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Coming Up

  • Next on 'Ono Kine Grindz:

    The Wedding Cafe, Manoa

    Recently Consumed:

    Zaney's, Downtown Honolulu
    Bob's Bar-B-Que, Kalihi
    Restaurant Yamagen, Moili'ili

    Below you will find a never ending list of restaurants that I want to visit or re-visit:

    Young's Fish Market
    Alan Wong's Pineapple Room
    Cafe Sistina
    Indigo Eurasian Cuisine
    Yakiniku Toraji
    Sushi Masa
    Ono Hawaiian Foods
    Tsukuneya Robata Grill

    If you would like to give me a tip on a new restaurant that is opening up, or give me a recommendation on some of your favorite restaurants, please send an e-mail to:

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    The following posts should be completed someday (!):

    New Diner's Drive In
    Border Grill
    Penang Malaysian
    Chez Panisse
    Zuni Cafe
    Indonesia Restaurant
    Boston's North End Pizza
    Happy Inn
    Kat's Sushi
    Fritz's European Bakery
    Makino Chaya
    Singapore/Bangkok Posts
    Chin's Kahala
    Hata Restaurant
    Ebisu Catering Service
    Bubba Burgers
    The Eggberts
    Blossoming Lotus
    Hamura Saimin Stand
    Bob's Big Boy

    WHEW! I hope to have them done by year's end!

    Upcoming adventures

    San Francisco, CA

    Sydney, NSW, Australia

    London, UK
    Paris, France
    Chicago, IL
    Seoul, South Korea
    I won't be able to visit Korea this year.
    San Francisco, CA
    New Orleans, LA
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Shanghai, China

    Hopefully, some of you can provide me with recommendations for some good eats!

Blogs I Read

'Onolicious Archives


« Baker of the Day Fundraiser | Main | Legend Seafood Restaurant »

September 16, 2005



Hi Reid - this looks fabulous, whether or not it is technically custard! Thanks for the recipe - I'm definitely going to try it!


Good use of custard, Reid. Looks like breakfast to me!


Interesting looking stuff. I would have made flan. I adore flan. Now I need to go to SoGo for custard tarts...


Yum. Looks dee-lish!

Great photo too! Nicely set-up!


BRAVO!!!! It's pretty tedious and lots of hardwork in making kaya. Non-stop stirring in a double boiler can take up to hours before it thickens. Great work! The texture looked homemade too.


Hi Melissa,

Thank you! This is actually something so simple, yet so enjoyable. I wish I had access to buying this...that way I wouldn't have to slave over a hot stove to make it myself.

Hi Nic,

Thank you!

This is really good for breakfast, for tea or for a late night snack. In Singapore, you can order this with a soft boiled egg or two. Mmmm, it's really good!

Hi Jo,

I love flan too, but whenever I make stuff for these events, I try to pick something I think no one else will make. I guess it worked this time.

Hi AG,

Thank you for the compliment on the photo! The plate was a bit too small, but I didn't feel like using another. LOL!

This was really good. I like it when the chunks of butter are really cold.

Hi babe_kl,

Thank you! This was realy hard work and only the second time I made this. The first time, I don't think I cooked it long enough. This time, I think it was just right. Now I just ahve to ration it. My arm is sore from stirring! =)


Hi Reid

That's a lot of steaming but it certainly looks worth the effort. What sort of flavour do pandan leaves have?


Hi Reid,

Your serikaya looks great! Thanks for the recipe, I must try it out one of these days... :-)


Hi Reid - custard and coconut! It must be yummy! I've never heard of pandan leaves, what's that like?


I am very glad to see a recipe for this as I always thought about making it. That said, I wonder where you get the pandan leaves around here in Honolulu? The thing is, there is plenty of hala (pandan aka pandanus or screwpine) all over the place, but as far as I know it is only one particular kind of lau hala that provides the flavor used in Malaysian sweets. And of course I have no idea what that kind is called or how to recognize it. Do you know what kind it is or where it is sold? THANKS.


Kaya - yum! My mum and I were at the supermarket looking for fresh coconuts to grate and squeeze milk from - to make this. I think it's a custard...a coconut custard - just not set into a jello mass.


Hi Anthony,

It's really hard to describe the flavor of pandan leaves because you can't really compare it to any known flavor really. I do think that they have more a fragrance than an overall flavor though. Sorry to be so elusive with an answer, but I just don't know. Anyone?

Hi Piggy,

Welcome to my blog!

I hope you try it and like it. =)

Hi Keiko,

Many people wonder what pandan leaves are like, and like I mentioned above, the flavor is really elusive.

Here is a link to a photo. Perhaps you've seen this around somewhere.

Hi xiaolongnu,

Thank you for visiting my site...and you're welcome. The hala tree is not really the same as the pandanus used to flavor these desserts. It's very hard to find the plants here and I managed to get a cutting from a Vietnamese friend who has this growing in her yard. I have not seen the plant for sale anywhere.

You may want to try Asian Market on Beretania Street. The woman there might be able to tell you where you can get a plant from.

Hi Stef,

I love kaya too! Too bad I'm not in Singapore where I can just pop into any store and buy a bottle. For all the time it took to make, this was definitely worth it.


Oh Reid, I LOVE kaya and am always struggling to find a good one in Melbourne. When I was little, we used to buy it from a guy who came around in a motocycle and he used to sell home-made kaya (in Malaysia). I've often thought about making it but couldn't imagine myself putting in all that time! Am having second thoughts now...


That's a wonderful photo Reid. It looks like a grass of some sort. What does the stem look like? Bambooish or woody (like a rose or rosemary)? Is it one of those plants that take over and go nuts, or is it more "behaved"? Also, there is something on the leaves, is it water sprinkles or pollen or some other substance? One last question, do I ask to many questions? ::laughing::


Hi Cin,

Welcome! =)

Well at least you can find some in Australia, I can't even find it here in Hawaii! =( When I came back from Singapore, I brought a few bottles back with me, but since I ate it all up, if I wanted more, I had to make it.

If you were in my situation, I'm sure you would do the same.

Hi Jo,

I'm not sure what that is on the leaves, but the leaves are actually smooth and glossy. This plant can take over a small patch in no time if the growing conditions are right! So when planting this, you should actually put it in a corner somewhere.

The plant spreads by means of a tuber. There are actually no stems, just leaves and roots. Hope this helps.


IMMENSLY! Confirms that it is indeed a "grass" and would, therefore, require "containment of some sort.


I think this is a wonderful recipe! Just wanted to let you know that we have a 'Sericaia' dessert in Portugal - I thought it was funny that the name is so similar and the recipe so different. Ours is like a custard but with flour and cinnamon - :-) and baked in the oven.


Reid, my hats off to you! That looks like some great kaya you have. I have always been scared to make it as it takes lots of time/patience which I never seem to have.


Hi Anita,

Welcome to my blog!

I agree that the recipe is really good. I'm glad I bought the book and was able to learn how to make this.

Thanks also for the link to your site. Great job thus far. I'll be waiting to see a post on sericaia soon.

Thanks again!

Hi boo_licious,

Thank you! It does take lots of time to make, doesn't it. My arm was sore for a while afterwards. =)


Hi Reid,

That looks like "killer" kaya! Definitely has me salivating.

By the way, what brand of coconut cream did you use? Thanks in advance.


Hi jcheng,

Thanks for stopping by!

Actually, I didn't use any sort of canned coconut cream. I actually squeezed the cream from the coconuts themselves.

Thanks for the compliment! =)


Thank YOU!

You have my utmost respect - squeezing your own coconut cream.

Kow-tow, kow-tow, kow-tow.


Hi jcheng,

It wasn't difficult. I just got tired after squeezing for an extended period. I have to give some credit to all those aunties that do it huh?


Hi Reid,

I just wanted to let you know that I tried a new (and very very simple) technique for cooking Kaya yesterday and it turned out pretty good.

I followed Gina's Kitchencapers Kaya thread and made it using a crockpot (slow cooker) overnight.
See this link -

I added 9 large eggs, 1 can of coconut milk (400ml) and 500gms of sugar into the crockpot directly; used a Braun stick blender to dissolve the sugar and break up the eggs. I then added 10 frozen pandan leaves (washed of course). Set it on low and went to bed. 8 hours later, the kaya was ready, BUT it looked like egg custard.

Out came the handy Braun stick blender again and voila - super smooth and creamy!

However, it seemed a little thick, so next time, I might try it with 8 large eggs and maybe cut the sugar down to 1 lb.

Just FYI - Gina's forum has MANY kaya recipes - it seems that she has the most success from the JAM function on her breadmaker, but I do not own a breadmaker.

By the way, can you get fresh pandan leaves in Hawaii? I understand that the pandan plant in Hawaii is a little different, and used for other purposes other than culinary purposes.


Hi jcheng,

I don't know if I want to make this in a crock pot. Sounds like trouble if you ask me. Besides, I don't mind stirring until my arm feels like it's going to fall off. =)

It is actually very difficult to get pandan here. I did find a man that was growing pandan in a community garden and got a cutting from him.

The pandan plant that we have here is actually not the same type of pandan associated with this type of dessert. We call it hala. The leaves are used to make woven baskets and other items(lauhala). The sections of the fruit can be used to make dyes and leis.

They are actually two different species in the same family. Hala is pandanus odoratissimus and the pandan plant used to make kaya (among other things) is pandanus amaryllifolius.

Here's a link to some information on hala:

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