A recipe is a terrible thing to waste. Or lose. This is the simple truth behind “By Request,” a weekly column that originated decades ago in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and continues today in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Wednesday Crave food section. Newspaper readers send in their requests for recipes for old-school comfort foods, for restaurant favorites, for new things they just want to try. The mission of the column has been to hunt down those recipes.

Writer Betty Shimabukuro inherited By Request in 1998 and continues to field requests and solve those mysteries.

By Request Highlights compiles top recipes from Betty’s first two books— By Request – The Search for Hawaii’s Greatest Recipes and By Request 2 – The Continuing Search for Hawaii’s Greatest Recipes—and adds more than thirty new recipes. The collection covers plate lunch standards, long-gone classics, signature restaurant dishes, and dozens of other dishes celebrating that cuisine we call “local.” It may not have a clear definition, but we know it when we taste it.

The opening chapter is a salute to the foods of the Hawaii’s school cafeterias. The following chapters cover breakfast foods, dishes for both meat lovers and vegetarians, and desserts. The final chapter is for the advanced motivated home cook who has the time and wherewithal to take on more complicated dishes.


School Lunch

  • Lunalilo School Spaghetti
  • Turkey Corn Scallop
  • School-Kine Spanish Rice
  • Spanish Green Beans
  • Punahou Beef Stew
  • Punahou Chicken Stew
  • Iliahi Elementary Portuguese Sweet Rolls
  • McKinley High School Lavash
  • Kapalama School Peanut Butter Coffee Cake
  • Frosted Flake Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • ‘Ānuenue Elementary School Peanut Butter Cookies
  • Kailua High School Shortbread Cookies
  • ‘Aikahi Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
  • Kahuku High School Cherry Crisp
  • Peanut Butter Brownies aka Peanut Butter Chews
  • Rolled Oats and Raisin Cookies
  • Grandmother Cookies

The Breakfast Club

  • Sandy Kodama’s Oatmeal Cake
  • Agnes’ Portuguese Bake Shop Bread Pudding
  • Kaka‘ako Kitchen Banana-Poi Bread
  • Big City Diner Oatmeal Cakes
  • O‘ahu Country Club Bread Pudding
  • Paul Chun’s Pancakes
  • Jean’s Bakery Danish Tea Cake
  • First Lady’s Fresh Apple Spice Cake
  • Kālua Pig and Green Onion Hash
  • Crispy Soft-Boiled Eggs
  • Not-Too-Sweet Tamagoyaki with Furikake
  • Hobbit Seed Cake

Meat Lovers

  • Big-Way Burger Sweet-and-Sour Spareribs
  • Yen King Spareribs in Orange Peel and Honey Sauce
  • Hale Koa Paniolo Beef Stew
  • On On Salt-Pepper Pork Chops
  • Punahou Portuguese Bean Soup
  • Queen’s Hospital Beef Stew
  • Junkyard Chili
  • Beef with Pickled Must