author of 11 top-selling cookbooks, including Sam
Choy’s Island Flavors, Sam Choy’s Polynesian Kitchen
and the recently released Hawaiian Luau, manager
of a chain of restaurants and a television personality
extraordinaire. This charismatic Hawaiian is passionate
about his family and friends and the regional cuisine
of his beloved islands.
Q: What are the common threads that bind all
of Hawaii’s diverse food cultures together?
A: The bond is fresh—fresh ingredients, fresh fish
and a variety of fresh herbs that are used by all the
Q: You’ve described your recipes as“somma”
because usually all you need is“somma this” and
“somma that.” What are somma the ingredients
always found in your kitchen?
A: “Somma” the ingredients I use most are
Aloha Shoyu (Hawaiian soy sauce), hot peppers,
cilantro, garlic, ginger and Hawaiian sea salt.
Q: In Sam Choy’s Island Flavors you compare
building a dish to building a house. If someone
just wants to build a hut, what’s the simplest
Hawaiian dish to prepare?
A: Poke and the no-imu kalua pig, which is
prepared in the oven.
Q: And your signature dish is?
A: One of my signature dishes is my oriental lamb chops
on creamy rotelli pasta—so simple and always a hit!
Q: How would you describe a Hawaiian
A: Costco in Hawaii is like no other. There are a
variety of local foods offered here that you can’t
find anywhere else. It’s the perfect example of where
you can get a true taste of Hawaii.
Q: If you were given a bag of Costco baking
potatoes, what would you prepare?
A: With a bag of Costco potatoes, I’d make a
garlic mashed potato, scalloped potato casserole
and fresh fries. AE