Things got a little fishy around here yesterday. Our morning began at 5:30 a.m. when we were picked up by a bus and driven out to the Honolulu Fish Auction to see the bidding in action.
We were all instructed to wear close-toed shoes and though I wore my red TOMS, I opted to wear my shoes inside of a pair of giant rubber boots because I was afraid the fabric would soak up the fishy water around the pier and inside the fish market. They were quite snazzy!
When we arrived, we were greeted by the program manager of the Hawaii Seafood Council who took our group on a tour and explained a bit more about the fishing and auction process.
Hawaii Seafood is sustainable seafood and the fisherman pride themselves on fishing in an ethical manner. The fish are hook and line caught and the boats do not use gill nets, trawl nets or seine nets. The program manager was very passionate about the regulation and transparency of the fishing process and told some pretty disturbing stories about some other fisheries and their business practices.
I found the fish auction itself very interesting and enjoyed learning about how fish makes it from the ocean to markets, restaurants and grocery stores.
During the auction, which begins at 5:30 a.m., large fish are individually sold to bidders. Little pieces of the fish are cut from just above the fish’s tail so bidders are able to examine the colors and oil content of the fish before placing a bid, allowing higher quality fish to be sold for higher prices. The auction allows fisherman to collect payment on the same day they make their catch, while providing the freshest fish possible to bidders.
Breakfast was served at Nco’s at Pier 38 and featured eggs, fresh tuna caught that morning, breakfast fried rice and pastries.
I had a bit of everything and loved the fresh fish and breakfast fried rice. I spoke to Chef Nico after we were done eating and he said he’ll send me his recipe for breakfast fried rice to share with you guys. It would be the perfect unique dish for a big, family brunch and I’ll be sure to share it once it’s in my hands.
The rest of our activities for the day included tours of local farms, including:
- MA’O Farms: Organic farm with a large focus on educating the youth of Hawaii and taking care of the land
- Kahumana: Organic farm that manages transitional housing for families and serves the developmentally disabled population
- Naked Cow Dairy: Run by women; The only dairy farm in Oahu
The farm tours were really educational. We were able to speak directly with the farmers, ask questions, try vegetables right out of the ground and more.
I tried a Japanese turnip and fresh herbs from MA’O farms that were incredible. Fun fact: Michelle Obama visited MA’O farms in the past!
I loved seeing boxes full of fresh, organic produce heading for local Oahu restaurants to be used by chefs that day!
From farm to table in one day. Not too shabby.
The majority of our time at Kahumana was spent eating a fresh, four-course lunch.
The best beet soup:
Fresh salad from organic greens from the farm:
Veggie burger and rice plate:
Eating a four course meal in the middle of the day was a lot of fun. I cleared my plate during every course but the veggie burger course and immediately felt sleepy. The food was too good to pass up, but eating such a large meal at lunch made me feel ready for a nap!
I rallied once we got to the dairy farm and saw the adorable calves.
They were too cute!
While at the farm, we sampled some of their fresh and aged cheeses. Even with my full belly, I couldn’t turn down the cheese and it was so, so good.
Another fun day in Oahu!