A revolutionary laulau built around a carved-out taro "bowl" was named most creative in the recent laulau competition at the Waialua Taro Festival. The Poi Pounder Laulau, with its layers of tako poke and luau leaves, was created by Diane Huddy of Amy's by the Greene.
The award for healthiest laulau went to Audrey Aki for her combination of butterfish collars with breadfruit and taro cubes.
The prize for best traditional laulau went to Roy Shimonishi of Hungry Lion Restaurant, but his recipe depended on "secret ingredients" that he wouldn't divulge.
The only requirement in the laulau contest was that the creations contain luau leaves.
Peel taro and boil in water about 1-1/2 hours. Remove from water and cool. Slice 1 inch off the tops of the taro and reserve. Shave bottoms off taro so they stand upright. Hollow out centers, leaving 1-inch walls.
Poi Pounder LaulauDiane Huddy
4 large taro, uncooked
1-1/2 pounds tako poke
2-1/2 cups coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups cooked luau leaf
20 large pieces uncooked luau leaf
8 large ti leaves, spines removed and washed
Combine coconut milk and salt; set aside.
Layer tako poke and cooked luau leaf in each taro, repeating layers until each bowl is full. Pour coconut mixture into each bowl and top with reserved taro slice.
Wrap each bowl in five raw luau leaves. Lay two ti leaves across each other; place taro bowl in center. Gather up the ti leaves and fasten at the top. Steam 2-1/2 to 3 hours, being careful to keep the laulau standing upright so they don't spill. Serves 4.
Nutritional information unavailable.
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