I'm having a hard time remembering when I first found Nate's Hwn Pake in Okinawa blog, but back then he was still actually stationed on the island and I quickly became a regular reader. At the time I hadn't been back home for eight plus years and I was giddy in having found this wondrous portal of being able to vicariously view, envy and nostalgically reminisce over meals that I had grown up with. All to a large extent of regretfully having taken them for granted of course.
[Photo: Hwn Pake In Okinawa]
There are a wide array of food blogs out there that range from travelog based, some focused around recipes, others on reviews, and everything in between. As much as I enjoy them all, the style I tend to love the most are the ones like OkiHwn's that generously opens their everyday meal consuming lives for any all to enjoy, free of preconceptions or fear of judgment. So much so I wished more around the globe would follow suit.
[Photos: Hwn Pake In Okinawa]
One day it would be a seemingly basic bento package from a neighborhood stand (but with distinctive local flare details such as bitter melon stir-fries and fried pork luncheon meat). Other times an Okinawan Tebichi Soba from a favorite shop with stewed pig's feet that had been long simmered to literal fall-off-bone consistency (years later I would visit). In the last year or so he had been re-stationed back in Hawaii but still kept the blog going.
Well after not having heard from him in a few months, I got word from blogger friend Kat that OkiHwn had in fact passed away. Kirk, Cathy and Carol made it to Homestyle Hawaiian today for a small plate lunch tribute. (Thanks for making the time in short notice guys!)
This was our spread above. Carol and Cathy got the Korean Chicken plate which is crispy breaded chicken pieces with I think a sugar/soy sauce type dressing. I got the Lava Chicken which was a nice Chicken Katsu, the meat surprisingly juicy tender with a sweet/savory/spicy dressing. Photographed it in the typical bird's-eye meteorological style of OkiHwn's. It was pretty Ono!
But I have to say I envied Kirk's plate the most. A combo Roast Pork and Katsu smothered in brown gravy.(!!) I'll have to get that next time when in need of my gravy fix...
Thanks for sharing a part of your life with us Nate. You will be missed.