Friday, January 23, 2009


David Izumi is a culinary genius. Once in a great while you meet someone who understands food very well. He appreciates each nuance of the food he cooks and knows how to marry flavors well. He even makes his own smokers. By trade he is an underwater robotics teacher at Kailua High but by passion he is the consummate cook, "...not a chef" he humbly contends.

I, along with about 20 others, had the opportunity on Monday to learn from and assist David at my church's, Hope Chapel Kaneohe Bay's, Smokeout. It was a prelude to our SuperBowl tailgate party to be held at HCKB on Feb. 1 at noon. Visit the HCKB website and look under "events" for more info if you are interested in attending.

Three members of the Men of Hope Ministry, which hosted the Smokeout and will host the upcoming tailgate party, stayed up all night to stoke the fire in Kaneohe's freezing weather. Freezing to us is in the low 60's. Charcoal (without the use of lighter fluid so as not to spoil the flavor) was used to ignite the kiawe wood which was kept at a low 220-225 deg. F.

The sharp, enticing smell of the smoke mingled with the cool Kaneohe morning breeze when I got there at noon. We were told to bring anything to smoke-"pasta, eggs, cheese" and meats and fish, of course. There were two upright smokers made out of water heaters, one made from a vertical oil drum and one conventional Weber smoker.

David's taught classes at WCC on smoking and has done this many times so he relies on instinct to tell everything: when the wood is ready for the food, when the food is fully smoked, when the fire is too hot or cold. He said that food can be fully cooked by smoking or just partially cooked with the final cooking left for later.

This is not roasting, grilling or broiling the food. It is exposing the food to a low heat over an extended period of time to impart some cooking and alot of smoke flavor.

Our feast that evening started with a teaser of wild pig smoke meat, succulent and surprisingly tender, a pupu straight from the grill of cod, then on to smoked candied walnuts, two pico de gallos (like salsas) of peaches and kiwis, a smoked cream cheese and crab dip, smoked hard boiled eggs, smoked cheddar cheese for dipping, smoked wet and dry rub pork ribs, smoked juicy brisket and whole chicken, creamy and cool coleslaw and the best baked beans any of us had ever had. Oh, and virgin mojitos with peach juice!

This would have been an impressive spread if it had been a potluck and everyone had brought their Best dish but no. All of these recipes were floating around in David's head and he had just to delegate to us what to do to create them. Nothing written down, not even a shopping list. And, in between the feast for 60 or so, each of us class participants had our own packets or pans of food smoked.

I marinated two racks of pork ribs in the recipe I created below which includes homemade guava jam, red wine vinegar, brown sugar. I left the ziplocs in the fridge for three days. The ribs were smoked for 5 hours. That's a photo of my ribs to the left of this post.

Mahalo, David,Sharon, Rodney, Rob, Eric, Bert, Charlie and all the Men of Hope Ministry helpers. We were truly Sssmmokin'!

- foodiewahine

David's Pico de Gallo
from the Honolulu Advertiser, Taste Section, Jan. 28,2009
· 4 (14 1/2-ounce) cans peaches (note: can use 10 kiwi fruit in a rough dice instead, use more mint, less cilantro, 1. ea. of fish sauce and chili sauce, 1 onion, 2 limes)
· 1 onion, finely chopped
· Juice of 2 limes
· 1 large handful cilantro leaves*
· 1 large handful fresh mint leaves*
· 1 tablespoon Sriracha chili sauce (or to taste)
· 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce (patis)
· Black pepper to taste
Mix all together, taste and correct seasonings. Allow to sit a short time before serving. Refrigerate if holding longer than a half hour.
Makes LOTS. A serving is about 2 tablespoons.
· Per serving: 71 calories, .2 g fat, 0 cholesterol, 1 mg sodium, 17.7 g carbohydrate *

My Guava Lacquered Smoke Ribs

1 c. red wine vinegar
2 crushed bay leaves
4 T. brown sugar
1 t. chili flakes
2 crushed, minced garlic cloves
1 onion cut in 1/4 in. segments
1 juice of tangerine and ½ of it’s peel torn
½ c. guava jam
¼ c. red wine
Marinate 2 racks of raw pork ribs in Ziplocs for two to three days. Smoke, Barbecue or Broil.

Note: Wanda Adams graciously attended our Smokeout and wrote three fabulous articles about David, HCKB and Smoking in the Food/Taste Section of Wednesday's, Jan. 28th's, Honolulu Advertiser. It will be available for viewing online on the Honolulu Advertiser's website for three months.

This is a link to the main article:


Anonymous said...

You can smoke pasta?!

Mmmmm, looks and sounds dee-lish!


foodiewahine said...

Yes, all you do is leave pasta, and other things you wouldn't think of smoking like cheddar cheese, candied nuts, hard boiled eggs, cream cheese etc., in a smoker for just 15 minutes to a half hour until the food absorbs the smokey flavor. Whatever you make with the smoked product takes on a light but delicious smoky flavor. We had a terrific dip made with the smoked cream cheese.

Charles Wickham said...