This wrapped pork dish is inspired by foods either mentioned or portrayed in “Moana” like pork, coconuts, taro, fish, and mango, as well as Hawaiian lau lau and Tongan lu pulu. Traditionally banana leaves are used to wrap the bundles for steaming, but foil is a substitute if banana leaves are not readily available (also, do not eat the banana leaves!). If you’re not able to get a hold of taro leaves, other big leafy greens like collard, mustard, or turnip greens are all right substitutes, though of course they each have their own texture and flavor. Also, feel free to add a little fish and/or onions to the filling. It’s a very versatile dish!
Put a large steamer pot on high heat & pour water up to the fill line. Cover & bring to a boil, & then put on low for a steady simmer.
In a large bowl, toss the 1st 6 ingredients until well coated. (The measurements are just to get you started. Depending on your taste buds, you may want to add more).
Lay a square of aluminum foil on a flat work surface (or use banana leaves instead if you can find them), & then lay 1 large (2, depending on size) taro leaf or leafy green on it.
Place a few slices of taro onto the center of the leaf, & then place several chunks of coated pork on top. Feel free to pour on a little coconut milk & more flavorings if you’d like (I like my food very flavorful 😉).
Fold the edges of the leaf (or leaves) over the filling & wrap into a bundle, & then wrap with the foil (or banana leaf). Repeat until you run out of ingredients (makes about 6-8 bundles).
Place the wrapped bundles on the steamer rack in the pot & steam for 4-4 1/2 hours (depending on the leaves you used. If you use turnip greens, steam for only 4 hrs).
Place about a cup of cooked white rice in a serving bowl. Unwrap one of the bundles & transfer the contents, including any juices, onto the rice. Add a few optional slices of fresh mango. E ʻai kākou!
Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 50: Moana
Diana and Carrie discuss the newest Disney flick, “Moana”! There’s fish, pork, taro, “boat snacks”, and lots and lots of coconuts!
Intro & Outro music clip: “Moana Original Motion Picture Soundtrack”. Available for purchase here.