A Culinary Ode to Spring: Husband-Wife Chefs Makoto Ono and Amanda Cheng’s Li Hing Tomato Salad

Get ready to impress your guests with this simple recipe from the husband-wife chef duo, Chef Makoto Ono and Amanda Cheng. They’re the brilliant minds behind the new restaurant, Arden Waikiki, nestled inside Lotus Honolulu at Diamond Head Hotel. At the heart of their menu lies a celebration of Hawaii’s bounty, expertly infused with a blend of French and Japanese influences. Their Li Hing Tomato Salad embodies this ethos, seamlessly marrying the vibrant flavors of Hawaii and Japan, a testament to their innovative culinary approach. So, why not add a touch of culinary magic to your gatherings this season with this simple recipe?

tomato salad

The Li Hing Tomato Salad


(Serves 2-4, depending on whether an appetizer or lunch course)

One fresh, ripe tomato, sliced.
Li Hing Vinaigrette (see below)
1/4 cup of thinly shaved sweet onion (garnish)
4 pieces of fresh mint leaves (garnish)

Li Hing Vinaigrette

1 teaspoon Li Hing powder (*Li Hing Mui Powder is basically ground plum skin that has previously been pickled in a combination of licorice, red food coloring, salt and sugar. Available at most Asian markets)
2 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon mirin
1 teaspoon umeboshi paste

Directions: In a blender, combine rice vinegar, mirin, ume paste, olive oil, Li Hing mui powder and salt. After it’s emulsified, toss the tomatoes in the dressing and present it alongside the burrata. The salad is garnished with shaved local onions, fresh mint leaves, and alaea salt from the island of Molokai.

The Chefs

Chef Makoto Ono, an acclaimed culinary talent, has left an indelible mark on the restaurant industry with his impressive career. With notable roles as the Executive Chef at renowned restaurants in Vancouver such as Mak N Ming and PIDGIN, Chef Makoto has consistently demonstrated his mastery of both Japanese and European gastronomy, along with a unique and creative culinary style.

Chef Amanda Cheng is celebrated for her exceptional desserts. Her creations are favored for their unforgettable flavors and simple yet elegant presentation. With training from The Culinary Institute of America and experience at respected restaurants like Mak N Ming and PIDGIN, Chef Amanda has gained acclaim from industry experts and renowned food personalities, earning her well-deserved international recognition.

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