comscore Flexibility’s the name of the game for cooking a pan of hekka | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Flexibility’s the name of the game for cooking a pan of hekka

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Hekka was no doubt originally a dish of “whatever’s available.” Today it’s usually served with chicken, but pork or beef can be substituted. No carrots? Try red bell pepper. Don’t like watercress? Pick a favorite leafy green. Button mushrooms sub nicely for shiitake.

Hekka is a dish that uses just a few seasonings to deliver a delicate flavor. If you want more punch, add chopped garlic and a tablespoon minced fresh ginger. Or, serve with a chili sauce like Sri­ra­cha or sambal oelek.


1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons mirin or sake
8 ounces boneless chicken thigh or breast, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 carrot, sliced or julienned
4 cups watercress, cut into 2-inch lengths
8 to 10 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
3/4 cup sliced bamboo shoots
1 (7-ounce) package shirataki (yam noodles)
20 ounces firm tofu, drained and cut into cubes
8 stalks green onion, cut into 2-inch lengths

In small bowl, mix soy sauce, sugar and mirin.

In another bowl, marinate chicken with 2 tablespoons sauce for at least 10 minutes.
Heat large skillet or wok over high. Add oil; when it is hot add chicken and onions. Sear 3 minutes, tossing and turning pieces.

Add remaining sauce and bring to boil. Add carrots, watercress, mushrooms and bamboo shoots; toss and cook 2 minutes. Add shi­ra­taki and tofu and gently combine; cook another 2 minutes. Add green onions and mix again. Serve over hot rice. Serves 4.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving (based on chicken thigh): 350 calories, 12 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 55 mg cholesterol, 1,000 mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 15 g sugar, 29 g protein


Nutritional analysis by Joannie Dobbs, Ph.D., C.N.S.

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