A while back, a friend of mine whose grandparents live on Kaua'i (her grandpa just died, so now it's only her grandmother) tweeted while waiting at Lihue for a flight home to the mainland that if you were to ask any of the flight attendants arriving what their go-to dish at the airport restaurant would be, the hands-down answer would be Portuguese bean soup over fried rice.
Which got me curious. Portuguese bean soup? On Kauai? I googled, of course. And came up with a Portuguese bean soup (sopa de feijao) not from Kauai, but from Oahu— specifically, served up at an annual fund-raising carnival held at the Punahou School, President Obama's alma mater.
Okay. It's a Hawaiian thing. And then to serve it over fried rice? That sounded too good to be true.
And so I will share the recipes here (for my own reference as well). And yes, I will be making both these dishes again. Probably not too long from now. Winter, this one bringing a truly deplorable new administration, is the perfect excuse for comfort food.
2 15-oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 large potatoes, cubed
3 large carrots, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 16-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 16-oz can tomato sauce
1 lb linguica sausage, cubed
1 cup elbow macaroni
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tb sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 medium head of cabbage, cubed
1. Boil ham hocks/ham bone in 2 quarts water until tender (several hours), saving the stock. Cut meat from the bones.
2. Bring ham stock to a boil and add all ingredients except macaroni and cabbage.
3. Simmer 1–2 hours, stirring frequently. Add water if too thick.
4. Add macaroni and cubed cabbage about 10 minutes before done.
Gouveas Portuguese sausage (mail order) gives this soup a real Hawaiian flare.
3 Tb neutral oil, like canola or grapeseed
medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
red bell pepper, stemmed, cored, and roughly chopped
carrots, peeled and finely minced
1 Tb minced garlic, or to taste
cup peas (defrost if frozen)
1Tb minced ginger, or to taste
cups cooked white rice, cooled
eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup Shaoxing wine, or water
2 Tb soy sauce
1 Tb sesame oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup minced cilantro or scallions
1. Put 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok or
a large skillet, and turn heat to high. When
it begins to shimmer, add onion, pepper,
and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally,
until softened and beginning to brown, 5
to 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove
vegetables to a bowl.
2. Drain peas if necessary, and add them to
skillet; cook, shaking pan, for about a minute,
or until hot. Remove them to the bowl.
3. Put remaining oil in the skillet, followed
by garlic and ginger. When the mixture
is fragrant, about 15 seconds later, add
the rice, breaking up clumps with a spoon
as you go along and tossing it with oil.
When the rice is well coated, make a well
in the center and break the eggs into
it. Scramble these, then stir into the rice.
4. Return vegetables to the skillet and stir
to integrate. Add wine or water and cook,
stirring, for approximately 1 minute. Add soy
sauce and sesame oil, then taste and add
salt and pepper if necessary. Turn off heat,
stir in the cilantro, and serve.