Autumn Luau: Celebration of Hawaiian culture

8:13 AM, Nov 4, 2013   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - You don't have to stick with traditional favorites like turkey, ham, or cranberry sauce this holiday season.

Pan-Asian grocer United Noodles is hosting an Autumn Luau to show how you can prepare and enjoy Hawaiian-inspired dishes throughout the year.

Organizers hope to make the event an annual tradition between Halloween and Thanksgiving to help keep a little bit of summer around as the temperatures drop.

The Autumn Luau will be held from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Sunday, November 10 at United Noodles at 2015 E. 24th St., Minneapolis. Admission is free!

United Noodles' Eric Fung visited KARE 11 Sunrise with more on the event, including the dishes, hula dancing, and craft-making.

Ahi Poke Lettuce Cups
Makes 6-8 appetizer-sized servings

2 lbs sashimi grade Ahi tuna
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sambal oelek
2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup sliced scallions (about 3 or 4 scallions)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
1 tablespoons black sesame seeds (these are optional but create a beautiful presentation)
1/4 cup toasted macadamia nuts, roughly chopped, for garnish
2-3 heads of butter lettuce (you can also use iceberg or green leaf lettuce) 

Begin by cutting the tuna into 1/2 inch cubes. Place the tuna in a large bowl and set aside.

Next, combine the soy sauce, sambal, sesame oil, garlic, and grated ginger in a small bowl. Whisk the ingredients together, then stir in the scallions. 

In a small skillet, toast the white and black sesame seeds over medium heat, stirring constantly, until they take on a nutty aroma and the white seeds just begin to turn golden brown. Pay close attention and don't walk away while the seeds are toasting because they will burn quickly. Transfer the toasted seeds to a small plate or bowl. 

Add the soy sauce mixture to the cubed Ahi tuna. Stir gently to coat the fish. 

For the lettuce, separate the leaves and rinse them with water. Drain well in a colander or salad spinner. Take out the medium and small leaves (the cups should be the size of 2 bites), separating any large leaves and storing for another use. Arrange the lettuce cups on a serving platter. 

Spoon the Ahi tuna into the lettuce cups and top with the toasted sesame seeds. 

Serve immediately. 

15 Minutes Prep Time | 13 Hours Cook Time | Serves 4


Kalua Pork
16 lb Pork Shoulder/Butt Roast
1½ Tbsp Hawaiian Red Alaea Sea Salt
1 Tbsp Aloha Soy Sauce
1½ tsp Liquid Smoke
3 Frozen Banana Leaves
2 C Uncooked Medium Grain Japanese Rice

Sautéed Spinach
1 Medium Onion
1 Tbsp Shaoxing Rice Wine / Sake
1 Spinach Bunch
1 Slice of Bacon


Kalua Pork

Wipe down two pieces of banana leaves with a damp towel. Line the slow cooker with a leaf. Pierce pork all over with a fork and cut the fat in a crisscross pattern. Rub salt, then soy sauce and liquid smoke all over meat. Place roast in a slow cooker.
Cover with another banana leaf and the lid. Cook with the fat side up on low for 13 hours.
Place a colander inside a large bowl. Remove the meat from slow cooker and pour all the liquid into the colander. Remove the banana leaves.
Place the pork in another large bowl and shred with two folks.
Let the liquid stand until the fat separates and skim off the excess oil.
Pour in the skimmed liquid onto the shredded pork.

Sautéed Spinach

Rinse one bunch of spinach. Cut bacon into bit-sized pieces. Dice one onion.
Add bacon bits into a large saucepan. Cook on low and stir for 1½ minutes. Add the onions and cook for another 2 minutes.
Increase the heat to medium high. Deglaze with 1 Tbsp Rice Wine / Sake.
Add in spinach. Cook for 2 minutes until leaves have wilted.

Finally Assembly

Cook rice as per package.
Wipe down a piece of banana leaf with a damp towel. Cut into a square and place on plate.
Place one scoop of cooked rice on the left center of the banana leaf.
Add a serving of sautéed spinach next to the rice (center of the leaf)
Add a serving of the kalua pork next to the spinach (right center of the leaf)

(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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