Mahina and Sun's Salad

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Servings: 6

At Ed Kenney’s Waikiki restaurant, Mahina & Sun’s, this colorful salad is prepared with pohole, an edible fiddlehead fern that’s a popular ingredient in Hawaiian cuisine. So that you can enjoy the dish stateside, the chef suggests swapping in haricots verts to create a different but equally delicious version. Since the onions are served raw, make sure you use a sweet variety, or the flavor of the onion will overpower the salad. Maui onions are the go-to choice in Hawaii, but Vidalia, Walla Walla and other sweet varieties will work as well.


For the fried shallots (optional):

  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) canola oil

For the salad:

  • 2 lb. (1 kg) haricots verts, trimmed
  • 1/2 sweet onion, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla, thinly shaved (about 3 oz./90 g)
  • 1/4 lb. (125 g) grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 tsp. sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


To make the fried shallots, in a small bowl, stir together the flour, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Add the shallots and toss to coat. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the oil until it is very hot. Shake off any excess flour from the shallots and fry until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season with salt. Set aside.

To prepare the salad, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil over high heat. Have ready a bowl of ice water. Add the haricots verts and cook until bright green but still crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and immediately transfer to the ice water to stop the cooking. When the haricots verts are cool, drain thoroughly.

In a large bowl, toss together the haricots verts, sweet onion, tomatoes and sesame seeds. Drizzle with the lemon juice and olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat, then garnish the salad with the fried shallots. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Adapted from a recipe by Ed Kenney of Mahina & Sun’s, Waikiki, Hawaii

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