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Crock Pot Laulau

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Juicy, tender meat wrapped in leafy greens slow cooked to perfection. This deconstructed Crock Pot laulau takes the effort out of making laulau.

laulau on a plate of rice

Laulau is a traditional Hawaiian meal that consists of meat (pork, fish, beef, chicken) wrapped in lū’au (taro) leaves, packaged in ti leaves, and steamed in an imu (underground oven). Today steaming in an imu has been replaced with a stacked steamer.

 When using a stacked steamer each laulau is individually wrapped in foil and placed in the steamer. The water levels need to be monitored and refilled multiple times over the long cooking process.

Looking for another Crock Pot recipe? Check this one out.

Crock Pot laulau

With this Crock Pot laulau recipe all you have to do is dump it in, set it, and viola yummy homemade laulau.

What are lū’au leaves?

Lū’au leaves come from the kalo (taro) plant.

What is a kalo plant?

Hawaiians believe in the creation story named Kumulipo. Story goes Wākea, sky father, and Papahānaumoku have a daughter named Ho’ohokukalani. Wākea and Ho’ohokukalani birthed a stillborn son named Hāloa. They bury Hāloa and out of his body grew the kalo plant. Kalo is sacred to the Hawaiian culture. Want to read more about Hāloa? Check this article out.

close up of cooked lu'au leaves and meat

What is kalo used for?

Kalo is one of the oldest cultivated crops. The root of kalo is most commonly used to make poi (steamed kalo root, pounded, and thinned out with water). The leaves were used to wrap and cook meat.

Can you eat lū’au leaves raw?

NO! The lū’au leaf and the kalo root contain calcium oxalate which makes your mouth and throat very itchy.

plate of laulau and rice

What’s in laulau?

Traditional laulau generally consists of 

  1. Salted butterfish
  2. Meat
    1. Pork
    2. Beef
    3. Chicken
  3. Lū’au leaf
  4. Ti leaf

How long do you cook laulau?

Traditional steaming takes 3-4 hours. In a Crock Pot laulau cooks in 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.

What pairs well with laulau?

  1. Sticky, white rice
  2. Poi
  3. Lomi salmon (side dish made of diced salmon, tomato, and onion)
  4. Kālua pig (steamed pork made in an underground oven)
  5. Haupia (coconut milk based dessert)

Can I freeze laulau?

Yes. Placed cooked laulau in a zip top bag and freeze. You can reheat with the microwave or steaming.

How to make Crock Pot laulau?

Rinse lū’au leaf. Handling raw lū’au leaf may cause skin itch due to calcium oxalate crystals. If you have sensitive skin I suggest using gloves. Trim off the steam of the leaf. Lay half of the leaves in the bottom of the Crock Pot. Add fillings of choice (pork, beef, chicken). Season with Hawaiian salt. Cover with remaining lū’au leaves. Pour water in to pot. Cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.

Crock Pot laulau

Crock Pot Laulau

Relle
Juicy, tender meat wrapped in leafy greens slow cooked to perfection. This deconstructed Crock Pot laulau takes the effort out of making laulau.
4.25 from 16 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 5 mins
Course Crock Pot
Cuisine Hawaiian
Servings 5 servings
Calories 311 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound taro leaves divided
  • 1 1/2 pound stew meat
  • 1 pound pork cubed
  • 1 tablespoon Hawaiian salt
  • 2 cups water

Instructions
 

  • Rinse lū’au leaf. Trim off the steam of the leaf.
  • Lay half of the leaves in the bottom of the Crock Pot.
  • Add fillings of choice (pork, beef, chicken).
  • Season with Hawaiian salt.
  • Cover with remaining lū’au leaves.
  • Pour water in to pot.
  • Cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.

Notes

Handling raw lū’au leaf may cause skin itch due to calcium oxalate crystals. If you have sensitive skin I suggest using gloves.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 311kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 44gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 134mgSodium: 886mgFiber: 1g
Keyword beef recipes, Crock Pot, crock pot laulau, Hawaiian food, hawaiian recipes, keeping it relle, laulau, slow cooker
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Crock Pot Laulau

By on August 17th, 2019

About Relle

Aloha, my name is Relle and welcome to my little home on the internet where I like to share all my favorite Hawaiian recipes (and local ones too).

I am a wife, mom of two, and nurse practitioner here in the beautiful state of Hawai’i. I was born and raised in Hawai’i and I am of native Hawaiian descent. In my spare time I love to cook and bake and I have compiled many of my favorite recipes here for you to enjoy.

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26 thoughts on “Crock Pot Laulau”

    • Hi BJ. You can replace the taro leaves with collard greens or spinach. It will definitely change the taste of the recipe, but still yummy. Have a great day.

      Reply
    • You can wrap it if you’d like, but I just layer leaf on the bottom, put the meat in the middle, and layer of leaf on the top. It’s like a deconstructed laulau.

      Reply
  1. So.. made this today. I did replace 1 cup water with beef broth. Buggah was mean! Didn’t need anything but a bowl of rice!😂
    Will definitely make this again!
    Mahalo!!😘

    Reply
  2. Hello my name is Lorena and I’m a lover of all things Hawaiian specially the food. I want to try making my favorite dish kalua pig in taro leaves in my slow cooker. Together with some sticky rice. I have had some buns filled with I’m not sure what’s inside maybe black beans?
    I’m not sure. Do you know about those buns? They’re absolutely delicious I just have no clue how to make any of these dishes.
    Would you pls guide me with some tips on how to make these recipes?
    Thank you so much

    Reply
    • Aloha Lorena. Pork in taro leaves is called laulau. This is that recipe. You can use beef, pork, chicken, or fish. Traditionally its steamed, but this is an alternative way to cook it. Buns filled with char siu is called manapua. I don’t have a recipe on my site. . .yet. I’m working on getting that up. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great day.

      Reply
  3. I stay on the mainland and no can find the luau and kalo leaves. What can I replace them with? Also, what kind fish do you recommend to go in the laulau? They no get buttahfish ovah where I’m at. Mahalo nui! 🤙🤙🤙

    Reply
    • Aloha Aiko. Collard greens and spinach are alternatives for lu’au leaves. The taste will be different, but can work. Also any flaky white fish will work as a replacement for butterfish. Mahalo for stopping by.

      Reply

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