What is a Lau Lau?

“En Fuego has the best housemade Lau Lau’s on Oahu.” – Scott M., M & M Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

From the spelling of lau lau, it’s easy enough to guess that it’s Hawaiian in origin. But it’s not a kind of party, though you may find it in a luau. So what is a lau lau? It’s actually a native Hawaiian dish that you have to try at least once. Of course, once you try it you may want to eat it again and again.  Just make sure you pronounce its name right. It rhymes with “cow cow”.

The Recipe

A lau lau is an authentic Hawaiian dish that’s often served as an entrée. The ingredients include pork as the filling, though it should be the pork shoulder and not pork loin. However, you can substitute chicken or even vegetable as your filling. For added flavor, you can add just a dab of rich salted butterfish.

The filling is then wrapped in taro leaves, and about 6 or 7 leaves will do. After that, you tie and wrap the whole thing inside a couple of ti-leaves. This forms a pouch that seals the flavors and the moisture in. In the old days you cook this in an underground oven called an imu, though nowadays you can just pressure cook it in a steamer oven.

Eating the Lau Lau

To eat this, you’ll first need to remove the ti-leaves on the outside. These leaves aren’t edible. Then you can bite into the taro leaves and enjoy the fillings. Usually, you can add a bit of salt. To get the full Hawaiian experience, use Hawaiian salt as well!