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Ahi Skewers For Cool Backyard Grilling

Robert Parker, aka “The Fan Doctor,” has more than 20 years of experience specializing in ceiling fan installation, service and repair. Robert is a retired U.S. Marines quality assurance chief, where he got lots of experience fixing big fans – on helicopters!

A Kailua resident since 1988, Robert enjoys all kinds of camping and what he calls “cowboy cooking,” which is basically cooking foods such as ribs, biscuits and stews on a grill.

His assistant, Jeff Spaulding, also a Kailua resident, moved here from Michigan about three years ago and says he misses snowboarding but enjoys biking in his free time. For more information, call them at 372-4336.

This “fan-tastic” recipe is dedicated to them.

With summer grilling season fast approaching, these are great to make ahead and take to tailgate parties, or for backyard grilling.

I like to use light shoyu to cut down on the sodium, and the sesame oil adds a vibrant flavor to the ahi.

Always use fresh garlic and ginger for a more robust pungent flavor.

Serve these skewers over a bed of whole-grain brown or white rice. A tomato and cucumber salad dressed with a light vinaigrette goes well to complete the meal.


* 2 pounds ahi steaks, cut into small pieces

For Marinade:

* 1/3 cup light shoyu
* 2 tablespoons sesame oil
* 2 minced garlic cloves
* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* salt and pepper, to taste

For Sauce:

* 1 1/2 cans low- or no-salt vegetable broth
* 3 tablespoons cornstarch (dissolve in about 2 tablespoons of the broth)
* 1 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
* 3 tablespoons light shoyu
* 1 tablespoon minced garlic
* 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

Skewer Ingredients:

* 2 Maui onions, cut into 12 wedges (six wedges to one onion)
* 1 large red pepper, cut into chunks
* 1 large green pepper, cut into chunks
* 16 medium whole mushrooms, washed and stem ends cut off

Mix shoyu, oil, garlic, pepper and salt.

Add ahi chunks and marinate in refrigerator for four hours, turning once or twice to coat.

Combine broth, cornstarch mixture, shoyu, sugar, garlic and ginger and heat in saucepan, stirring constantly until the mixture comes to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for about seven minutes.

Heat grill to high and brush with cooking oil.

Alternate ahi cubes and vegetables on skewers, baste often with sauce and grill for about five minutes on each side, or until fish is cooked to taste.

Makes about eight servings.

Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program. Email heartychef@hotmail.com.