Luau Palusami – National Dish of American Samoa
|Taro leaves (approximately)||40|
|warm water||1 cup|
|A thin cloth or tauaga (used to strain liquid)|
|A coconut scraper|
Luau Palusami: Coconut trees and taro plants grow abundantly on the islands of American Samoa. Both coconuts and leaves of the taro plant are used to make the national dish; Luau Palusami.
Directions for Preparing Luau Palusami
Preparing the Coconut Cream
- Halve the coconuts and use a coconut scraper to remove the white fleshy insides.
- Place the coconut flesh into the baking tin. Bake until it becomes brown.
- Pour a cup of warm water onto the brown coconut flesh.
- Scoop up the mass of wet coconut flesh and place it in a thin cloth or tauaga.
- Squeeze the cloth and extract the cream into a large bowl.
- Add salt and onion to taste.
Preparing the Luau Pulsami
- Stack 4 taro leaves one on top of the other.
- Use a large taro leaf at the base and 3 smaller ones on top of it.
- Hold the stack of leaves together and make it into a cone/bowl-like container.
Once this is done, pour a small amount of coconut cream into the taro leaf container.
- Close the leaves by folding them shut over the cream. The enclosed leaf container will resemble a ball.
- Hold the top of the ball carefully so it will not become undone.
- Place the ball onto a square piece of aluminum foil and wrap the foil around the ball.
- Twist the foil at the top to seal it and hold it tightly.
- Repeat this to create ten taro and coconut cream packages, each wrapped in foil.
- Place them in a baking tin and bake for one hour at 475°F.
- Unwrap the foil and enjoy the delicious, gooey fusion of taro leaves and coconut cream.