Popular Luau Recipes

Below are recipes for a full Hawaiian luau menu. Island locals often practice the tradition of “pot luck” luaus. Each person or family attending the luau is responsible for making and bringing one dish. If you would like to take off some of the cost and work burdens, assign each luau attendee a dish to bring and provide them with the recipe.



3 lb pork butt
1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke
2 1/4 teaspoons Hawaiian salt, or sea salt, or kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350-400 degrees F. Pierce pork butt all over with carving fork or score with a knife. Rub salt and liquid smoke into meat. Place pork fat side up in a roasting pan or deep casserole dish. Cover and roast in oven for 2 1/2-3 hours. Remove the pork from pan and shred with two forks. Makes six servings.
FYI- Pork typically takes about 30 minutes per pound to roast in a 350 degree oven. The internal temperature should reach between 160 degrees for medium and 170 degrees for well done.


3 lb pork butt
1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke
2 1/4 teaspoons Hawaiian salt, or sea salt, or kosher salt

Pierce pork butt all over with carving fork. Rub salt and liquid smoke into meat. Cook in slow cooker on low for 16-20 hours turning once. Remove meat, shred, and then add juices from slow cooker to shredded meat. Makes six servings.

(ideal for Thanksgiving)

1 twelve to fourteen pound turkey
16 large ti leaves
1/2 cup softened butter or margarine
3 tablespoons Hawaiian salt
2 teaspoons liquid smoke

Rinse and drain turkey. Line a large baking pan with foil. Wash ti leaves in a sink of cold water with a few drops of dish soap then rinse. Remove fibrous part of the veins. Line baking pan with ti leaves radiating from center. Place two additional ti leaves across the middle of the pan. Place turkey on the ti leaves. Rub butter, salt, then liquid smoke on inside and outside of turkey. Place 4-6 ti leaves over the turkey. Fold leaves around the turkey. Crimp foil around turkey and cover pan tightly with additional foil. Roast in electric oven at 325 degrees F for 3-4 hours until meat thermometer reads 175-180 degrees. Shred turkey and add in pan liquid to moisten meat. Makes 8-10 servings.


Click here for step by step directions on how to make an traditional underground oven and cook an entire pig, vegetables, and any kind of meat in it!


30 luau leaves
6 large ti leaves
6 boneless chicken thighs
1 lb belly pork boneless pork chops, cut into 6 pieces
1/4 lb salted butterfish, cut into 6 pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons Hawaiian sea salt
toothpicks or rubber bands

Wash luau and ti leaves removing stems and fibrous parts of the veins. Layer 5 luau leaves then place one piece each of chicken, pork, and fish on luau. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon Hawaiian salt. Wrap to form a bundle. Place the bundle on the end of a ti leaf and wrap tightly; fasten with toothpicks or rubber bands. Wrap remaining bundles. Bring water to a boil in a steamer. Place laulaus in steamer; lower heat and simmer for 6 hours or until done. Makes 6 servings.


24 dried banana leaves
¼ lb salted cod or butter fish cut into 6 pieces
6 boneless chicken thighs
1 lb belly pork or boneless pork chops, cut into 6 pieces
2 lbs Spinach
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt or Kosher salt

Soak the dry banana leaves in water 10-15 min until they are soft. Take 2 and 2, make like tick tack toe. Add handful raw spinach in middle then top with chicken, pork, fish, and a sprinkle of sea/Kosher salt. (if using salt cod, you do not need too much extra salt.) Cover meats with more spinach. Fold the banana leaves crisscross, like weaving, and tie up with a rubber band. Wrap remaining bundles. Bring water to a boil in a steamer. Place laulaus in steamer; lower heat and simmer for 6 hours or until done. Makes 6 servings.


10 pounds boneless skinless Chicken Breasts
1/2 cup Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour
1/2 cup Cornstarch
1/2 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
4 Eggs
10 teaspoon Soy Sauce or Huli Huli Sauce
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup green onions, chopped
4 tablespoon Sesame Seeds (optional)

Cut up chicken into serving size pieces and set aside. In a large container combine all ingredients except the chicken and mix well. Once the batter is mixed add the chicken and stir until all pieces are coated. Cover and let set in the batter overnight in the refrigerator. The following morning stir the batter and put it back in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook. Ten minutes prior to cooking take the container out of the refrigerator. Fill a wok or frying pan with enough oil to cover the chicken pieces and heat. Test hotness of oil by dropping some batter in it. If the oil is hot enough the batter will begin to cook on contact. If it does not wait until it gets hot. Deep fry the Mochiko batter chicken until golden brown. Let the cooked chicken drain on wire rack over some paper towels or newspaper then serve. Makes about 8-10 servings.


3 lb. fryer chicken cut up or can use just breasts or just thighs based on preference.
Sauce Ingredients:
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoon honey
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
1 whole star anise (mashed)
Garnish: Chinese parsley, green onions, sesame seeds

Steam chicken for 30 minutes. In a frying pan combine ingredients for sauce and let simmer for 15 minutes. Place chicken in sauce and simmer chicken for 5 minutes on each side till chicken is well coated with sauce. Chop chicken and arrange on platter. Garnish with Chinese parsley, green onions and sesame seeds. Makes about 6 servings.


5-7 lb. fryer chicken cut up or can use just breasts or just thighs based on preference.
Garnish: Chinese parsley, green onions, sesame seeds
Marinade Ingredients:
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup chicken broth
4 garlic cloves minced
1 small onion chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger root or 1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 Tablespoon pepper

Mix together marinade ingredients in a bowl. Place chicken pieces in marinade, cover with plastic wrap and let marinade overnight for best results. Grill for 15-20 minutes each side or until thoroughly cooked through. Place cooked chicken on plate and top with parsley, green onions, and sesame seeds for presentation. Serves 10-12.


5-7 pounds chicken wings, thighs, and breasts pieces based on your preference.
Sauce Ingredients:
¼ cup Frozen pineapple juice concentrate
1/3 cup White wine
½ cup Chicken broth
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup Katsup
¼ Teaspoon powdered ginger or a pinch of minced fresh ginger
1-2 drops Worcestershire sauce

Wash chicken parts and pat dry with paper towels. Mix all sauce ingredients in bowl. Set aside some of the sauce for dipping sauce after the chicken is cooked. With the remaining sauce, brush over chicken parts. Grill over barbecue for about 40 minutes. Turn and baste with sauce until chicken is done. Serves 10-12 people.


3 to 4 pounds of beef or chicken
Teriyaki Sauce:
2/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons sherry
3 clove garlic, minced
1 inch piece ginger, minced or 1 teaspoon ginger powder
3 stalks green onion chopped fine
1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice (optional but highly recommended)

Mix all sauce ingredients in a bowl. Add meat to sauce, cover with plastic wrap and let the meat marinate in sauce overnight.

Bake in shallow pan. Turn pieces over and marinate with sauce. Ten minutes before turning heat off, pour rest of shoyu mixture. Garnish with chopped green onions . Bake 325 degrees for 1 hour or less depending on how well you like your meat. Medium is best. Makes about 6 servings.

Our favorite way to eat these is by grilling them! Slice the meat into thin strips before marinating, then put on bamboo skewers and grill for 2-3 minutes per side. The meat comes out tender tasty and is easy to eat right off the stick which is great for a Luau!


1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 pound cleaned and deveined shrimp
1 beer
¼ cup coconut flakes
Garnish: minced chives or green onions

Place flour in a small bowl. Dredge shrimp in flour, then dip into beer and roll in coconut flakes. Deep fry for 1 ½ minutes. Serve 3 shrimp on a bed of rice, garnish with minced chives or green onions. Serve orange lime sauce dipping sauce on the side. Makes 4 servings.


10oz jar orange marmalade
3 tablespoons tangy mustard
1 tablespoon lime juice

To create orange lime sauce combine all sauce ingredients in a sauce pan and warm.


1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1 pound cleaned and deveined shrimp
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup finely crushed macadamia nuts
Garnish: minced chives or green onions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly coat a baking dish with olive oil. Place flour in a small bowl. Dredge shrimp in flour, then dip into coconut milk and roll in crushed macadamia nuts. Place in baking dish and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until shrimp is cooked through. Serve 3 shrimp on a bed of rice, garnish with minced chives or green onions. Serve orange lime sauce dipping sauce on the side. Makes 4 servings


2lbs fish fillets (mahi mahi is an island favorite or choose your favorite fish)
juice of 1 lemon
dash of garlic salt
dash of pepper
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
bread crumbs or panko

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Rinse fish and put in a baking dish. Squeeze lemon juice on fish. Sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper. Mix mayonnaise and chopped onions then spread mixture on fish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs or panko. Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes. Makes about 6 servings.


1 large pineapple
1 Tablespoon BBQ spice rub
1 lb pork butt, trimmed and cubed or whole boneless ribs
9 slices thick cut bacon

Heat oven to 300ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
Remove the top and bottom of the pineapple. (Do not discard.) Core the pineapple and trim the outside.
Sprinkle the inside and outside of the pineapple with ½ tablespoon of your favorite BBQ rub.
If using the cubed pork then chop up 1/2 cup of pineapple chunks from the interior and add to a bowl. Add the cubed pork and sprinkle with remaining BBQ rub. If using whole boneless ribs just sprinkle ribs with bbq spice.
Stuff the center of the pineapple with the cubed or whole ribs of pork. Recap the pineapple with the pineapple top. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil.
Drape the top of the pineapple with bacon and make a lattice, covering the whole exterior. Use skewers to secure the top and bottom back on. Cover in foil and roast in the oven for 3 ½ hours. Remove the foil and continue roasting for another ½ hour, or until the bacon is crisp. The swineapple can also be grilled, it takes about the same time.



2-3 pounds chicken thighs
3 cups water
3 cups chicken broth
1 can sliced mushrooms
1 carrot chopped
1″ piece of fresh ginger (crushed)
1 teaspoon Hawaiian salt, sea salt, or Kosher salt
1 clove crushed garlic
4 bundles long rice (soak in warm water till soft)
2 cubes chicken bouillon
Garnish: green onions

Place chicken thighs in a soup pot then cover with water and canned chicken broth. Add crushed ginger, salt, crushed garlic, mushrooms, carrots, and chicken bouillon. Bring to a boil then simmer 45minutes or until tender. Allow to cool, then bone and shred chicken. Reserve broth. Cut long rice in 4 inch lengths, add to broth then boil for 15 minutes. Add shredded chicken. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt, pepper, or soy sauce. Garnish with green onion when serving. Makes about 12 servings.


Ingredients: (part 1)
1 1/2 lb salmon fillets
Hawaiian salt, sea salt, or Kosher salt
1 clove crushed garlic

Lay salmon on bed of salt in glass dish, cover with more salt. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The following day rinse off the salt and dice the salmon.

Ingredients: (part 2)
3 tomatoes diced
1 small onion diced
1-2 chopped green onion
3/4 tablespoon lime juice
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon pepper

Mix tomatoes and onions with salmon then add in other ingredients. Chill until ready to serve. Serves 10-15 people.


4 large red and/or yellow potatoes cut into cubes
1-1/2 cups shell or elbow macaroni-dry
1/4 cup thinly sliced and chopped red onion
2-3 pickles chopped
2-3 green onion chopped
1 carrot grated
3 hard boiled eggs (whites chopped, set aside yolks)
1 cup frozen peas (optional)
2 celery stalks chopped (optional)
1-2 carrots chopped (optional)

1-1/4 to 2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup Zesty Italian dressing
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
3 yolks from the boiled eggs
1 teaspoon garlic salt
Ground pepper to taste
2 T or less pickle juice (optional)
Optional Herbs to taste (dill, parsley, curry powder)

Boil cubed potatoes until tender then drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside to allow to fully cool. Cook the macaroni according to the directions on the macaroni package. Then rinse with cold water and set aside to allow to fully cool.
While the macaroni is cooking mix the dressing in a small bowl and set aside.
Once the cooked macaroni and potatoes are cool lightly toss with the remaining ingredients. Once tossed mix in dressing. Serves 8-10 people.


1 head cabbage chopped
1 bunch green onions chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 carrot grated or cut into small slivers
3 packages Ramen chicken soup (dry soup pks)
1 bag frozen peas
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 Tablespoon sugar
8oz chunk almonds, toasted
4 Tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

Mix cabbage, green onions, carrot, and celery. Break up dry Ramen noodles and toss in. Mix dressing of vinegar, oil, and soup mix. Toss dressing and toasted almonds and sesame seeds with salad mix. This yields a lot of salad and is best served same day. Serves 15-20 people.


tomato slices
cucumbers slices
red and green peppers slices
carrot sliced into small slivers
any other salad favorites you may have

In a salad bowl toss a variety of fresh greens and vegetables. Offer side bowls with a variety of salad dressings and salad toppings like croutons, bacon bits, grated cheese, olives.


Pineapple chunks
Papaya slices

Fresh pineapple and papaya help to aide digestion and are an excellent side dish when eating a big meal.
Other fresh fruit options you can also offer are fresh strawberries, grapes, watermelon, mango, kiwi, and bananas.


HAUPIA (coconut pudding desert)

12 ounces chilled coconut milk
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup + 2 T. sugar
1/2 cup + 2 T. cornstarch

Combine all ingredients in saucepan and stir over medium heat until thickened. Lower heat and cook for ten minutes, stirring constantly to avoid lumping or burning. Pout into 8×8 inch dish and chill until set. Cut haupia into squares & serve. Serves 8-10 people.

Easy Coconut Pie

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 cup milk
1 9-inch unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine melted butter, eggs, flour, sugar, coconut, and milk. Pour into pie shell. Bake until firm, about 45 to 60 minutes.


1 1/3 cups milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
Dash salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
5 teaspoons cornstarch
2 egg whites
1 9 inch baking pie shell
1 cup heavy cream, sweetened and whipped, or use a container of real whipped cream in a can

In a saucepan combine 1 cup of the milk, 1/4 cup of the sugar, 1/4 cup of the nuts, the salt and the vanilla; scald. Mix the remaining 1/3 cup milk with egg and cornstarch. Thoroughly stir some of hot mixture into egg mixture; return all to saucepan. Cook 5 more minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Cool 1 hour. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form then fold carefully into cooled mixture. Pour into pie shell and chill. Before serving top with sweetened whipped cream or can of whipped cream and remaining 1/4 cup nuts. Makes 8 servings.


8 ounce can of crushed pineapple, drained
1 can lychee pitted and drained or 11 ounce can mandarin oranges drained
3 ½ cups cool whip
2 cups shredded coconut
2 cups mini marshmallows
½ cup milk
1 cup maraschino cherries

In a large bowl pineapple, lychee or mandarin oranges, whipped topping, coconut, marshmallows and milk. Chill 1 hour. Garnish with cherries before serving. Serves 12.


1lb butter
2 1/2 C.  sugar
5  eggs
1 1/2 cup evaporated milk
1lb Mochiko flour
2 t. baking powder
12 oz.coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Bake in oven preheated to 350 degrees for 1 hour in a 9×13 pan or 325 degrees in a Pyrex pan. Use plastic knife to cut. Makes about 30 pieces.


2 cupsMochiko flour
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon red or green food coloring
corn starch or potato starch

Grease or spray a 5 cup microwave tube pan. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except corn/potato starch. Mix until smooth. Pour mixture into prepared pan and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 10 minutes rotating the pan several times. Let the mochi stand a few minutes. Run a knife along the edges of the mochi to pull it away from the sides. Invert onto a board dusted with corn/potato starch. Cut mochi into bite size pieces with plastic knife and roll in starch. Makes about 36 pieces.

If you are looking for a special cake for an upcoming celebration below are two excellent island cake recipes. The cakes below are listed as lilikoi cakes. You are able to substitute the lilikoi pulp and juice with that of orange, pineapple, guava, strawberry guava, or orange-pineapple.


(this makes a fabulous wedding cake)
For cake:
1 package moist Yellow Cake Mix
1 1/3 cups lilikoi juice
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil

To make the cake: Bake cake according to package directions substituting lilikoi juice for water. See below for frosting recipes.
To assemble cooled cake: Thickly frost the cake with all of the Chiffon frosting mixture.
Optional: Glaze the top of the cake with lilikoi gel. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Lilikoi Chiffon Frosting

4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup Lilikoi juice concentrate, thawed, undiluted
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Beat egg yolks and sugar until lemon-colored; add Lilikoi juice, place in saucepan and cook over low-to-medium heat until thick, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and chill. Whip cream and vanilla, then fold into Lilikoi mixture. Frost sides of cake; cover top with Lilikoi topping. Makes enough to frost one cake. If layering an 11-by-13-inch cake, double this recipe.

Lilikoi Gel Topping

2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
Pinch salt
12-ounce can Lilikoi juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 slightly beaten egg yolk
1 tablespoon butter

Mix cornstarch with water to dissolve all lumps. Add salt, Lilikoi and lemon juices and egg yolk. Cook over low heat until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add butter. Spread when slightly cooled but still warm.


1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup lilikoi pulp (fresh or frozen concentrate)
½ cup lilikoi juice
red coloring to tint the cake pink

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar together and add eggs one by one, beating well. Stir the baking powder into the flour. Mix the lilikoi pulp and juice. Add flour and liquids in alternate portions to the creamed mixture and stir until blended. Pour into a greased and floured 13 by 9 inch cake pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until top of cake spring back when lightly pressed with finger.

Frost with a butter cream frosting: Mix 1 cup softened butter, 2-½ cups powdered sugar, and just enough milk to make a creamy consistency.


Cake Ingredients
2 ¼ cups self-rising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting Ingredients
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups guava jelly

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 2 8-inch cake pans. Cream butter, vanilla, and sugar together and add eggs one by one, beating well. Sift in the baking powder into the flour. Beat on low speed until mixed then increase speed to medium and beat for 3-5 minutes until batter is light and fluffy. Pour into buttered cake pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until top of cake spring back when lightly pressed with finger. Cool 5 minutes in the pans before using a knife to loosen around the edges. Remove from pans and cool. Freeze for 25 minutes before freezing to make cutting the layers easier.

Cream Cheese frosting: Mix cream cheese and butter 2-3 minutes until smooth consistency. Gradually add the confectioner’s sugar, beating until smooth; stir in the vanilla, cover, and set aside.

Using a serrated knife, slice each cake into 2 even layers. On a plate place the top half of a cake, top side down and spread ⅓ of the guava jelly evenly over it. Put the bottom half of the cake, cut side down on top of the bottom layer and spread on the second ⅓ of the jelly. Place the bottom half of the other cake on the second layer, cut side up, and spread on the remaining jelly. Top with the remaining layer, top side up. Ice the sides and top of the cake with the cream cheese frosting; chill the cake for 1 hour or up to 24 hours before serving.



6 cups boiling water
5 cups sugar
Juice of 6 lemons
1 quart  orange juice
2 cups pineapple juice
6 mashed bananas
2 quarts ginger ale

Add sugar to boiling water. Once sugar dissolved mix in the lemon, orange, and pineapple juices as well as the banana mash. Mix well then freeze mixture. Take out of freezer shortly before needing and add 2 quarts bottle of ginger ale to the frozen mixture in punch bowl.


1 gallon pineapple juice
6 ounces lime juice
2 quarts vodka
2 quarts 7UP or Sierra Mist
1 quart brandy
1 quart tonic
Ice cubes to chill

Mix all ingredients in a large punch bowl.


3 cans frozen fruit punch concentrate
1 64oz-canpineapple juice
1 can cream of coconut
2 2-Liters ginger ale
ice cubes
To make alcoholic add the optional:vodka

In a large punch bowl add the 3 cans of frozen fruit punch concentrate. Keep one of the empty frozen juice cans. Fill the can with water 6 times and add to punch bowl. Add pineapple juice, one bottle of ginger ale, and ice cubes then stir. Then add as much of the 2nd bottle of ginger ale as possible leaving at least 3 inches from the rim of the punch bowl and stir again. Pour in the can of cream of coconut on top. If you want the punch to be alcoholic add vodka. Will serve 40-70 people.


There are a lot of variations on this basic recipe for a Hawaiian favorite. A word to the wise, don’t have one mai tai after another, with almost 4oz. of liquor and that fruity flavor you might be dancing a hula to the pounding in your head!

2 oz. light rum
1 oz. Triple sec orange liquor
1 tbsp. almond liquor or almond flavored syrup
1 tbsp. Grenadine
1 tbsp. lime juice
1 dash 151prf. rum or dark rum (optional)

Shake ingredients (except the dark rum) and strain into a large glass about 1/3 full with crushed ice. Decorate with a maraschino cherry speared to a wedge of fresh pineapple. Top with a dash of dark rum for that reddish color, or for sure inebriation 151 proof rum.


1 oz light rum
2 oz pineapple juice
1 oz  Blue Curacao
1 oz cream of coconut
1 slice pineapple
1 cherry

Blend light rum, blue curacao, pineapple juice, and cream of coconut with one cup of ice in an electric blender at high speed. Pour contents into a highball glass. Decorate with the slice of pineapple and a cherry.


1 1/2 oz vodka(non-alcoholic chi-chi omit the vodka)
4 oz pineapple juice
1 oz cream of coconut
1 slice pineapple
1 cherry

Blend vodka, pineapple juice, and cream of coconut with one cup of ice in an electric blender at a high speed. Pour into a glass, decorate with the slice of pineapple and the cherry, and serve.

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