12 luau leaves
1 pound ti leaves
1 pound Pork buttcubed into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 pound black codcubed into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 pound purple Okinawan sweet potatopeeled and cubed (optional)
1/2 pound Carrotscubed (optional)
Hawaiian sea salt
How to Make Hawaiian Lau Lau:
- First, prepare the two types of leaves.
- LUAU LEAVES: take the luau leaves and wash them thoroughly one by one.
- Chop off the bottom stem that extends past the bottom of the leaf.
- Chop that stem into 1/2-inch pieces and set aside.
- TI LEAVES: wash the ti leaves and pat dry.
- Remove the main/thickest vein that runs through the center of the ti leaf.
- Removing this vein makes the ti leaf more pliable and easier to fold when you wrap the fillings.
- Set aside.
- At a clean workstation, stack 3-5 luau leaves on the counter.
- Arrange them so that the biggest leaf is on the bottom and the smallest leaf is on top.
- In the center of the leaf, put in a few chunks of the pork butt and butterfish.
- Add 2-3 pieces each cubed carrots and purple Okinawan sweet potato, if using.
- Add several of the chopped luau leaf stems. Sprinkle over Hawaiian sea salt.
- Wrap all the fillings up in the leaves into a tight bundle.
- Next, wrap the ti leaves around the luau leaf bundle. Use the ti leaf ends to tie a topknot.
- If the ends are too short, use string to secure the bundle.
- Put the wrapped lau lau in a steamer. Steam for three to four hours till nice and tender.
- Remove the ti leaf (you can’t eat the ti leaf), and serve! Ideally, serve with rice and/or poi, chili pepper water and all your favorite Hawaiian side dishes like lomi lomi salmonand chicken long rice. Don’t forget the kulolo for dessert
Note: Removing the center vein from the ti leaf is hard work. The easiest way to go about it is to place the leaf on a table, shiny side-down. Around the center of the leaf, you’ll see where the vein pokes out a bit. Bend the leaf at that point to make the vein poke out even more. Then carefully drag the vein out and down. You want to remove that whole stem but still keep the leaf intact. If you accidentally rip the ti leaf down the middle, you can’t use it as half a ti leaf is too small to wrap the luau leaf bundle.