"Oh we're going to the Hukilau. To the huki, huki, huki, huki, hukilau." If you grew up in Hawaii you've danced to this song at least once and probably taught the hula to a friend or family member visiting from the mainland.
Hukilau was a fishing method used by ancient Hawaiians. In Hawaiian huki means to pull and lau means leaves. A successful Hukilau required a large group of people, perhaps even everyone in the community, to work together.
Ti leaves would be tied to a large net. The net would then be cast in shallow water. As people worked together to pull the net back to shore, the ti leaves would shake and scare the fish into the center of the net. Everyone who helped would then share in eating the catch.
Dinner from Costco just doesn’t have the same feeling does it? I think I'll just step out to Laie and see if anyone wants to join in a hukilau.
While visiting the Kaloko - Honokohau National Park in Kona, I stumbled across an amazing book about ancient Hawaiian fishing techniques. The title of the book is Ka ‘Oihana Lawai’a: Hawaiian Fishing Traditions by Daniel Kahā’ulelio. It’s a compilation of articles written in Hawaiian for Ka Nupepa Kuokoaa, a Hawaiian language newspaper, with a side-by-side translation into English by Mary Kawena Pukui.
Kahā’ulelio was a Lahaina native that went on to serve as a legislator and then as the Police Justice of Lahaina. For five months he wrote a weekly column explaining almost 50 different fishing techniques. Interspersed throughout are personal experiences and anecdotes.
For example, on the section about a type of octopus spearing, Kahā’ulelio writes about how his sister was a champion of this method. She would first scatter pebbles across the surface of the water, and then spear the octopus in its lair. If this didn’t work, she would slap the surface of the water with a cupped hand, and this hollow sound would cause the octopus to shoot into its burrow where it could be caught.
Now here’s where it gets wild. The author then goes on a tangent about how his uncle and aunt fought off a shark. Yes, a shark. The couple was out spearing octopus and after catching a large one, the wife wrapped it around her body. They turned to go back to shore, but heard rustling water and turned to see a shark raging toward them. The husband fought it off with a spear and his Lua, or martial arts. He stabbed the shark repeatedly in the eye and body, which only enraged the shark and caused it to attack even more. The wife was frightened, so the husband said to her, “Do not be afraid, I will fight this shark until we reach shore. If he persists in pursuing us up to the beach, I’ll kill him.” (p. 83) The couple did make it to shore, and Kahā’ulelio says the lesson to be learned is to never go octopus spearing in deep water. Otherwise, you might be eaten like Akawa, the Chinese was.
So if you’re looking for an interesting read, please pick up this book. And if you ever need to fight off a shark, sounds like the key is studying martial arts.
Vitamins and supplements seem to be everywhere these days, and many mistakenly believe that these expensive products help them to lead healthier lives. However, most of us get all the nutrients we need from the foods we eat. In fact, eating a variety of foods is the best way for your body to absorb the nutrients it needs.
Eating fish once or twice a week is a smart way to stay heart healthy. Fish, especially fatty fish like Ahi, have Omega-3 fatty acids that doctors believe reduce the risk of heart disease and also lower your cholesterol. When we hear the word “fat” many of us get worried. But there’s good fat and bad fat. Fish contains good fat, the unsaturated kind, which may help decrease triglycerides, reduce inflammation, decrease stroke risk, and may even increase brain function.
If you’re worried about possible mercury poisoning there are reports that say that Selenium, a mineral also found in fish, can counteract mercury. Click here to see a poster released by the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council which breaks down the amount of selenium and mercury found in many popular ocean fish we consume here in Hawaii.
Really the key to living a healthy life is balance. Keep that in mind as you eat, drink, and play.
If you have kids in Hawaii, one of the best places to take them to play are the beautiful tidal pools found all over the state. On the North Shore of Oahu, Shark's Cove is a great spot I remember going to as a kid. There are tons of tiny sea creatures to observe and play with, including tiny cuttlefish, reef fish, and sea cucumbers.
Now that I live on the Big Island, one of my favorite beach spots is O-TECH. There's a great little area where kids can play in shallow water and look for all kinds of treasures. Make sure you keep an eye on the ocean though, because if big surf is coming in huge waves can come crashing in at any second to pull you out to sea.
If you're fortunate enough to be in Kona during sunset time, you're in for a show. Our west facing coastline boasts some of the most spectacular sunsets you'll ever see.
To see more great photos check out this website.
In the early 80s, people didn’t really worry about their kids like they do now. Our parents would let us roam the beach and neighborhood freely, and didn’t worry about us returning home. They knew that when we got hungry, or it got dark outside, we would be back.
After school between the ages of five and ten, my older cousin Lionel would pack me home on his bike. There he and his younger brother Richie would torment me and then make it up to me by taking me to the beach with them. Their backyard was a five minute walk to the ocean.
We grew up on the North Shore of Oahu, a place famous for huge surf and shore breaks. When you stepped into the water, you had to make sure to time your entry with a retreating wave. Otherwise, you could get pulled into the shore break and pounded into oblivion. This is something that happens to every kid growing up in Hawaii. You get pulled in, rolled around a few times, and then learn that if you don’t want to drown or be cleaning sand out of every orifice of your body, you need to read the ocean.
This respect for the ocean is fundamental to living in Hawaii. We are literally surrounded by water, and for centuries it has helped sustain us. Keeping our oceans and beaches clean is just common sense. Kaimana, “the power of the ocean,” is no joke. So stay safe out there and Malama Ka Aina, take care of the land.
Photo: Bryce Lowe-White, surfermag.com
I grew up on Oahu, so if I drove anywhere for more than an hour I considered it a long drive. Now that I live on the Big Island, I understand what a long drive really is. Once a year when we have visitors, we make the trek out to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It’s the island's number one tourist attraction, and it takes a full 12 hours to drive there, look around, and then drive back.
That kind of drive requires a cooler full of drinks and snacks. Hawaiians are very diligent when it comes to snack preparation. We taking eating very seriously here. Our fish jerky is the perfect road trip food. It isn’t messy and it doesn’t need to stay cold. We pounded every snack we brought on our last drive out there. We snacked while driving, while hiking, and while waiting for night to fall. The lava flow is much easier to see at night, so make sure you stick around till then.
While going to school in Taiwan, I got a cold that just wouldn’t go away. During a school break I went to visit an Aunty living in Korea. She took one look at me and then force fed me whole cloves of garlic that had been soaking in a bottle of honey in her fridge. Two days later, I wasn’t sick anymore.
Of course, eating raw garlic isn’t for sissies. (Cause the buggah is small kine strong!) In studies however, garlic has been shown to help regulate blood pressure, fight fungal infections, and of course ward of colds. In ancient Egypt, honey was applied to wounds and acted as an antiseptic. It can also soothe coughs.Check out our Honey Glazed Ahi Tuna Jerky or our Garlic Pepper Ahi Tuna Jerky which feature these two great, immune boosting ingredients. If you’re in the mood for Korean food, which I am now, check out my favorite Korean recipe site.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a fisherman in your family or group of friends, you know the joy of eating fresh caught Ahi. Each part of the fish can be prepared in a different way. Some of it you eat as sashimi, some as poke, some is grilled or fried, and in our case some is made into delicious jerky. No matter how you prepare it though, it’s always “ONO” or delicious.
Two of our friends recently caught two 200+ pound Ahi. They sold most of the meat, but saved some to share with friends and family. What a feast! Each method of preparation seemed tastier than the last. Check out how huge the head was!
If you’re ever in Hawaii make sure you try local, fresh, wild-caught Ahi. It’s the same kind that we use to make our line of Ahi jerkies. Ahi, which in Hawaii can refer to either Yellowfin or Bigeye tuna, can range in size from 20 to 400+ pounds! The best tasting meat is reddish-pink in color, and is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. It’s also an excellent source of healthy protein and is low in sodium and the bad kind of fat – saturated.
Try one of our seven varieties of Ahi tuna today! Now available throughout the state of Hawaii. Check out our store locator for a location near you.