Hawaiian lau lau (or laulau) is a traditional dish of Hawaiians. If you want to be a real local here, you must try it at least once, especially the pork lau lau. There will be a laulau recipe if you’d like to cook it at home.
What Is This Traditional Dish?
This is a traditional Hawaiian laulau dish. Its outside is covered with luau and ti leaves. The inside has fatty belly pork flavored with salted butterfish. Hawaiians eat laulau with other dishes such as poi, haupia, lomi lomi salmon, etc. All of them together make a perfect Hawaiian meal.
Lau Lau Or Laulau?
Some spell it as one word, some use two words. So, there is no specific definition. But don’t let it bother you! Just eat and enjoy the meal.
Traditional Pork Lau Lau
The meat in laulau would be perfect if it’s fat belly pork. However, since people tend to be more health conscious these days, they use chicken to make laulau instead of pork.
Personally, we still prefer pork laulau to other kinds. Because that nugget of pork fat is absolutely essential though. Lau lau doesn’t taste right without it.
Lau Lau Recipes
In fact, Hawaiians rarely make lau lau at home. They’d rather buy it from a restaurant. Or more special, they attend a party where people gather together to make lau lau.
But if you want to try cooking it at home, here are the lau lau recipes. You’ll need to prepare:
- Lu’au leaves are available at Hawaii supermarkets but might be hard to find on the mainland.
- Ti leaves: For the laulau wrapping. Remember that you cannot eat ti leaves.
- Pork belly
- Salted butterfish
- Hawaiian Sea Salt: The best suitable kind of salt for making laulau since its grains are large and not quite salty.
- Purple Okinawan sweet potato (optional)
How To Make It?
- Step 1: Prepare the luau leaves
Take them out and wash them one by one thoroughly. Cut off the bottom stem that extends beyond the leaf bottom. Cut that stem into pieces about 1/2 inch.
- Step 2: Wash and dry out the ti leaves
Remove the thickest vein that runs through the leaf center.
- Step 3: Stack 3-5 luau leaves on top of each other
Make sure the biggest one is at the bottom and the smallest at the top.
- Step 4: In the leaf center, add a few chunks of pork belly and butterfish
Also, put in optional veggies if you have them. Then, add chopped luau leaf stems. Don’t forget to sprinkle Hawaiian sea salt on top to add flavor to your laulau.
- Step 5: Fold the luau leaves
Make sure that the fillings are all in a tight bundle.
Put two ti leaves in a cross shape. Place the luau leaf bundle in the center. After that, enfold the ti leaves around the bundle. Finally, use the ti leaf ends to tie a topknot.
- Step 6: Steam to complete laulau dish
Steam the whole bundle from three to four hours until tender. That’s all about the way to make a Hawaiian laulau.
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