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By Request: $5 donation buys 2018’s top recipes

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Beef curry stew is one of the featured recipes this year in the best of “By Request.”

Our Top 5 recipe offer has been a holiday tradition for a decade-plus, starting in the old Honolulu Star-Bulletin and continuing in Crave.

How it works: You send me five bucks and I send you the five recipes that I consider the best printed in this column in 2018. The money goes to the Good Neighbor Fund, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s holiday charity. Each year we raise around $10,000 for families in need.

Normally this promotion begins at Thanksgiving and ends on Dec. 31, but we’re moving everything earlier this year. We start Wednesday and end Dec. 14. This schedule should help those who like having the recipes in hand well before Christmas.


>> Cost is $5 for each set of five recipes. If you want four sets, send $20. You can’t cherry pick one recipe for $1; it’s an all-for-one deal.

>> Make checks payable to the Good Neighbor Fund.

>> Include a self-addressed, stamped, legal-sized envelope (4-by-9 inches) for each set. If you want four sets, send four envelopes. A standard 50-cent stamp per envelope is adequate.

>> Mail to: “By Request Top 5,” Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813.

>> Again, the deadline is Dec. 14.

>> This is strictly a snail-mail offer. No fax or email orders.


1. Beef Curry Stew: This recipe came about in response to a reader request for the beef curry of his childhood. It is much like what you’d find in a local-style plate lunch, with chunks of carrots and potatoes in a mild but tasty gravy.

2. Stuffed Winter Melon Slices: I bought myself an enormous winter melon early this year and tried cooking it many ways. The best was a steamed version with pork hash. The recipe also works with smaller, more accessible opo, or long squash.

3. Flamingo-Style Beef Cutlet: I learned to make this thin cutlet — coated in cracker meal, pan-fried and covered in brown gravy — in the kitchen of the Flamingo Waimalu Express from Isidoro Comasario, the kitchen manager. He also gave me the formula for Flamingo’s brown gravy, which has many uses beyond the cutlet.

4. Animal Cracker Furikake Snack Mix: I’ve gotten more requests for reprints of this recipe than anything else this year. It’s a take on ye olde Chex Mix, but without the Chex Cereal, pretzels or other accoutrements of the ubiquitous mix. This mix is based on sweet animal crackers, and my version also includes chocolate crackers.

5. Thank Goodness PBJ Bars: These cookies were made with the peanut butter and jelly we’d stashed in preparation for Hurricane Lane, the storm that — thank goodness — passed us by. It’s a layered bar cookie that’s chewy and satisfying.

Write By Request, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813; or email requests to bshimabukuro@staradvertiser.com.

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