Hawaii: Plate Lunch

plate lunch

Plate Lunch is an iconic meal in Hawaii.

Usually served with two scoops of white rice, a meat or two, shredded cabbage and macaroni salad, this is a favorite and economical (though not light!) everyday lunch in Hawaii.

We took the form and modified it for Supperclub. Instead of rice, we included plantains stewed in coconut milk, a dish Peter remembered from his field work in Samoa.  We included a second starch in the form of taro, boiled and then mashed like mashed potatoes.  This was our substitute for poi, the paste of fermented taro that is usually served with Hawaiian food, but an acquired taste for most outsiders.  For the meat, we served Kalua pork (also called Kalua pig), traditionally cooked underground in an oven called an imu. Lacking an imu,  we made it an indoor kitchen. To lighten up the plate just a bit, we served it with shredded raw cabbage (which is traditional) as well as cucumber kimchi.

Sam Choy’s Kalua Pig from Epicurious

Makes 8 servings
Ingredients

1 5- to 5 1/4-pound boneless pork butt roast
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Hawaiian alaea sea salt or coarse sea salt
3 frozen banana leaves, thawed
6 cups water, divided
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

Technique

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Using small sharp knife, cut 1/4-inch-deep slits 1 inch apart all over pork roast.
  3. Rub 2 tablespoons sea salt all over pork.
  4. Unfold 1 banana leaf on work surface and place pork roast atop leaf. Fold up leaf around pork, enclosing completely. Repeat wrapping pork in remaining 2 banana leaves, 1 at a time.  Tie with kitchen string to secure, then wrap roast in foil. Place pork in roasting pan; pour 4 cups water into pan.
  5. Roast pork in oven until very tender when pierced with fork, about 5 hours. Unwrap pork and cool slightly. Shred pork and place in large bowl.
  6. Bring remaining 2 cups water and remaining 2 teaspoons salt to boil in small saucepan. Add liquid smoke; pour over pork and stir to blend. Let stand 10 minutes to allow liquid to flavor pork. Serve.

Fa’alifu Fa’i  Samoan green bananas in Coconut Milk

Recipe adapted from http://www.ipacific.com/forum/index.php?topic=526.0

Ingredients

2 bunches plantains

2 cans coconut milk

1 chopped onion

Technique

  1.   Fill a pot with water to cover the bananas and bring to a boil.
  2.   Add bananas and cook until soft when poked with a fork.  Drain.
  3. Mix coconut milk, onions and salt, stir together, and add to the bananas.  Bring to another boil.Cook until the sauce thickens.

 

 

At this point, you probably won’t have much room left, but you should definitely save room for dessert, coming up next!  For the rest of the menu, please visit the overview.  Aloha!

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