Chef Kina’s Savory Snapper

Pan Roasted Snapper. Photo courtesy Chef Jason Kina

Jason K. Kina, executive sous chef at JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa at Ko Olina, is part of the team that opened the luxury resort hotel in 1993. He has more than 35 years of culinary experience.

Born and raised in Hawaii, Kina’s interest in food began with a teacher at Farrington High School. His Kapiolani Community College instructor chef Conrad Nonaka, and renowned chef Roy Yamaguchi, one of the founders of Hawaii Regional Cuisine, inspired Kina in his early career.

Kina says that one of the best things about living in Hawaii is the abundance of freshly caught fish, and he enjoys infusing the exotic flavors of different cultural and ethnic cuisines into his recipes.

Kina is featuring a new menu at Naupaka Terrace Restaurant that includes luscious steaks and fresh seafood with an all-youcan-dine soup and salad bar. There are daily specials, a variety of tapas and a Sunset Specials menu served daily from 5 to 6 p.m. choice of the 8-ounce Flatiron Steak, Organic “Jidori Farms” Huli Huli Chicken, Hukilau Pasta with Medley of Sustainable Seafood, Linguine and the Chef’s Day Boat Special Island Catch. Call 679-0079 for more information or to make dining reservations, or visit

Chef Kina shares this delicious recipe with MidWeek readers.


* 4 6-ounce snapper fillet (opakapaka, onaga, ehu, lehi, uku)
* stir-fry vegetables (onions, carrots, celery, shiitake, won bok, choi sum, etc.)
* 2 ounces Ginger Scallion Pesto
* 2 ounces Garlic Soy Olive Oil
* scallions, bias cut
* cilantro sprigs

Pan-sauté snapper until medium doneness, then place on top of stir-fry vegetables. Sauce snapper with garlic soy olive oil; drizzle ginger scallion pesto over and around snapper. Garnish with scallion and cilantro.

Makes four servings.

For Ginger Scallion Pesto:

* equal parts ginger and scallion
* salt and pepper, to taste Puree in blender or food processor with salad oil to a smooth paste.

For Garlic Soy Olive Oil:

* 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
* 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
* 2 tablespoons soy sauce (may use low-sodium soy sauce)

Brown garlic in olive oil, add soy sauce and incorporate into oil.