By Request

By Catherine Kekoa Enomoto

Wednesday, February 26, 1997

Pipi kaula is traditionally made with salted or brine-soaked
meat, but contemporary versions use soy sauce, ginger, honey,
sesame seeds and even kim chee seasonings.

Beef dried in new ways

LEEWARD reader Marlene Wilcox asked for a pipi kaula recipe and wanted to know where to find the "E Ho'olako Mau" (Continue to Enrich) cookbooks.

Unfortunately, both volumes of "E Ho'olako Mau" are out of print.

Two recipes for pipi kaula follow from Volume II:

Pipi kaula - Hawaiian for "beef string" - once referred to two beef strips tied together with a piece of string, then slung over a clothesline to dry.

In "E Ho'olako Mau - All Hawaiian Cook Book, Volume II," author Tamar Luke Pane'e explains that traditionally, the meat is sprinkled with Hawaiian sea salt or brined before drying. The sun and wind dry the beef strips to a chewy texture that's softer than jerky. Then the pipi kaula is fried or charcoal broiled before eating with poi or steamed rice.

Today, Pane'e says, people prepare pipi kaula with various beef cuts, such as round steak, and multicultural condiments, including honey, garlic powder, sherry, sesame seeds and commercially packaged dry kim-chee mix. Drying methods also include arranging in a screened dry box, oven-drying and hanging by stainless steel hooks high over a stove.

In her books, Pane'e hands down her knowledge of traditional Hawaiian cuisine. "E Ho'olako Mau - All Hawaiian Cook Book, Volume I" (1990) showcases elements of an 'aha'aina, or feast .

Volume II (1987) features poi and ulu (breadfruit); laulau, or taro leaf-wrapped bundles of meat and fish; Hawaiian salt; and seafood preparations.

Recipes follow from Volume II:

Short Ribs Pipi Kaula
(Shoyu Style)

5 pounds kosher short ribs
1 cup soy sauce
6 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, crushed

Butterfly each short rib into 1 long piece, about 1/2 inch thick. Combine remaining ingredients and marinate meat in mixture 1 to 2 hours, turning several times.

Drain ribs. Arrange in a screened dry box and sun dry 1 full day, turning ribs once. To serve, pan fry in a little oil or oven broil. Slice into smaller pieces while still hot.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving (about 2 ounces, broiled): 235 calories, 19 grams total fat, 8 grams saturated fat, 40 milligrams cholesterol, 640 milligrams sodium.*

Oven-Dried Pipi Kaula

4 pounds flank steak
2 cups soy sauce
1/3 cup Hawaiian salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon monosodium glutamate (optional)
3 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 Hawaiian chile peppers, crushed
2 cloves garlic, minced

Trim fat from steak and slice meat into long strips, about 2 inches wide. Blend remaining ingredients. In a rectangular baking dish, pour a little marinade and arrange a single layer of meat; add more marinade. Repeat until all of meat is in the marinade. Refrigerate 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 165 degrees. Drain steak strips; reserve marinade. Place meat on cake-cooling racks set on foil-lined baking sheets. Oven-dry 6 to 7 hours until meat has a jerky-like texture.

Wrap and refrigerate up to 1 week or freeze up to 8 months. To serve, oven-broil 5 inches from heat until meat is heated through, about 3 minutes on each side. Slice diagonally.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving (about 2 ounces): 110 calories, 5 grams total fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 35 milligrams cholesterol, 1220 milligrams sodium, 1230 milligrams sodium if MSG is used.*

Asterisk (*) after nutritional analyses in the Body & Soul section indicates calculations by Joannie Dobbs of Exploring New Concepts, a nutritional consulting firm.

Send queries along with name and phone number to: By Request, Honolulu Star-Bulletin Food Section, P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802. Or send e-mail to

By Request by Catherine Kekoa Enomoto is a regular feature of the
Honolulu Star-Bulletin. © 1996 All rights reserved.

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