Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 45: Palasami - luau- lupulu - call it what you will, I call it delish!

As a kid we had a Tongan version of this dish called Lupulu. You just mention that word at our house and people start to drool. We got the recipe from my Auntie Meleami. This is the same auntie that taught us to say "hello, how are you, go eat cockroaches" in Tongan un- beknownst to us. This recipe always helps us forgive her.
The samoan version - palasami or luau - is about the same, minus the tomato. I guess Tongans just like more veggies...or is it a fruit? Anyway - this is a great, authentic recipe that is so satisfying. We have it every sunday and if we don't I crave it the rest of the week. I don't know what we'll do when we leave samoa....I guess I'll have to make it in my coconut bra.

1 bunch red swiss chard
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 onion chopped
1 can coconut milk or fresh is best!
1 coconut per 2 people
cooked brown rice

Here is a quick tutorial on how to prep your coconut:

Notice that all this is done with the back of the knife with the blade towards you! BE CAREFUL! if it doesn't crack in one whack just keep hittin' it, it takes me a few hits. I guess I'm not as strong as this manly samoan. Once you've got your coconut cleaned out it should look like this

Which ones the nut? :)

Now, pour your tomatoes into a strainer and let sit for about an hour to drain. Cut the stems from the swiss chard and ruffly chop the greens. In a bowl mix the swiss chard, onion,salt,tomato and a can of coconut milk. Divide into your coconut bowls and cover with tin foil. Bake at 350 for about 1 hour to 1 hour and a half. If you want to make homemade coconut milk you can put the coconut meat through your juicer if it can handle it or check out this link.

Make your brown rice into rice balls by kneading it in your hands till in sticks together in balls the size of a tennis ball. Serve with the lupulu.

This dish really is best eaten with your hands. Take a pinch of rice between your thumb
and first two fingers. Then take a pinch of the lupul with the rice and eat together. Great dish and easy clean-up!


  1. Thanks for posting this video! I was just trying to explain how to do this from how I learned it on my mission in Hawaii, but a video helps so much more than words! :D

  2. Ya - This brother does it so much takes me a few wackes. But I'm sure after a year and a half you're a pro! Are you still in utah? can you get coconuts there? Let me know and I'll mail you one :)