Sharing A Maple Garden Favorite Recipe

I love a local success story, and Moiliili resident Richard Lam, owner of Maple Garden Chinese restaurant, has one.


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Maple Garden owner Richard Lam with shrimp in lobster sauce. Nathalie Walker photos

Born in Hong Kong, Richard moved to Hawaii in 1989 and started working as a dishwasher for Howard Co, who owned Yen King Chinese Restaurant at Kahala Mall. Through hard work and dedication, he worked his way up to cooking in the kitchen, and then to the floor of the restaurant as manager.

Richard now prides himself on serving a mouth-watering buffet at Maple Garden for both lunch ($12.95) and dinner ($16.95), with items such as steamed ginger fish, vegetarian dishes, shrimp specialties, honey spare ribs, appetizers, salads and desserts.

There also is an extensive menu with a variety of soups, appetizers, seafood, meats and chef’s specialty items.

The restaurant offers a senior discount, and the food is MSG-free.

In honor of Chinese New Year, this Sunday the restaurant will add jai and crab legs to its buffet, and a lion dance will be performed at 6 p.m. For more information and to inquire about the special New Year’s banquet menu, call Richard at 941-6641.

I want to dedicate this column to Richard and to all of the hard-working people who have success stories of their own.

Kung Hei Fat Choi! This is one of my personal favorites at Maple Garden, and Richard has graciously given me the recipe to share with MidWeek readers.

The sauce is used in American-Chinese cooking as a kind of white sauce, and it does not contain lobster.


• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon oyster sauce
• 1 teaspoon fresh ground garlic
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1/2 cup chicken broth (no MSG)
• 2 teaspoon cornstarch (mixed with a little water until dissolved)
• 2 eggs (slightly beaten, may use 4 egg whites)
• 1/4 lb ground pork (may omit, if desired)
• 1 pound shrimp, 16/20-count

In wok, heat 1/2 teaspoon of the oil and stir-fry pork and shrimp until cooked through; remove.

In same pan, add second 1/2 teaspoon of oil and sauté garlic.

Add cooked shrimp and pork.

Add chicken broth, salt, sugar and oyster sauce, and bring to a boil.

Thicken with cornstarch, stirring to combine.

Remove from heat. Add a beaten egg and mix (egg will cook in boiling broth mixture).

Makes four servings and can be served over rice, if desired.