In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

Eat Local Recipe Contest winner whips up Pan Seared Blacked Spice Opah Belly Sandwich with homemade ulu chips

Sponsored by Hawaii Department of Agriculture

We asked our HI Now viewers to submit their favorite recipes using local ingredients, and they keep delivering delicious dishes! HI Now host Kanoe Gibson is in the kitchen with Zach Inouye, this month’s Eat Local Recipe Contest winner. He’s whipping up a Pan Seared Blackened Spice Opah Belly Sandwich! And because a sandwich isn’t complete without that delicious crunchy snack, he’s also brought an extra surprise: Homemade ulu chips!

Inouye grew up watching his mother raise him and his two younger brother single-handedly, so he started cooking to help out at a young age. “My auntie would try to come over and help me cook, but her cooking was horrible and mine was better,” he laughed. “So I took the stove.”

Inouye now owns his own catering company, Zach’s Event Catering. His company caters for any event, big or small, including birthdays, wedding receptions, anniversaries, business meetings, holiday parties, cocktail receptions, and more. With a tailored menu program, Zach’s Event Catering works with customers to plan something that’s right for every party. There are also a variety of fixed menus to fit any need and budget. His company has done live sushi bars, hand roll sushi bars, and even Prime Rib and rack of lamb carving stations.


Cooking Instructions:

1) Grill or toast two slices of bread

2) Pull and clean two pieces of romaine lettuce

3) Slice 2 slices of tomatoes.

4) In a frying pan, heat to medium heat with 2 Tbls of canola oil

5) On a plate, dust opah with your favorite cajun seasoning, then cook on each side for two minutes

6) To make pesto spread, use food processor and blend for about one minute until pesto forms a liquid paste (Note: Do

not over process, you want the pesto a bit course.)

7) Mix half cup pesto with half cup mayo and spread on bread

8) Assemble sandwich and enjoy with ulu chips


To prepare ulu chips:

1) Peel ulu with knife, cutting off all outer skin

2) Cut lengthwise and lay both halves flat down on cutting board, then cut each half into three triangular sections.

(You will need a mandolin for even slices.)

3) Heat oil in a pot to 350*F, fry ulu chips in oil for 30-40 seconds

4) Dry on paper towel and salt right away

For more information:, IG: @zachseventcatering, Facebook: Zach’s Event Catering,