radicchio, and lots of boiled shrimp, calamari, scallop pieces, muscle, and black olives. Three pieces of warm garlic toast came in this attractive bowl that was backlit by a flickering candle in a coconut shell. This meal was special and really hit the spot!
Garlic House for Charm and Flavor
Another charming place that I like to visit is the Garlic House on the ground floor of the Tumon Capital Hotel. We stopped in the other night and had a half size portion of Mixed Green Salad with Boiled Egg ($6.98), a half size order of the Anchovy, Olive & Caper Spaghetti in a Tomato Sauce ($8.98), a half size order of the Spaghetti in a Garlic Oil Base with Basil ($7.98), and the Fried Guam Fish for $8.98, which happened to be a fish called Kasau, which was a tiny, flavorful fish like a miniature red snapper with white meat and fine bones. This came with sauteed onions and tomato chunks.
We also had the famous Garlic Toast...which is a treat all on its own!
The next item we tried was the Chef's Recommendation for that night, which happened to be a salmon steak on a bed of greens with a sliced onion tomato salsa on top, with garlic chips. This is not on the menu so I didn't have it priced (I was "testing it" so to speak). It tasted a lot better than it looked..the salmon was fresh and cooked just the other side of rare so it melted in the mouth.
The Spaghetti Dishes were both quite good - I hadn't yet tried the Basil with the Garlic Oil Base...I'd had the Pepperoncino, which was perfect!
If garlic's your thing, you'll find plenty of it at the Garlic House! 649-9928 is the number to call.
Izakaya Katsu's Ribeye Steak
Tumon's Izakaya Katsu, aka "The Green Door" is a legendary eatery known for its superb Tofu Steak, Panko Fried Prawns, Unagi, Grilled Saba, and Salads. It's on the 3rd floor of the Central Building (you'll find Chuan Fu Chinese on the ground floor)
I'd been urged several times by Yokho Soma, co-owner of Katsu, to try the Ribeye Steak, as it has become quite popular for steak lovers. Priced at $25, this Ribeye weighs about 16 oz. and is served on a sizzling platter atop a bed of sauteed bean sprouts. It has been marinated in soy sauce and garlic, so it has a distinct taste and is quite tender (I ordered it medium). Ribeye steaks are well-marbled cuts, so there's a lot of flavor and the meat is very tender, so it seems to melt in your mouth.
We also ordered a Cold Roast Chicken Salad ($12), which seemed to be enough to feed four people!
We also ordered the Fried Garlic Bulbs, which is something you can 't help but love.
We ordered the Crab Croquette Set ($12), since we'd heard that these were a must-try item. There are three of these croquettes on a small plate that comes with a local lemon wedge and a pile of slaw with a Japanese dressing. Crisp on the outside and gooey-soft inside, these Croquettes are a valued luxury to some people. To really enhance the taste experience with the crab cakes, try a little Katsu sauce on these. Reservations are a good idea, 646-0247/8.
Duangdee Thai Cuisine's Thai Finedene
On previous visits to Duangdee Thai, located in the Monticello Plaza next to Cost-U-Less in Tamuning, I've had their fabulous Penang Curry, which is made with long beans. However, on my last two visits, I've fallen in love with an item that is new to me, and they call it "Thai Finedene". It is made with Patis (fish sauce), green onion, lemon, and chilis. Once you eat this, it leaves an impression you won't soon forget. It is not "hot hot", but it is spicy. When you put it on Penang or any curry, it makes you want to keep eating...literally addictive.
Next time you stop into Duangdee, ask owner Arawan or Molly for some of this piquant, savory sauce...you'll be glad you did! Call 646-9779.
Y Kusina's Kadon Pika
It was Monday and Kadon Pika was on special...I'd not had their Kadon Pika for a long time, perhaps a couple of years. I also ordered the Tinala Katne (Dried Beef) with fried Titiyas. This is really fantastic when you add the finadene denanche...there's something about this taste combo that makes each bite irresistible.
When my bowl of Kadon Pika arrived, I just smiled and said to myself, possibly out loud, "Now that's Kadon Pika"! After judging the Geron Kadon Pika competition earlier that week, I could tell the difference immediately since Y Kusina uses stewing chickens, which require a lot longer cooking time since they are tough old birds!
The schools used regular chicken, since they had to cook within an hour's time. Y Kusina's Kadon Pika is comfort food, cooked for a long time with lots of love and attention so there's lots of flavor and substance in each bite, with boonie pepper fragments throughout. The gravy is thick and ladles easily over steamed rice, imparting its magical taste to transform rice to a gourmet entree.
The best part of eating kadon pika is the pleasure in eating each piece, relishing the pika flavor and releasing the sinewy meat from the bones. I'm getting hungry just writing about this! Gof mannge!
Call Y Kuisina at 646-2052 and check out their lunch specials here.
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