Articles from March 2012

Recipe: Shortribs Delight

By Derek Kurisu of KTA

3 lbs grass-fed beef shortribs OR slice chuck roast into stew thickness
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/4 cup catsup
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1T sugar
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 T vinegar
1-1/2 T sherry
3 T shoyu
1-1/2 T Worcestershire sauce
2 T cornstarch or flour
1/4 cup water

Brown shortribs with salt and small coating of flour. Place remaining ingredients except cornstarch and water. Simmer for 90 mins or until tender. Mix cornstarch and water to thicken sauce as necessary. Serve over rice or noodles.


GLCI-Foraging for Healthy Ecosystems

There’s more to what meets the eye when you look out over billowy pasture land.

GLICThat’s what the Hawai’i Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative Committee (GLCI) says in its effort to promote the sound management and skillful use of Hawai’i’s grazing lands.

What’s a Grazier?

Founded in 2006, the statewide organization is a partnership of graziers-the word collectively defines people who manage grazing animals and utilize grazing lands to produce animal products, by-products and ecosystem services. They farm grass.

Since its founding, GLCI works in coordination with the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)-Pacific Islands Area, the Hawai’i Cattlemen’s Council, the Hawai`i Sheep and Goat Association and other partners to further the grazing industry’s contribution to natural resource and ecosystem conservation while continuing to promote economically viable ranch operations.

Since its inception GLCI has been busy educating the public on the importance of well-managed grazing lands.

Need for Good Grazing Lands

Hawai'i GLCI

Hawai'i GLCI Desmond Auweloa (photo credit)

Grazing lands comprise nearly a quarter of the state’s 4.11 million-acre land mass. The most noticeable benefit of well-managed grazing lands is beauty-everyone appreciates open space and vistas. It’s also easy to understand that healthy pastureland is food security as a properly grazed ranch translates to high quality meat, especially when processed locally.

However, well-managed grazing lands also offer other benefits: they reduce the risk of wildfires, modulate sedimentation (slow erosion), recharge groundwater, sequester carbon and control the introduction and spread of invasive species. A pasture of healthy forage conserves soil, habitat and wildlife resources.

Hawai'i GLCI

Hawai'i GLCI Loretta J. Metz (photo credit)

“Well-managed grazing lands are associated with healthy watersheds, which are vital to Hawai’i’s future,” says Lori Metz, GLCI technical advisor and the state’s grazing land management specialist for NRCS-Pacific Islands.

She explains that properly managed land helps with catching rain. Healthy forage, with a thriving root system, keeps water in the soil longer, making precious precipitation easier for growing pasture grass to absorb.

“Land covered with a crop of forage also checks soil erosion during hard rains,” Lori continues.

While carbon sequestration (the absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere) is most often associated with trees, it’s also done by grass. Lori says grass captures carbon and stores it in its roots. “Carbon translates into healthier plant structure and high quality forage,” she adds.  That means healthy pastures help fight global warming.

HI-GLCI offers periodic workshops and field trips on its website that are geared for graziers and food producers. However, the organization will be offering info soon for the public on its ecosystem services. Visit or phone 885-5599 (Hawai’i Island). Find more info on how grass-fed beef benefits our environment on past Taste It blogs:

Graze Anatomy: ‘Plant’ a Cow to Reduce Global Warming and Americans name ranching a top ‘green’ profession


Look Who’s Cookin’ at Taste of the Hawaiian Range: Michelle Yamaguchi of ‘Umeke Market

UmekeWowing attendees with grass-fed Kim Chee Meatloaf, Chef Michelle Yamaguchi of Honolulu’s ‘Umeke Market made a culinary name for herself at last year’s Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range. Chef Michelle is returning to Taste again this September to again offer her healthy and delicious style of cooking that is featured in the market’s deli. We feature Michelle in this week’s Taste It blog, along with her popular recipe for Kim Chee Meatloaf.

A Midwest Upbringing

Michelle Yamaguchi

Chef Michelle Yamaguchi of 'Umeke Market wowed the crowd at last year's Taste with her Kim Chee Meatloaf. A former journalist, the busy mother of three is returning to Taste in 2012

Michelle Yamaguchi says she grew up “eating the most amazing fresh fruit and vegetables.” The produce was sourced from mother’s family, who operated a farm in Wisconsin. They planted and tended a garden with lettuce, tomatoes, beans, cucumbers and squash. She also helped preserve food typical to Midwesteners: canning tomatoes and peaches, and making berry preserves.

Michelle says her days spent with food on the farm spurred her interest in the culinary arts, which is her second career. Michelle has a journalism degree and first worked as a reporter for Pacific Business News. However, she is glad she traded in her notepad for a stockpot and loves working as chef/manager for ‘Umeke Markets’ two locations. In her spare time, the busy mother of three enjoys hiking “anywhere and everywhere.” In the summer, she heads to the beach and loves snorkeling at Three Tables on the North Shore.

Q and A

Q: How would you describe your cooking style?

A: My cooking style is simple, healthy, practical and imaginative. Meatloaf, for example, is pretty basic comfort food, but we’ve done it Kim Chee Style and with a Hoisin BBQ Sauce that people have fallen in love with! I’m also a huge advocate of whole grains and we make a wide variety of grain salads: quinoa, barley, millet.

Q: Why do you use grass-fed beef?

A: That’s an easy one: taste. When you start with a great product, it’s hard to go wrong. Start with fresh garlic, salt and pepper …. I’m also big on fresh herbs. Avoiding the use of hormones and antibiotics as much as possible is important to our customers.

Q: What are your favorite GFB cuts and why?

A: Because we’re a much more casual dining experience, we keep it simple and real. We work mainly with the ground beef right now. Burgers, meatloaf, local moco …

Q: Do you let patrons know they are eating GFB on the menu?

A: We make it a point to let customers know what we’re serving and why, especially the healthy meat options. Many of our customers return regularly for that reason alone. That and the food is really good.

Q: What other local food products are your favorite and why?

A: I love, love, love the organic kale we use from Ko Farms. Our raw ‘Umeke Kale Salad continues to be a customer must-have. This ultra-healthy super food has been largely ignored by the masses and chefs alike and considered little other than as a lowly garnish. As of more recent, our Kale Smoothie is also a top seller, easily surpassing the famed Acai Bowl and Acai Smoothie, among others.

Umeke Market at TasteQ: Are you returning to participate in Taste?

A: Yes, 2011 was our first year participating in the Taste of the Hawaiian Range and we’re absolutely thrilled to be invited to return. It was a fantastic event – from the hotel and kitchen staff, to the other vendors and volunteers, to the event guests – Big Island folks especially. They showed such appreciation for both our efforts and the event in general. Much aloha!

‘Umeke Market is located at Bishop Square in Downtown Honolulu, 808-522-7377 and across from Kahala Mall at 4400 Kalaniana’ole Hwy., 808-739-2990.

Grass-Fed Beef Recipe: Kim Chee Big Island Beef Meatloaf


Grass-Fed Beef Recipe: Kim Chee Big Island Beef Meatloaf

By Michelle Yamaguchi
Umeke Market, Downtown Honolulu and across from Kahala Mall

Makes one loaf of meatloaf

2 lbs. grass-fed Big Island ground beef
11/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 small onion, diced
2 T. garlic puree (crushed garlic)
2 t. paprika
2-3 t. dried hot red pepper, depending upon how spicy you like it (can substitute with cayenne pepper)
1/2 cup Korean BBQ Sauce (recipe below)
2 large eggs
8 oz. kim chee
1 t. sea salt
1 t. black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly mix together all of the above ingredients in a large bowl. Place mixture into a loaf pan and pat the top about 10 times to make sure it’s even inside. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil, spread Korean BBQ Sauce evenly over the top and bake for another 10-15 minutes, making sure the top doesn’t burn.

Korean BBQ Sauce

11/2 cups ketchup
1 T. Sesame oil
1 T. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (shoyu substitute with less sodium)
2 T. garlic puree
1-2 Hawaiian chili peppers minced
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
2 T. sugar
1 T. ginger puree

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients well.