2-3 bunchlarge taro leaves, or large spinach leaves
1 largecan of corned beef (from new zealand is the only one that works)
3 mediumripe tomatoes (but not soft), diced
1 bunchlittle green onions, thinly sliced, include some of the greens
1 can(s)polynesian style coconut milk
1 cbest foods or hellman's mayonaise
How to Make Lu Pulu
- Take two or three sheets of foil and seam them together tightly to make one big huge, tight sheet of foil.
Wash and pat dry either the Taro or Spinach leaves. Place on foil in a fan type circle with leaves getting closer and closer until the middle is covered with leaves too. Some stems will go over the leaves as you do this, but they are supposed to!
- Open and flake the corned beef around the middle of the leaves, about the size of an 10" dinner plate. On top of the meat, spread the tomatoes and onions. Bring up two opposing sides of the foil and seal tightly (by folding) and then seal the opposite ends tightly as well.
- Spread out mayonaise in dobs all around. Bring up the edges of the foil somewhat, and pour the can of coconut milk into the middle. Place on a foil lined baking tray or pan (for easier clean up), and bake in oven at 325 degrees for at least 2 hours, but can go 4 if you like.
- This was historically cooked on a fire of course, but now it is cooked in the oven. It is cooked for several hours to blend the flavors Tongans have not traditionally worried about fat, calories, etc.
- I believe that the Taro leaves NEED to be cooked a long time (at least 2 hours) to loose their sticky, prickly texture, even though it is some times hard for me to cook the spinach that long...I like it so well fresh! But the reality is...that's the way it is done, and the leaves are supposed to be that way. When ready to serve, open very carefully so as not to burn yourself, and scoop it out into desired serving sizes. Have an adventure! It's fantastic! Serve with baked sweet potatoes in 1/2" slices without butter)or boiled potatoes,or some baked Tapioca root, Ufi root or taro root. Search my recipes for Au Tai (Authentic Tongan Fruit Drink) to accompany or finish it off as dessert! Magnificent!