Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Deep Fried Manahak (Guam Juvenile Rabbit Fish)

Juvenile Rabbit fish (Manahak)

Typically two times a year the Juvenile Rabbit fish or manahak as they are called in Guam make their runs. The runs are similar to a salmon run up the river, except the manahak run onto the reef flats from the open ocean. These runs usually occur around April to May and again in October. And the schools can be quite large with millions of these small fish. Here is a link to a video on one method used to catch the manahak:

Manahak are one of the island delicacies. They are eaten numerous ways such as fried, soaked in a salt brine, and also served in finadene with vegetables. But this post is all about frying the manahak.

Here are the photos of this process.

First the manahak is rinsed off. Doing the honors here is Chef Jeff Soriano, our resident cultural cooking expert.

The manahak are allowed to drip dry before being fried.

The wok is the preferred pan used for frying. It is fast to heat up and offers a lot of working room.

The manahak are carefully dropped into the hot oil. Cooking time is about one minute.

Here you can see the manahak frying in the hot oil.

After about one minute of frying, the fish are removed.

They are then placed onto paper towels to help soak up any excess oil.

Closeup of the fried manahak.

The menu is simple. White rice and fried Manahak. The fried Manahak is crispy and has a great but not too fishy flavor. It is almost like eating potato chips. Once you start it is hard to stop.

Master Chef Jeff multi tasking.

The harvesting, cooking and or course the eating of this island delicacy only comes a couple times a year. But is definitely enjoyed by all.

Hoped you enjoyed this as much as we enjoyed eating the manahak.

Until next time....

Monday, May 23, 2011

BBQ'd Chicken Wings in Sweet Chili Sauce

Everyone loves chicken wings. You can bake them, barbecue them, even broil them. There are many ways to enjoy one of our favorite snack foods. But one of our favorites here on Guam are the Asian Sweet Chili Sauce BBQ’d Chicken wings.

Here is all you need:

2 ½ to 3 lbs of chicken wing drumlets and winglets.
2 cups of homemade sweet chili sauce.

For the Sweet Chile Sauce:

1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup of water
1/2 cup of sugar
2 fresh hot peppers minced
2 cloves of fresh garlic minced
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tsp water


1. In a saucepan, combine together the water, vinegar and sugar.
2. Mix together until well blended. Bring to a boil until the sugar has been dissolved.
3. Add the hot pepper, garlic and salt, and boil for another 1 minute.
4. Add the cornstarch and boil until everything has blended together.
5. Allow this to cool before you use it for a marinade.

If you are going to use this sauce for a barbecue glaze, cooling is not necessary.

This makes about 1/2 cup of sauce.

You can adjust the vinegar, sugar and hot pepper to your particular taste however this recipe is usually friendly for all.

This BBQ recipe will take 2 cups of this sauce.

Putting it all together:

Wash and allow the chicken wings to drip dry.
Place chicken wings in a re-sealable plastic bag.
Add in one (1) cup of the sweet chili sauce.
Seal the bag and rotate to make sure the wings are well coated with the sauce.
Chill for at least 4 hours before barbecuing.

Start the fire in your BBQ pit. You want to BBQ with medium heat. This is at about 350° to 450° F. Use the thermometer in the lid/cover of your BBQ pit to measure the heat.

If you do not have a lid thermometer, here is another way to measure your heat. Hold the palm of your hand about 5 inches above the grill. If you can hold your hand there about 5 to 7 seconds, you can consider your heat to be medium.

Take you wings out of the chill box and allow them to reach room temperature before BBQing. This should take about 20 minutes.

Grease up your grill and place the chicken wings down. Barbecue your wings about 15-20 minutes per side but make sure that you constantly turn them so that the sugar from the sweet chili sauce marinade does not burn. Total cooking time should be 30-40 minutes.

The last 5 minutes of cooking, coat the wings with the remaining one (1) cup of sauce for a nice, thick glaze.

Serve with white rice and your favorite sides.

I hope you enjoy this very simple recipe for a great Asian BBQ experience.

Until next time....