Laulau is a hawaiian dish that is basically a package of steamed meat and vegetables. It is traditionally filled pork and hawaiian salt wrapped in taro leaves, then with ti leaves and steamed.
Many people have created their own variation using different ingredients. Some examples of other fillings are chicken, cod fish and tofu. You can use whatever you want. Make what suits your taste. In my videos, my father and I used pork, chicken, pork fat, and salmon.
A lot of advanced preparation is required for this dish. Taro leaves must be harvested and rinsed; ti leaves must be harvested, rinsed, and deboned; meats or other stuffing must be cut up; an assembly line should be made. This is usually a coordinated effort with many people getting together and making it bulk for parties and family gatherings.
I was lucky because my father did all the preparation before I came to visit. I just helped him wrap and cook them.
Taro leaves are dark, leafy, nutritious, delicious greens. If you don't have access to taro leaves, spinach can be substituted.
The ti leaves are not edible, but serve as a natural wrapper to hold everything together. Foil can be substituted for ti leaves.
People wrap laulau in different ways like a square package wrapped with a string or a bundle tied on the top with string. Both of those examples use more than one leaf and something to tie it with.
My father showed me an innovative technique to wrap laulau using just one leaf and no string. I am calling this the "One Leaf Method".
I actually wanted to say One-Leaf (with the dash), but think people may not remember to put the dash in an internet search. So I want to keep it simple. Lol!
Here are step-by-step photos showing my dad wrapping a laulau with the One Leaf Method. I had to watch him do it first.
(Scroll down further to see step-by-step photos with instructions, from a first-person perspective.)
Then I tried it myself. Here are photos of me wrapping a laulau with the One Leaf Method from a first-person point-of-view. You may need a lot of practice to get it down. Just remember this: LEFT, UP, RIGHT, PULL
|Place your laulau on the left side of the ti leaf|
|Wrap the laulau with the ti leaf, folding LEFT|
|Grab the laulau and fold UP|
|Grab the laulau and fold RIGHT|
Pick up the laulau. Fold the end of the leaf over and insert into the opening until it pops out on the other end.
PULL the stem through until snug.
Watch my videos to see the One Leaf Method in action. The links are below.
IGTV post of this video: Wrapping laulau with just one ti leaf (One Leaf Method)
IG post of the short video, straight to the point: One Leaf Method short version
IG post of cooking laulau in pressure cooker: Cooking One Leaf Method laulau in pressure cooker