5 Questions for Sam Choy


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Sam Choy’s been called the ‘grandfather of poke,’ the Hawaiian salad of soy-marinated sashimi. He’s the Hawaiian chef behind Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai on the Kona coast, has a cooking show called ‘Sam Choy’s Kitchen’ and has written 16 cookbooks. He also has just launched the Pineapple Express food truck in L.A. The truck started rolling this week, with Hawaiian dishes such as kalua pork, loco moco, chicken-and-pineapple sandwiches and a lot of poke -- as a ‘parfait,’ over rice, in wraps, on a salad....

What’s coming up next on your menu? For the fall we’ll probably do a Hawaiian beef stew with wagyu beef, and then I’ll add some seasonal fish like mahi mahi and a macadamia-nut-crusted ono. I’m also looking at doing a ginger-pesto rice and edamame hummus.


Latest ingredient obsession? Seasoned soy sauce, like ginger and garlic-infused. It’s not like teriyaki.

What restaurant do you find yourself going to again and again? Shiono in Kona. It’s a great, small Japanese restaurant that puts out fantastic fresh cuisine. In L.A., lately it’s WP24.

The one piece of kitchen equipment you can’t live without, other than your knives? A good braising pot. I prefer my Le Creuset, I’ve had it for about 20-plus years or as long as they’ve been in business.

What’s the last non-food-related book you read? ‘The Hunger Games.’ My granddaughter told me I had to read the series, so I did. I like the books better than the movie.

Pineapple Express; for locations, see @pineapplxpress on Twitter and The truck also will be at the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival Aug. 9 to 12.



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-- Betty Hallock