Photo of Kiki Aranita
Photo of Kiki Aranita

Kiki Aranita

Kiki Aranita was a chef/owner of the beloved, award-winning Poi Dog restaurant in Philadelphia. She frequently creates recipe-driven content for food brands, teaches recipe development at Drexel University, and writes about food culture and the restaurant industry for many publications.

Expertise: Hawaiian Food, Chinese Food, Recipe Development

Experience: Kiki Aranita spent seven years as co-chef and owner of Hawaiian restaurant Poi Dog before closing its Philadelphia location in July 2020. She has continued to cook, through chef residencies at Jose Garces' Volver, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Bok Bar, and more. Kiki is a columnist for S.Pellegrino's Fine Dining Lovers and has written food and travel stories for USA Today, Food & Wine, and Roads & Kingdoms, among others. She has created content and recipes for numerous companies such as La Colombe Coffee and Sakara Life. At the end of 2020, Kiki launched a line of nationally distributed retail sauces rooted in Poi Dog's Hawaii-style cuisine.
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Butter mochi is purely an invention of the islands and it is borne from the multicultural roots of Hawaii’s first potlucks and the mystical union of rice flour, butter, coconut milk, and sugar. 
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Some culinary pros snack thoughtfully in order to learn, and others get deliciously weird.
Gau Gee
Rating: Unrated
2
Toasted sesame oil and crunchy water chestnuts enrich the pork filling in these Gau Gee, crispy fried wontons, from chef Kiki Aranita. "At the many family feasts that I attend in Hawaii, gau gee are ubiquitous," says Aranita. "I'm also half Chinese, so this recipe uses the pork-and-chestnut filling that I learned to make as a child in Hong Kong." Aranita likes to serve Gau Gee alongside a simple Spicy Mayo Dip. To make it, just stir together 1/2 cup mayonnaise and 1/2 teaspoon Poi Dog Chili Peppah Water (Aranita's version of chile pepper water, a staple Hawaiian condiment) or ichimi togarashi.
Butter mochi is purely an invention of the islands and it is borne from the multicultural roots of Hawaii’s first potlucks and the mystical union of rice flour, butter, coconut milk, and sugar. 
Some culinary pros snack thoughtfully in order to learn, and others get deliciously weird.
Gau Gee
Rating: Unrated
2
Toasted sesame oil and crunchy water chestnuts enrich the pork filling in these Gau Gee, crispy fried wontons, from chef Kiki Aranita. "At the many family feasts that I attend in Hawaii, gau gee are ubiquitous," says Aranita. "I'm also half Chinese, so this recipe uses the pork-and-chestnut filling that I learned to make as a child in Hong Kong." Aranita likes to serve Gau Gee alongside a simple Spicy Mayo Dip. To make it, just stir together 1/2 cup mayonnaise and 1/2 teaspoon Poi Dog Chili Peppah Water (Aranita's version of chile pepper water, a staple Hawaiian condiment) or ichimi togarashi.
For Philadelphia chef Kiki Aranita, the bleeding continues long after the doors shut.