Maui Onion Cookbook

Maui Onion Cookbook  

Two and a half million people visit Maui every year. Do they go for the soothing tropical climate? Is it the breathtaking beaches and colorful landscape? Or is it the friendly locals and the wide range of recreational activities? No, the answer is much more obvious. They go for the onions!

The sweetest of the sweet, the Maui Onion is a veggie celebrity. Cultivated exclusively on the slopes of the dormant volcano, Haleakala, the Maui Onion has become the focus of local food festivals, agricultural shows, and cooking contests, inspiring everyone from trained professionals to amateur citizens to create hundreds of wonderful recipes.

Maui's unrivaled cuisine, marked by the celebrated marriage between the Maui Onion and Hawaiian-style cooking, comes alive in a new book compiled by Barbara Santos. Much more than a souvenir, the Maui Onion Cookbook is a collection of recipes gathered from every corner of the island. Maui's top professional chefs, winners of island cooking competitions, and local characters from the best restaurants, hotels, and hang-outs have contributed to this delightful, die-cut compendium of local-style favorites.

Recipes include signature dishes from popular Maui eateries, such as Chef Chris Speere's Haiku Mushroom Ragout & Red-Glazed Maui Onions, and simple classics, like the beloved Maui Burger. From Kihei Maui Onion Salsa, Seared Hawaiian Shutome on Chunky Tomato & Maui Onion Vinaigrette with Avocado Butter, and Award-Winning Maui Onion Gumbo, Black Bean and Maui Onion Chili, to Stuffed Maui Onion Bread, Maui Onion Souffle with Red Pepper Sabayon, and Snorkel Bob's Caesar Salad, all 50 recipes in the Maui Onion Cookbook are sure to put you in the island spirit wherever you are.

Cooked or raw, the sweet Maui Onion's distinct flavor is known worldwide. Now, thanks to the increasing availability of exotic imports in mainstream supermarkets, most of these recipes are well within reach of any mainland cook. And because most onions mellow in flavor when cooked, almost any type of onion can be used in these recipes.

Portable and compact, and fashioned after Celestial Arts' popular Totally Series, the Maui Onion Cookbook is a low-cost way to enjoy the magical cuisine offered in Maui's best restaurants. Featuring a readily available and popular ingredient for residents and visitors, this book puts mouth-watering island secrets at your fingertips. A listing of Maui Onion sources on the island as well as the mainland are provided by the author.

About the Author
Barbara Santos began SANTOS!PR, a public relations and marketing company on the island of Maui, in 1992. She was co-creator of the Maui Writers Conference and the "Ulupalakua Thing" at Tedeschi Winery, where Maui-grown food products are promoted in a trade show format (and where the inspiration for the Maui Onion Cookbook first came about). Barbara is on the Board of Directors for the Made in Maui Trade Council and is Executive Director of the Maui Writers Guild, a group of over 250 writers from all over the United States. An award winning poet in the past, who has been included in several college anthologies, Barbara's press releases are now published almost daily in Hawaii newspapers.


Three-Way Maui Carnitas

Three-Way Maui Carnitas

Rich Santos says: Choose one meat or make a batch of each for a large gathering.

  • 1 pound beef or pork, cubed or 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 small Maui onion, thinly sliced
  • 12 tortillas (corn or flour)
  • 1 Maui onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 12 ounces green taco sauce
  • 16 ounces orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 bell pepper, cubed

Heat oil in skillet. Brown the meat, then add minced Maui onion and garlic in same skillet. When all is browned, add cilantro, basil and oregano. Add green taco sauce, orange juice and pepper cubes. Cover, reduce heat to low. Simmer about 1 hour to reduce liquid by nearly half.

Serve carnitas rolled up in warm tortillas with thinly sliced bell pepper and Maui onion.

Serves 6


Maui Onion Eggroll (Lumpia)

Chef Joe Balinbin shows off his extensive knowledge of ethnic cooking styles at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel. This recipe is a variation of the Chinese eggroll and Filipino lumpia.

  • 8 ounces boneless chicken breast, julienned
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup sherry wine
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 1 pound Maui onions, julienned
  • 1/4 pound Shitake mushrooms, julienned
  • 1/4 pound celery, julienned
  • 1/4 pound carrots, julienned
  • 1/4 pound string beans, julienned
  • 1/4 pound bean sprouts
  • 1/4 pound watercress
  • 14 lumpia or eggroll wrappers

Sauté chicken in peanut oil on medium-high heat. Add ginger, garlic, sherry and oyster sauce. Add julienned vegetables and stir-fry until tender. Cool in refrigerator. Place mixture in centers of lumpia wrappers, wrap two opposite sides over filling, then roll loosely. Moisten edges with egg whites. Deep-fry in oil until golden brown.

Makes 14 rolls


Recipes from:
The Maui Onion Cookbook
by Barbara Santos
Cover design: Marlene McLoghlin
Celestial Arts Publishing
$5.95, paper, 96 pages
Publication Date: August 5, 1996
ISBN: 0-89087-802-1
Reprinted with permission

This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.

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This page modified January 2007

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