The Dish: Chef Sheldon Simeon

The Dish: Chef Sheldon Simeon

Born on the big island of Hawaii, chef Sheldon Simeon began cooking for his family at an early age.

After high school, he headed straight to culinary training and began his career, eventually earning national acclaim as a fan favorite on TV's "Top Chef." Simeon took an executive chef position in Maui and was soon named one of Hawaii's best chefs. 

Last year, he opened up his very first solo restaurant, Maui's "Tin Roof," where he serves up local favorites. He'll open a second solo project nearby later this year.

Here are some of Simeon's signature recipes: 

Chili swordfish with bok choy

Chili swordfish ingredients

Eight 4-ounce swordfish fillets 

Canola oil 

2 tablespoons garlic 

1 tbsp ginger 

2 tbsp sambal 

1 cup sake 

1/2 cup soy sauce 

1/4 cup sugar  

2 tablespoons sesame oil 

Bok choy ingredients

6 heads baby bok choy, cut in half, blanched 

2 tablespoons peanut oil 

2 tablespoons oyster sauce 

8 sprigs cilantro 


1. In a large pan sauté swordfish until medium done over medium high heat.

2. Transfer to serving platter. Return sauté pan to stove add garlic, ginger, and sambal.

3. De-glaze with sake, reduce by half.  Add soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil. Bring to boil.  Spoon sauce over fish. 

4. In a separate saute pan, heat peanut oil over high heat.  Stir fry bok choy to warm through season with oyster sauce.  Garnish fish with bok choy and cilantro. 

Watercress tofu salad

Tofu marinade ingredients

1 tablespoon Tamari

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1/2 tablespoon ginger, grated

1/2 teaspoon garlic, grated

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 cup olive oil

Salad ingredients

1 watercress, large chopped

1 cup bean sprouts

1 cup red onion, julienned finely

1 breakfast radish, sliced thinly

1 watermelon radish, sliced thinly

1 block firm tofu, drained and cut into cubes




1. Mix all ingredients for tofu marinade. Pour over tofu and marinate for 30 minutes.

2. Transfer tofu to serving platter. Top with peanuts and tomatoes. 

3. In a mixing bowl add watercress, bean sprouts and radish. 

4. In a separate mixing bowl add all ingredients for dressing and mix with a whisk until sugar has fully dissolved. 

5.  Add dressing to watercress mixture, toss. Top tofu with watercress mixture. Garnish with cilantro and mint



Canola oil

 9 garlic cloves (6 thinly sliced and 3 minced)

8 ounces Chinese wheat noodles 

2/3 cup chicken stock 

1/4 cup oyster sauce 

1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon Asian fish sauce 

2 teaspoons instant dashi powder 

1 teaspoon ground annatto 

12 large shrimp, shelled and de-veined 

1 cup Chinese-style roast pork, chopped 

4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced 

2 medium carrots, thinly sliced 

4 ounces baby bok choy, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 3-inch pieces  

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced 


Lime wedges 

Hot sauce


1. In a small skillet, heat 1/4 inch of canola oil. Add the sliced garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels. Reserve the oil.

2. In a saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the noodles until al dente. Drain well and toss with 1 teaspoon of canola oil.

3. In a bowl, whisk the stock, oyster sauce, fish sauce, dashi powder and annatto.

3. To fry, heat the canola oil in a deep-fryer or heavy bottomed pot until 335 degrees. 

4. In a wok or very large skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the garlic oil until shimmering. Add the shrimp, pork and minced garlic and stir-fry over high heat until the shrimp just start to turn pink, about 3 minutes. 

5. Add the shiitakes and carrots and stir-fry until the mushrooms are softened and the shrimp are white throughout, about 3 minutes.

6. Add the noodles, bok choy, onion and the oyster sauce mixture and stir-fry until the noodles are hot and the sauce is absorbed, about 3 minutes.

7.  Transfer to plates. Garnish with the fried garlic and snipped chives and serve with lime wedges and hot sauce.

Spicy chicken sandwiches

Mochiko chicken ingredients

4 pieces boneless chicken leg meat

1 tablespoon ginger

1 tablespoon sake

1 tablespoon Usukuchi Shoyu

1 cup Mochiko flour

1 cup cornstarch

2 eggs

2 tablespoon Kochujang

2 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon water

All purpose flour (for dredging) 

Cornstarch (for dredging)

Brioche burger bun

Unsalted butter


1. Mix ginger, sake, Usukuchi Shoyu, Mochiko flour, cornstarch, 2 eggs, Kochujang, sugar and water until well incorporated. Marinate the chicken in the mixture overnight. 

2. Heat a deep fryer to 350 degrees. Individually coat chicken pieces in 4:1 ratio mixture of flour and cornstarch. 

3. Fry until golden brown. 

Sweet miso glaze ingredients

2 1/2 quarts Mirin

2 quarts sugar

1 ¼ cup white miso


1. In a sauce pan, cook the Mirin and sake over high heat until the alcohol is cooked off, about four minutes. Decrease heat to medium. 

2. Decrease heat to medium, add the sugar and stir until dissolved.  

3. Whisk in the miso, remove from the heat and let cool. Transfer to refrigerator.

Kochu mayo ingredients

1 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Kochujang

1 tablespoon sugar


1. Mix together until smooth. 

Salted cabbage slaw ingredients

1/2 head green cabbage 



1. Fill a large pot with water add enough salt so that it tastes like the ocean.  Bring to boil.  

2. Blanch head cabbage for 15 seconds transfer to ice bath immediately.  Drain and refrigerate.

To serve

1. Brush burger buns with butter. Toast on flat top until golden brown. 

2.  Spread pepper mayo on buns. Place salted cabbage on bottom bun. 

3. Top with chicken. Season chicken with sweet miso. Place top bun on top.  Wrap in yellow sandwich paper.



No.1 grade ahi tuna, cut into 1-inch cubes

Hawaiian sea salt

Pinch of Togarashi

1 teaspoon sambal oelek

1 teaspoon Yamasa Soy Sauce

1 teaspoon oyster sauce, Lee Kum Kee Premium

1 tsp ginger oil

2 ounces sweet onion, finely julienned

1 ounce green onions, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds


1. In stainless mixing bowl combine ahi tuna with Hawaiian sea salt, togarashi, sambal, soy sauce, oyster sauce and ginger oil.  Mix Well.  

2. Transfer to serving platter and garnish with julienned onion, green onions and toasted sesame seeds 



1½ sticks butter

3 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 box rice flour (mochiko)

4 cups coconut milk

1/2 cup coconut flakes


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 9 x 13-inch baking pan. 

2.  Cream together butter and sugar, and then add the eggs, vanilla, baking powder, rice flour and coconut milk mixture. Blend together and pour into greased pan, sprinkle with coconut flakes and bake for 45 to 60 minutes.

3. Let cool then slice.