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Pupus (Appetizers) & More

Pupu is the Hawaiian word for appetizer. The pairing of delicous appetizers with spirits adds more fun and creativity to the whole happy hour experience. We are lucky to have great neighbors and we have fun get togethers where everyone brings a dish to share over a sunset happy hour cocktail or two.

While we wait for our own farm to get up and running, we started a container garden on the lanai with herbs and vegetables to get a head start. In the meantime, Monika has a large variety of fresh produce and eggs and is generous in sharing her bounty with neighbors. For my part, I use the gifted bounty to bake, cook and share. 

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Monika here -- the key to a good pupu is being creative with what you have! We have an abundance of fresh fruits and veggies, but they are seasonal so when something is ripe, we figure out how to use it. So as with any good cook, modify the recipes to suit what is available. We live 15 miles from the nearest grocery store and with the most expensive gas in the US, it doesn't make sense to go for a forgotten ingredient. Laura is the queen of using herbs and local flavors...I keep telling her she needs to open a food truck! On second thought, she always brings us stuff when she cooks and I really don't want to share. 

Below are a couple of unique items on the Hawaii farm we'd like to introduce you to and you'll see them in some of our Pupu recipes.

'Ulu (Breadfruit)

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'Ulu or breadfruit is a staple in many Pacific Island cultures and is grown on a beautiful large tree. When the fruit is ready it is the size of a cantaloupe and can be used as a starch similar to potatoes. When mature but not yet soft it can be used for savory recipes. When it is soft or very ripe it can be used for desserts and pancakes.


We have a least four trees on our property and one of them was giving us ripe fruit the month we moved in so I had to work fast before they rotted. Thank goodness for the internet and nice neighbors!! My across the street neighbor, Linda, let me borrow a cookbook with ulu recipes. So I roasted several and then tried to figure out what to do with them.


Jackfruit (or jakfruit) comes from the jackfruit tree, a cousin of the figtree, mulberry tree, and breadfruit family that grows in India and Southeast Asia. The largest tree-borne fruit in the world, jackfruit can weigh up to 100 pounds and grow up to three feet long. (Though, the average size of the fruit is 10 to 25 pounds.). 

A great thing about green jackfruits is they don’t have a strong flavor on their own, so they’re able to soak up herbs, spices, and other flavorings. This allows the fruit to be made into plant-based versions of shredded chicken, pulled pork, or other meat-based meals. The seeds are often boiled or roasted and eaten as snacks. They are similar to chestnuts or macadamia in taste and flavor.

It’s a healthy vegan meat replacement and it’s one of the biggest food trends among vegetarians, vegans and even meat lovers. Best of all, it's the key to making an insanely delicious barbecue pulled "pork" sandwich that you won't believe is vegan.


Monika and Brian's Breadfruit Tree

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