October 31, 2023 — Thanksgiving is fast approaching — AKA the at-home chef’s very own personal Superbowl. Chef Kiki Aranita’s Poi Dog Sauces, the woman and AAPI-owned line of Hawai’i at-home condiments, bring the flavors of Hawai’i to traditional holiday dishes as well as the (seemingly endless) leftovers. Cooks can curate a unique turkey day menu showcasing innovative takes on classic dishes with the help of flavors such as Chili Peppah Water ($9/5oz), Guava Katsu Sauce ($16/12oz), and the recently launched Huli Huli Sauce ($17/12 oz).
Chef Kiki Aranita shares her suggestions below for creating an island-inspired Thanksgiving dinner.
- 🦃 All about that baste — Basting the star of the show, turkey, in Poi Dog’s Huli Huli Sauce is scientifically proven to create a juicier dish — seriously! The pineapple enzymes in Aranita’s sauce can actually break down proteins, creating a more tender and flavorful turkey, that will have guests positively stuffed.
- 🧀 Feeling grateful for mac and cheese — Spice up the generic mac and cheese recipe by whipping up a Chili Peppah Water Cheese Sauce — make it creamy or throw some panko bread crumbs on top for an added crunch.
- 🍞 Don’t gobble up all of the turkey — With the inevitable Thanksgiving leftovers, at-home chefs can craft a fully-loaded Huli Huli Gobbler Sandwich, made with Huli Huli Sauce, mayo, leftover turkey, lettuce and stuffing, served on a hoagie roll.
See below for additional background about each of the sauces.
- Chili Peppah Water ($9/5oz | Vegan, gluten free) — Chili Peppah Water is found on most tables in Hawai’i, nestled next to the shoyu. Something you’d hear in Hawai’i a lot is, “chili peppah water over everything”, and “everything” refers to rice, meats, macaroni salad, vegetables, and more. This version lends everything a spicy, vinegary tang, a gingery kick laced with Hawaiian Sea Salt and it is made with seasonal Pennsylvania peppers so batches will change depending on when they are brewed. Super pure water is infused with a variety of chilis and vinegars to create a savory, not-too-spicy vibrant condiment that kicks a refreshing boost into countless applications.
- Huli Huli ($17/12 oz. | Vegetarian) — “Huli” is Hawaiian for ‘turn’ with “Huli Huli” referring to many turns and the method of cooking Huli Huli chicken over an open flame. Huli Huli sauce is packed with sweet pineapple, deeply savory miso, and fragrant Chinese five-spice. Exceptionally diverse, it can be used to baste chicken, but also gives vegetables, mushrooms, and even burgers, a deep, sweet savoriness.
- Guava Katsu Sauce ($16/12 oz | Vegan) — Guava Katsu sauce is tropical, umami-rich, fruity and gingery. A Japanese-style BBQ and dipping sauce made with guava, miso, ginger, tomato, and dried mushroom. Meaty, rich, and deeply flavorful — but it happens to be vegan!
Poi Dog Sauces are available online for nationwide shipping, as well as in select retailers in California, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Oregon, and Virginia.
Chili Peppah Water Mac & Cheese
- 3 tbsp Butter
- 5 tbsp All-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup Beer
- 1 cup Whole milk
- 3/4 cup Grated cheddar cheese
- 1 pinch Kosher salt
- 2 oz. Poi Dog Chili Peppah Water
- 8 oz. Elbow macaroni
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- In a medium saucepan on medium heat, melt the butter. Turn the heat to low and add the flour and salt. Whisk to combine.
- Return the heat to medium and cook the flour in the butter to make a roux. Make sure to stir consistently.
- Slowly whisk in the beer. Mix alternately with a rubber spatula to fully incorporate the beer.
- Add the milk, in batches. Continue to alternately mix with a whisk and rubber spatula until the mixture is smooth.
- Cook over medium heat until the sauce has begun to thicken. It should be the consistency of porridge (approximately 162 degrees Farenheit).
- Once the sauce has reached this stage, add the cheese in 2-3 batches, mixing alternately with a whisk and rubber spatula until the cheese is melted.
- Whisk in the Poi Dog Chili Peppah Water.
- To fully emulsify the sauce, use an immersion blender. Alternatively, whisk by hand until smooth.
- Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box, drain, and place in bowl.
- Version 1: Mix your drained pasta with the cheese sauce for a creamy CPW Mac & Cheese.
- Version 2: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit, place your creamy CPW Mac & Cheese in a 2 quart baking dish. Toss the panko in the olive oil then spread on top of the mac & cheese mixture. Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.
Poi Dog Huli Huli Gobbler Sandwich
- 1/2 cup Poi Dog Huli Huli Sauce
- 1 cup Mayo (go with a thick one)
- Thanksgiving turkey leftovers, sliced or pulled cranberry sauce
- Lettuce, whole leaf or shredded as you prefer
- Bread from your favorite local bakery, sliced, toasted if you like
- Poi Dog Chili Peppah Water
- Mix 1/2 cup Huli Huli with 1 cup mayo.
- Slather two slices of bread with Huli Huli Mayo.
- Add turkey to bottom slice.
- Spoon some cranberry sauce on top of turkey.
- Add lettuce.
- Spoon on some warm stuffing.
- Top with other piece of Huli Huli mayo-slathered bread.
Pro Tip: This all goes real nice crammed onto a hoagie roll, instead of the bread.
Pro Pro Tip: Splash this sandwich with Chili Peppah Water, it goes on everything!