Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Make Dad a jar of Bobby's Famous Pickled Onions

By Carol Devenot

 •  Wrap it up!

There is something special about Neighbor Island people. No matter how long it has been since they left their island, they bring a refreshing warmth and friendliness that comes from living in a less developed place.

Bob Kidani is one of those people. Although he is very busy with his own company, Kidani Realty, he is always so cheerful and makes sure that people he knows get some of his homegrown Manoa lettuce and "da best pickled onion."

Born and raised in Pa'auilo, on the Big Island, Bob has been testing many of his favorite island recipes throughout the years. He attended Honoka'a High School, where he learned how to make Portuguese and Hawaiian food from friends and neighbors. He says he loves Hawaiian and Chinese foods, especially sour poi and the long-grain rice.

I was a lucky recipient of Bobby's Famous Pickled Onions. Whenever I fish my chopsticks into the jar, I can't help but think of my Dad.

I can still picture Dad, sitting on the couch, drinking Primo beer and snacking on the pickled onions, one of his favorite beer chasers.

Lucky for Bob's weekend golf buddies, he always makes sure that they have plenty of pupu (especially the pickled onions).

Follow Bob's example and make your Dad a jar for Father's Day. No fo'get: Gotta be Maui onion.


  • 3 2 1/2-inch Maui onions, peeled

  • 1/4 of a green bell pepper, seeded and quartered

  • 2 Hawaiian chili peppers, chopped (include the seeds for heat)

  • 3/4 cup Heinz white vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon Kamaaina Sea Salt

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 3/4 cup boiling water

    Wash and sterilize 1 quart-size Ball-brand canning jar.

    Cut both ends of the onions and stand the onion upright on the cutting board. Being careful not to slice to the very end, slice in half, and then slice into quarters.

    Keeping the quarters intact, alternately layer and pack the onions, bell pepper and chili peppers into the Ball jar. Add the vinegar, salt and sugar.

    Add the boiling water to the top and seal with the cover.

    Shake to dissolve the sugar and salt.

    Set on the kitchen counter for 24 hours. (Do not refrigerate.)

    Refrigerate after it has set for 1 day.

    Yields 1 quart.

    Want a local recipe lightened up? Write Light & Local, Taste Section, The Advertiser, P.O. Box 3110, Honolulu, HI 96802; or taste@honoluluadvertiser.com. Carol Devenot is a Kaimuki-raised kama'aina, teacher and recipe consultant, and author of "Island Light Cuisine" (Blue Sea Publishing, paper, 2003). Learn more at www.islandlightcuisine.com.