Saturday, December 24, 2005

Hawaiian Pork Laulau Recipe


1 roll heavy duty aluminum foil
4-6 lbs fresh taro (lu'au) leaves, leaves deveined and stems peeled (cut into 1"x 1" pieces0
6 lbs of fresh or frozen pork butt cubed 1"x 1"
4 lbs of fresh or frozen belly pork cubed 1"x 1"
Hawaiian coarse rock or kosher salt
MSG (optional)
Fresh cracked black pepper
2-3 tier steamer pot or pressure cooker


Mix pork butt and belly pork fat in a mixing bowl. Add salt, Msg, and pepper. Mix and let stand for spices to marinate meat for about 30 minutes. Amount of spices to add is by pinches. You will have to adjust to your preference. Less is better.
Rinse leaves and stems and set aside in a separate bowl.
Precut foil sheets to approximately 8"x 10". Make as much sheets as needed or until you run out of meat and taro leaves.
You will be making little foil packages. Here goes.
On one foil sheet, place 2 taro leaves in center. Add 2 pieces of meat and fat (equal amounts). Add a few pieces of taro stems.
Continue by folding in leaves and foil into the center tightly to contain the meat and leaves. The foil package should be like the picture.
Traditional laulau making is hard work using Ti leaves in place of the foil and sometimes tied with butcher's twine. I learned this recipe from my good neighbor George Keala Sr. while growing up in Kalihi. He had his own luau catering business and told me why work harder when you can make easy "juicy" laulaus instead of typical dry ones you buy at the market or restaurants.
Fill steamer pot with water and as much laulaus you can fit into each tier. steam for 6 hours and keep replenishing water levels.
With a pressure cooker you need to fill with water to appropriate level and add laulaus. Bring pressure to 40 psi and cook for 1 hour.
Laulaus will come out juicy. Eat with steamed whit rice or traditional poi (Hawaiian style mashed taro paste). Our family loves it with tabasco and soy sauce.

Yields about 40-50 mini laulaus!!

Freeze the rest for easy quick meals.