Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pipi Kaula - Hawaiian Dried Beef Shortribs

Pipi kaula is Hawaiian traditional dried beef or jerky made with salted or brine-soaked meat, but today contemporary versions use soy sauce, ginger, honey,sesame seeds and even kimchi seasonings.

Traditionally, the meat is sprinkled with Hawaiian sea salt or brined before drying. The sun and wind dry the beef strips to a chewy texture that's softer than jerky. Then the pipi kaula is fried or charcoal broiled before eating with poi or steamed rice.

Today, people prepare pipi kaula with various beef cuts, such as round steak, and multicultural condiments, including honey, garlic powder, sherry, sesame seeds and commercially packaged dry kimchi mix. Drying methods also include arranging in a screened dry box, oven-drying and hanging by stainless steel hooks high over a stove like famous James Beard Award winner restaurant "Helena's Hawaiian Foods" in Honolulu, deep in the heart of Kalihi where I grew up.

A good friend of mine Mr. Brandon Nunes requested this recipe since he loves bringing his family to Helena's.  He keep raving about the pipi kaula!  So here it is Brandon for you!  Now go make some and bring in some fo lunch at work!

Here is two versions of this delicious Hawaiian delicacy.

Short Ribs Pipi Kaula
(Shoyu Style)


5 pounds kosher short ribs
1 cup soy sauce
6 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, crushed


  1. Butterfly each short rib into 1 long piece, about 1/2 inch thick. 
  2. Combine remaining ingredients and marinate meat in mixture 1 to 2 hours, turning several times.  Drain ribs. 
  3. Arrange in a screened dry box and sun dry 1 full day, turning ribs once. 
  4. To serve, pan fry in a little oil or oven broil. 
  5. Slice into smaller pieces while still hot.

Oven-Dried Pipi Kaula


4 pounds flank steak
2 cups soy sauce 
1/3 cup Hawaiian salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 Hawaiian chili peppers, crushed
2 cloves garlic, minced


  1. Trim fat from steak and slice meat into long strips, about 2 inches wide. 
  2. Blend remaining ingredients. In a rectangular baking dish, pour a little marinade and arrange a single layer of meat; add more marinade. 
  3. Repeat until all of meat is in the marinade. 
  4. Refrigerate 24 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 165 degrees. 
  6. Drain steak strips; reserve marinade. 
  7. Place meat on cake-cooling racks set on foil-lined baking sheets. 
  8. Oven-dry 6 to 7 hours until meat has a jerky-like texture.
  9. Wrap and refrigerate up to 1 week or freeze up to 8 months. 
  10. To serve, oven-broil 5 inches from heat until meat is heated through, about 3 minutes on each side.
  11. Slice diagonally.

Ok get your rice and poi!!  Let's kaukau!!


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