Sunday, January 29, 2012


Is your mouth watering? I already ate half of this. Look how moist it is!
Palusami, at least I think this is what it's called, is one of my favorite Polynesian dishes and it can be made totally EAT TO LIVE!! And now I have discovered an even easier way to make it: THE CROCKPOT! With absoutely no water added. I kid you not. And somehow, cooked in the crockpot, it comes out softer and lighter. So so delicious. And moist. Without water! Amazing.

*Disclosure - Two people who tried it got the "itchy throat" from the taro leaves. Two felt absolutely nothing. I think the next time I try it I will cook it on high for two more hours and see if that makes a difference. I think it was from the bundles at the top of the crockpot. If you try this let me know how it works for you! I am posting this recipe because it shows you HOW to make the palusami. You may choose other methods to COOK your palusami that are guaranteed to melt those calcium oxalate crystals. I found an interesting article about the crystals found in kalo here. If you're steaming, steam for about 2 hours. Make sure you don't let the water dry out! If pressure cooking, one hour should suffice. You can also bake it in the oven (found this recipe). Whichever cooking method you choose, I hope you enjoy the results. It hits the spot!

1 1/2 - 2 lb. taro leaves
1-2 onions, chopped
1-2 cans coconut milk
foil paper

After washing your taro leaves, lay about 6-8 of them one on top of the other so they are flat. I like a lot of taro leaves. You might want to use less and make mini palusami. You really can't go wrong with this recipe.

Add a handful of onions (probably about 1/2 cup) to the center

Pour in enough coconut milk to fill the middle. Remember, you need to also "wrap" the leaves around all of this without the milk spilling out. I would say it's about 1/2 - 3/4 cup, depending on how large your leaves are.
Start to fold the leaves up.

You're going to gather them towards the top and then...

 fold them carefully so the milk doesn't spill out

Wrap in tin foil

place the palusami in a crockpot

Ready to go! I have about 6 in here. I put it on high for 8 hours and then it went on warm for two hours (overnight)


Okay, I know these aren't the best pictures, haha. In fact, some of them are downright blurry!  That's what happens when someone else handles the iPhone but I'm grateful to have the help :-)


  1. Thanks for the idea! I love laulau leaves and wanted at find a recipe that included it. Wondering if I could use other vegetables inside. I'm not a fan of the coconut flavor, but think I'll try this next weekend. Thanks again! Yes, looks yummy and my mouth was watering.

    1. I think what helps with the coconut milk is all the naughty oil in it...helps to make it moist. But I want to make some with sweet potato and taro.

  2. Yummers! Try adding sweet potato too! Soaking the leaves for about 20min (instead of just rinsing) can help relieve the itchiness, in addition to cooking for a longer period of time.

  3. I'm so glad you posted this & have such great pics. I've been wanting to make this again since having it in American Samoa where we did it all from scratch (as in, climb the coconut tree & shred the coconut & weave the plates, etc etc). It is still one of the best vegan meals I've ever had IN MY LIFE. Food of the gods. Sublime. I am renewed to try this - so thanks!

  4. I love palusami!! Is there a lot of liquid when it cooks down? Also, did you say HI for 8 hrs and low for 2?
    Looks really good Liana!

    1. They are all wrapped in foil. There is no liquid. Each palusami is nice and moist but no liquid. HI for 8 hours, warm for 2. But I will definitely try an hour or two more next time to get rid of those crystals. I am DETERMINED to beat it! Haha! It is too ʻono not to.

  5. Mahalo for the tips. I tried to make lūʻau stew in the crock pot but when I came home, the coconut milk separated. It was still ʻono but it looks gross. Gonna try add the milk at the end next time.

  6. Well it is perfect for the palusami. Not gross looking at all. When I make lūʻau in the crockpot I add the coconut milk right before itʻs time to eat.

  7. buy yourself a wood stool coconut grater (
    i bought mine from a company in Thailand.
    can't wait to grate dem coconuts and squeeze the gratings using a sprout bag.



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