Hukilau is This Weekend: How to Roast a Hog Hawaiian-Style
Unfortunately, the nice weather and large supply of tourists dried up a few weeks back.
Luckily, this weekend the annual Hukilau, a three day tiki event is coming to town. And it's bringing in a massive tiki- and luau-loving crowd.
With that in mind, we decided to drum up some advice on a DIY luau themed party. We spoke to native Hawaiian and chef of the Sybarite Pig, Suzanne Cochard, about pig roasting Hawaiian-style.
"The traditional Hawaiian roasted pig is known as 'Kalua' pork, meaning it has been cooked in an underground oven, an 'imu'," said Cochard. "Digging the pit and layering it with the proper vegetation and earth required a lot of hands. The oven was built to suit the amount of food to be cooked and was loaded with parcels of chicken and fish, as well as vegetables to have an entire meal for the community."
Hawaiians used tinder and wood, usually from the kiawe tree -- similar to Mesquite. The oven was comprised of smooth river stones, banana plants, leaves, coconut fronds and Hawaiian ti leaves. Once the food was placed in the dug out oven, green leaves were layered on top, which were then covered with woven mats and cloth. Dirt was placed over all of the layers.
Aside from the manual labor, the cooking process itself is fairly simple. The pit needs to be dug with sloping sides to prevent the hog from getting dirty. Steam from the vegetation creates a perfectly moist and somewhat earthy finished product.
So here's how you're going to do it...