Instant Pot kulolo: Kulolo or taro pudding is a classic Hawaiian dessert. Warm, chewy, rich, dark brown pieces of kulolo made easily in the comfort of your home using an Instant Pot. My favorite!
Kūlolo is a popular Hawaiian dessert here in the islands made of ground kalo or taro, raw sugar, and coconut milk. Traditional kulolo is made in an imu or underground oven and steamed or baked for hours.
Today, kulolo is often baked in the oven or steamed in a steamer. This process is very time consuming, however I have got a way to make kulolo in the Instant Pot and will cut your cook time down tremendously.
The Instant Pot is an electronic pressure cooker and has become a very popular kitchen countertop appliance. This is the Instant Pot I have.
What is kulolo made of?
- Kalo (taro)
- Raw sugar
- Coconut milk
Recipe from this post.
What is kalo (taro)?
Kalo is a root vegetable popular in Hawaiian cuisine. Both the root and the leaves can be eaten when cooked properly. Kalo contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause a very unpleasant itch in the back of your throat if not broken down by the cooking process. The calcium oxalate crystals can also cause itch to bare skin. If you have sensitive skin I would recommend using gloves when grating the raw kalo.
What type of kalo do I use to make kulolo?
There are many different varieties of kalo. Some grown in the ʻāina wai or wetlands and others in the ʻāina malo’o or dry land. The mana or lauloa variety of kalo make for great kulolo and are both grown on dry land.
***The Chinese variety of kalo like Bun-Long is common in grocery stores and works well to make taro chips, but DOES NOT work well to make kulolo.***
The University of Hawai’i at Manoa has great resource on kalo varieties. You can check it out here.
How long does it take to make kulolo in the Instant Pot?
Two and a half hours and best if cooled overnight to set. Yes, I know two and a half hours sounds like quite a long time, however the traditional method of making kulolo takes hours to make. Making two and half hours seem like no time at all.
How long does Instant Pot kulolo last?
Kulolo stored in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap will keep at room temperature for about 3-4 days.
Can you freeze kulolo?
You can freeze kulolo wrapped in plastic wrap or the plastic wrap alternative of your choice and placed in an airtight container for a few months. When ready to eat defrost at room temperature and microwave to warm up if you’d like to eat it warm.
What goes well with kulolo?
You can eat kulolo on its own as a dessert or snack. I also enjoy eating it alongside a scoop of coconut ice cream. Or pair it with the ultimate Hawaiian meal of laulau, luau stew, kalua pig, chicken long rice, pohole salad, and lomi salmon.
How to make Instant Pot kulolo?
Set Instant Pot to saute mode.
Line an 8 inch by 2 inch deep cake pan with foil. I have a 6 quart Instant Pot and this will fit perfectly. Be sure to find a pan that will fit your Instant Pot. Set aside.
In a large bowl add kalo, sugar, and coconut milk. Stir until well combined.
Pour mixture in to prepared pan. Cover tightly with foil.
Add 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot. Place trivet in the Instant Pot followed by the cake pan. If you do not have a trivet you can roll a piece of foil to elevate the cake pan.
Place the lid on and set to sealing. Press cancel to end saute mode. Cook on manual high pressure for 150 minutes. Allow natural pressure release until safety pin has dropped and the lid is unlocked.
Allow to cool overnight. Slice in to pieces and serve. Enjoy!
Instant Pot Kulolo Recipe
- 2 cups taro grated
- 3/4 cups raw sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- Set Instant Pot to saute mode.
- Line an 8 inch by 2 inch deep cake pan with foil. I have a 6 quart Instant Pot and this will fit perfectly. Be sure to find a pan that will fit your Instant Pot. Set aside.
- In a large bowl add kalo, sugar, and coconut milk. Stir until well combined.
- Pour mixture in to prepared pan. Cover tightly with foil.
- Add 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot. Place trivet in the Instant Pot followed by the cake pan. If you do not have a trivet you can roll a piece of foil to elevate the cake pan.
- Place the lid on and set to sealing. Cook on manual high pressure for 150 minutes. Allow natural pressure release.
- Allow to cool overnight. Slice in to pieces and serve. Enjoy!
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31 thoughts on “Instant Pot Kulolo Recipe Using Only 3 Ingredients”
can I use poi
Hi Valerie. I have never tried using poi as a replacement to the kalo. The consistency and cook time would likely change. If you try it please let me know. Have a great day!
I just tried this recipe with poi! Guess we will see if the morning how it turns out!
Hi Esther. Exciting. Let me know how it goes. I would assume you need to adjust the cook time and possibly use a thickener to get a less runny consistency, but we shall see. Thank you for trying and letting me know. Have a great day!
Did it turn out?
I’d be interested to know as well.
Just wanted to share that I unknowingly bought Chinese taro to make kulolo in my IP. (The market where I purchased it from label their taro as “local” so I assumed it was Hawaiian taro.) Someone posted a kulolo recipe in the Aloha Instant Pot Community and shared a link to your site. Long story short, my kulolo was awesome using the Chinese variety. I also made pressure cooked taro root to have as starch in place of rice. I did not find that it was too wet when I grated it in my food processor and did not find it slimy either. So, in my experience, Chinese taro would be an acceptable variety to make Kulolo. I’m making another batch tomorrow but I’m going to use a hand grater to see if the texture will come out smooth. Using the food processor my kulolo had a slight texture but everyone still loved it and it is so ono! Thanks for all the info in your post and your recipe!
Hi Gale. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. YAY! I’m glad the variety of taro you used worked well for you. Using a hand grater or food processor with the hand grater attachment creates smaller pieces and allows it to cook down to a smoother consistency. Let me know how that next batch goes. Have a great day!
I used the grater on my food processor as well. Once it was done cooking in the IP, I could still see the shreds, but I just mixed it all up with a fork and that smoothed it out.
I might try processing instead of grating in the food processor next time though I wonder if it might just create a sticky mess…
I’ve never tried the food processor. I just use the old school grater way. But if you try let me know.
Sorry, but you recommend mana or lauloa taro, is that correct? Where can I buy in Honolulu? Do I peel it first and grate it raw? Also, will the cooling period be on the counter and not in the fridge? Can’t wait to buy me some taro so I can try your recipe!
Hi Nani. Taro can be found at some grocery stores, farmers markets, or check the poi factories if they sell. Both work just fine. The last batch I made I used mana ‘ula. You peel first then grate it raw. Cool at room temperature. Let me know if you make it. So so yummy!
This worked so well in the instant pot. My husband is so happy this morning to have some. Delicious! Mahalo
My name is Stephanie. I tried making your recipe tonight and have no idea how it will come out till the morning. I’m excited and my arms hurt like crazy from grating because I am very out of shape lol.
Thanks for your recipe 🙂
Hi Steph. Excited to hear how it turned out. Glad you got a good work out from it. Haha. Have a great day!
Just finished cooking ours. Letting it cool for now. I tried a small piece and taste onolicious. Malo for the post. I’m sharing it on my FB and Instagram
Aw thank you for your kind words. Appreciate it. Have a great day.
I live in the mainland now and want to make Kulolo. What would the kalo be called here so I don’t buy the wong one????
Hi. The English name for kalo is taro.
Aloha! Do you think I could use ti leaf in place of foil? I Prefer not cook with foil. Thank you
Aloha Kealoha. You may be able to, but you need to make sure it’s sealed tight so the water does not get into the pan. I haven’t tried it. If you do let me know how it goes.
Hui. We cookum 4 hr but still our mouth come funnykine itchy. What we doing wrong?
D n M
Aloha Dennis, Few things to consider. Be sure you are using the kalo that works well for kulolo. Another big thing be sure to grate your kalo on the smallest holes you have. This will allow it to break down and cook better. Hope this helps.
Yes we using lehua kalo which we grating fine. But I think we wen figa’um out. We made triple recipe, so 6 cups kalo instead of 2, which we split in half. So we cooking about 4 cups at a time. We go try again n cookum fo 5 hrs.
Let you know how da buggah come out. Maahalo🤙🏽🤙🏽
Ahh. Ok. Let me know. Thanks.
Hi, my kulolo is not staying together. It tastes really good, but has not firmed up overnight. What could i have done wrong?
Aloha Noe. I wonder if some liquid go into the mix while steaming? Maybe you can email me a photo or DM me on IG and I can take a look. Mahalo.
My neighbor brought me cooked kalo. Can I use that?
I’ve never tried it with already cooked kalo. If you give it a try let me know. Have a great day.
Mahalo for the awesome recipes, I have made the Kalo numerous times and used Kalo from my own Lo’i and it has always come out great. I’ve experimented with Honey, Coconut Sugar, Raw sugar and some combinations. Of course, its all good, but I have to say that the raw sugar by far, is my favorite. I also use Ti Leaves to line the pan but still use foil to cover as I get that you don’t want the condensation to get into the Kulolo itself. I do double recipes usually when I cook, the 6″ round cake pan and two small loaf pans, that I suspend using wooden chopsticks over the round to hold up the small loaf pans. Pressure cook for 3 hours and slow release. Always comes out awesome! My family thanks you. The Beef Lu’au also came out awesome, again using leaves from my Lo’i. Great to be sustainable.
Aloha La’akea. So awesome to hear. Mahalo for sharing. Have a great day.