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Brazilian-Inspired LauLau

Photos by Iain Harrison

Traditionally, Hawaiian laulau is made with pork and butterfish, wrapped in luau leaf and ti leaves. While it’s simple and delicious just the way it is, as I started to explore the tropical flavors of the island, a lot of elements reminded me of Brazilian flavors. That’s how I came up with this recipe, returning to flavors from my childhood and mixing with this beautiful and unique Hawaiian cuisine.

Read the full profile on Chef Flora Kamimura elsewhere in this issue.

Wild pork butt or shoulder
Freshly caught fish (the fattier the better)
Taro/luau leaf
Ti leaf
Sea salt
Breadfruit (ulu)
Yuzu lime leaf

Open a taro leaf and place in the center: a slice of pork, fish, ulu, and lime leaf. Season lightly with sea salt. Wrap carefully as a package, and then wrap it again on a ti leaf (banana leaf can be used too). Use a natural fiber string to hold the package tightly. Place on the steamer, without overlapping each other. Add lemongrass to the steaming water and cook for four hours.

Sauté onions, garlic, and celery in a pan with coconut oil. Add diced tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Let it cook till soft. Finish with coconut milk and blend in a food processor till it’s a smooth sauce.

Farofa (Brazilian cassava flour):
Roast thinly chopped peanuts and cashew in a pan. Add the raw cassava flour and stir till a light brown color, about 20 minutes in medium heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To serve the laulau, remove the ti leaf and toss. Serve it with the taro leaf. Cover with sauce and farofa.

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