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Laulau or lau lau is one of very few traditional Hawaiian dishes. They are usually pork and salt fish wrapped in luau (taro) leaf, wrapped in ti leaf, then wrapped either with the stem of the ti leaf or a piece of string and then put into a pressure cooker to cook. We would get together to make these at times and sit and talk while it cooked, then take home our green packets of goodness 🙂 When I saw this recipe to cook it in the slow cooker, I had to make it. It was delicious.
Unfortunately, this is a dish that only locals (from Hawaii) or people with access to taro and ti leaves can make, sorry. There really isn’t a substitute. Some places do a mock laulau with spinach, but it really is not the same.
6 lbs. boneless pork butt or country-style ribs
2 lb. fresh luau leaves, cleaned and washed.
Hawaiian salt, to taste (approx. 3 Tbsp.)
3 Tbsp. shoyu
6 ti leaf, cleaned and thick rib removed
1/4 c. water
Cut pork butt into 1-1/2 inch cubes and place in large bowl. Add salt and shoyu, mixing so that all pieces are covered evenly. Line 5-quart crock-pot bottom and sides with 4 ti leaves, shiny side up (facing food). Place slightly more than half the luau leaves over the ti leaves, forming a slight basket up the sides of the crock pot. Place pork on the luau leaves and cover with remaining luau leaves. Place remaining ti leaves over top (shiny side down, facing food), tucking in edges. Add water down the sides of ti leaves. Cover tightly with foil and crock pot cover. Cook on low for 8 hrs. or until luau leaves are fully cooked (dark green and soft). I received feedback that the fast 4 hr. version caused their mouth to itch. Luau leaves need to be thoroughly cooked so that this does not happen, so I encourage you to do the 8 hr. version.
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