Wednesday | December 13, 2017
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Ulu fest coming in March

The second annual Puna ‘Ulu festival, ‘Ulu a Niu, will be held from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on March 2 at Ho‘oulu Lahui, the site of Kua O Ka La Public Charter School at Pu‘ala‘a, next to the Ahalanui County Park warm ponds in Puna. There will be free shuttle bus service from Isaac Hale Beach park from 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Celebrating the ulu, or breadfruit, and the niu, or coconut, there will be tree sales, a cooking contest, presentations, keiki activities, cultural demonstrations, and music with Diane Aki, Bruddah Cuz and Ili Wai.

A buffet lunch featuring breadfruit and coconut prepared by Chef Casey Halpern of Café Pesto in Hilo, Kanoa Miura of Aloha Mondays and Mark Noguch or Pili Hawaii and Taste will begin at 10:30 a.m. and continue until all gone, for a mere $8 a plate.

The cooking contest will start from 8-10 a.m. with judging at 11 a.m. If you feel you have a great appetizer, main dish or dessert using breadfruit or ulu or coconut or niu, check out for contest rules and entry forms. Deadline is as late as the day before, March 1.

Do you know how to select and prepare an ulu? At 11 a.m. Kupuna Shirley Kauhaihao will teach you.

At noon, after you have eaten your plate lunch, Nat Bletter will present delectable chocolate desserts.

The Kua O Ka La students who entered and won in the Sam Choy Poke contest will present their spicy ulu poke at 1 p.m., and at 2 p.m. Laura Dawn and Noah Dan will demonstrate how to make raw foods, ulu tortillas with sauces.

We had the opportunity to visit the Kua O Ka La Public Charter School campus where the Ulu Festival will be held. Eighteen years ago Susie Osborne, head of school, a transplanted Canadian who came to Hawaii 30 years ago and made Hawaii her home. She met Keikialoha Kekipi, whose ancestral lands, where an ancient Hawaiian village was formerly located, is on the property the school sits. Their vision and mission to the aina and the children of the island is so genuine and sincere, and the children who now attend Kua O Ka La Public Charter School are truly benefiting by their dream.

Across the street, the administration building and classrooms are located. There are greenhouses with vertical planting, aquaponics, a bus that has been converted to a drying room, where slices of bananas on wire racks were being dried, and a nursery where ulu plants were being nurtured. Other native plants were also grown in another section.

‘Ike Aina: From the Seed to the Table, cooking with locally grown foods cookbook is currently on sale at KTA Super Stores, Island Naturals and Basically Books. The proceeds from the sale of the cookbook will be used to build a certified kitchen on campus. Many of the ingredients for the recipes are grown right on campus, given to the culinary program so Mariposa Blanco and her culinary students can create wonderful dishes. Additionally, the left side of the page is written in English, the right side in Hawaiian.

If you ever wondered what the Hawaiian word for pineapple is, “halakahiki,” you certainly will find out in this wonderful cookbook.

Here are some of the recipes from the cookbook.

Coconut Oil Mayonnaise

(Meoneki Aila Niu)

1 cup coconut oil (1 ki‘aha aila niu)

1 lime (1 lemi)

2 eggs (2 hua moa)

Sea salt (Pa‘akai)

Have your coconut oil ready to go in liquid form. You can leave out and pelt or put in glass cup or put into a bath of hot water.

Zest a little of the lime then juice and set aside.

Separate the eggs and put yolks into a dry medium size bowl.

Gently beat the yolks with a whisk or large fork.

Start adding your coconut oil very slowly and keep a steady rhythm with the whisk.

The oil and eggs will start turning into a mayonnaise, when all your oil is mixed with the eggs, gently which in the zest, lime and sea salt to taste.

This is a very delicious and rich mayonnaise. Best used right after you make it.

Coconut mayonnaise is a favorite of the students, guests, and staff.

It does not keep well because the coconut sometimes hardens and separates. Also very good with cilantro.

Yacon Lilikoi Salad

(Saleta iakona Lilikoi)

Serves 6 (hanai‘ia 6)

2 large yacon (2 iakona nui)

The juice of 6 lilikoi (ka wai o 6 lilikoi)

3-4 basil leaves (3-4 lau lau‘ala)

1 kaffir lime leaf (1 lau o ka laimi kaffir)

Touch of honey (Wai meli I kou ‘ono)

Sea salt (Pa‘akai)

Peel, wash and set your yacon in a bowl of cold water.

Make or have your lilikoi juice ready in a bowl, save a few seeds for your salad.

Finely cut your basil and kaffir leaf, add to lilikoi juice, honey and salt

Cut yacon into big round slices and add to bowl with few lilikoi seeds, toss and serve cold.

This salad and other yacon salads go great with any curry or hot food, as they are cooking and good for the digestion.


The Foods of North Africa will be featured at the HCC Bamboo Hale this week, from tomorrow through Friday. Call 934-2591 for reservations. The cafeteria specials can be obtained by calling 934-2559.

Please feel free to e-mail me at if you have a question. Bon appetit until next week.


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