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Food & Dining // Heart-y Chef
Diana Helfand

Crisp, Golden Seafood Tofu Patties

Sample locally grown produce and delicious products made in Hawaii Aug. 16-18 at the Made in Hawaii Festival at Blaisdell Center. Celebrity chefs will host demonstrations to showcase the “Made in Hawaii” brand and share tasty samples with more than 35,000 foodies.

One of the newer exhibitors is For J’s Hawaii, a local producer of flavor-packed salts and sugars.

Before the For J’s Hawaii brand was created, owner Janis Tanga found great pleasure in sharing recipes and new discoveries with friends and family, who urged her to package some of these culinary delights as a convenience for their hectic lives.

Her sugars infused with fruit flavors such as pineapple, lychee and mango can be integrated into one of your own recipes for a taste sensation, and her Garlic-, Maui Onion- and Hawaiian Chili Pepper-infused sea salts make a wonderful short cut for busy cooks. Be sure to stop by and say hello to Janis at the Made in Hawaii Festival and sample some of her gourmet treats.

Here is a recipe Janis shares with MidWeek readers.

Tofu was first used in China around 200 B.C., when legend has it that a Chinese cook added nigari to flavor a batch of soybeans and the nigari produced the curd we know as tofu.

Tofu is most commonly sold in vacuum packs or in aseptic brick packages, and is usually found in the produce or dairy sections of the supermarket. If it’s not aseptically packaged, the tofu should be kept cold.

Once opened, rinse leftover tofu, cover with fresh water and store in the refrigerator.

The water needs to be changed daily and the tofu should be eaten within a few days.

FOR J’S CRAB/SHRIMP TOFU PATTIES

* 1/2 cup fresh Hamakua Ali’i Oyster mushrooms

* 2 blocks firm Aloha Tofu brand tofu, drained

* 1 cup cooked crab meat

* 1 cup chopped, cooked shrimp

* 1 small onion, finely chopped

* 1 teaspoon For J’s Hawaii Chili Pepper Sea Salt

* 1 teaspoon sugar

* 1 egg (may use 2 egg whites for no cholesterol)

* 1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs), plus additional panko for coating patties

Thinly slice the mushrooms, then sauté in butter and garlic to taste. Cool and drain off liquid.

Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

With clean hands, mash and mix ingredients together. Form into small patties (about 3 inches diameter).

Coat patties with additional panko.

Heat frying pan with 3 tablespoons oil and fry patties until crispy golden brown.

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