June Cookbook Club Pick: Aloha Kitchen by Alana Kysar

by Becky LeJeune


Summer is finally here and what better time to treat yourself to a trip to paradise. Or at least recipes from paradise!


Our June Cookbook Club pick is Alana Kysar’s Aloha Kitchen: Recipes from Hawai’i.


You might wonder what constitutes Hawaiian cooking. You might even suspect that it’s just Spam and/or pineapple heavy cuisine – but you would be sorely mistaken. Yes, there’s Spam and pineapple. But there’s so much more to Hawaiian food, something Kysar imparts with relish in her debut.


As Kysar points out in the book, Hawaiian food draws influence from the people who settled there – namely Polynesians, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Koreans, Filipinos, and westerners. Hence dishes like Spam Musubi and pairings like Shoyu Chicken and Mac Salad! Each of the recipes in Aloha Kitchen is a perfect illustration of this melding of foodways and cultures. And, most notably, it’s the food that locals eat every day!


Alongside mouth-watering recipes like Char Siu Pork, Shaved Ice, and Macadamia Nut Cream Pie are tantalizingly gorgeous pictures of the dishes themselves and the islands. Each recipe also includes menu suggestions, in case you aren’t quite sure what to serve with Chow Fun or Mochiko Chicken to make a full meal.


We know you’re going to love exploring the food of Hawai’i with Kysar’s excellent cookbook and can’t wait to see what you think!


Happy eating! Remember to sign up for the book club over on Readtribe. And be sure to post your pictures to social media using the hashtag: #BookBarCookClub


Becky LeJeune is BookBar’s local author coordinator and office manager and resident cookbook enthusiast.