Keu a ka ‘Ono: Laulau Palula (In-Depth)

Hawaiian food isn’t just for special occasions. It should be a healthy part of our regular diets. Why do we have to wait until lūʻau to enjoy poi or laulau or lūʻau stew? Normally, laulau cooked with lūʻau leaf has to be steamed for hours at a time. But with this easy and super ʻono ʻai pono recipe for laulau palula (sweet potato leaf laulau), we can eat this dish in no time at all. The palula cooks through in twenty minutes, and you don’t have to worry about an itchy throat! Check out this longer video recipe hosted by kumu Kaulana Vares, and learn some Hawaiian measurements at the same time. Make an assembly line with your keiki, and you can get dinner done in a flash!

ʻUala (sweet potato) is easy to grow in your yard. It is also generous with its leaves (palula), so even after making laulau palula, you will have enough leaves to stir fry with garlic and patis or even eat it raw in a salad. With the abundance of palula provided by just a small patch of ʻuala, this is a dish you can enjoy all the time. He keu a ka ʻono!

“Before beginning, think about somebody that you aloha and that you would want to bring a smile to their face. That usually brings a good, positive energy into the space, which is essential for food preparation.”

Kaulana Vares, Cultural Specialist, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama