Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that's meaningful to them and their loved ones. This week, in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, food writer and Maui native Alana Kysar looks back on the Hawaiian recipe that’s dearest to her heart.
I grew up on the island of Maui, part of one of the most isolated island chains on Earth. When I close my eyes and think back to my childhood, it’s easy to get lost in the days where I’d run so hard up and down Kamaole Beach Park in my ruffled two-piece fighting beach-berry wars with white beach naupaka (half-flower) berries that it felt like my legs were going to fall off. I see the bluer-than-blue ocean, the foamy white shore break, and I can still recall the way the salt, sun, and powdered-sugar sand would coat my skin with a layer of pink, sunburn covered in a thin layer of dried down salty sand, after a long day at the beach. I can still taste the foods that filled these days, the mochiko chicken and triangle musubi, the potato mac salad and Azeka’s kalbi short ribs, and the countless Spam musubi and cans of Hawaiian Sun.