Hāhā w/ Pork and Dry ‘Ōpae

Author: 
E Ho‘olako Mau: Volume II All Hawaiian Cook Book. Tamar Luke Pane‘e. Pages 27-28.

 

Hāhā w/ Pork and Dry ‘Ōpae 
By: Eleanor Kalawai‘akamali‘iwahineli‘ili‘i Simeona Ahuna

Hāhā from 3 bundles of lū‘au Hawaiian Homes Commissioner, Hawai‘i
2 lbs chop suey pork  Keaukaha, Hawai‘i
Dry ‘ōpae
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp Crisco or Puritan oil

Heat a saucepan until hot then add oil.  Add garlic, pork and ‘ōpae and stir fry until pork changes color.  Add a little water and bring to a boil.  Peel the skin from the hāhā and place them in a bowl of water.  When all the hāhā have been striped, drain water and cut into 1 1/2 inches.  Add hāhā to pork and ‘ōpae and cook until soft.  Add shoyu or salt to taste.
 

Hāhā (The vegetable)

8 hāhā (taro stalks) 1 foot long
2 quarts water
1 tablespoon Hawaiian salt
2 tablespoons butter or margarine

Wash and cut hāhā into 2 or 3-inch lengths.  Cut the very thick hāhā lengthwise and peel them.  Bring water to a boil.  Add salt then hāhā in the water.  Partially cover the pot until hāhā begins to wilt, then lower heat while water continues to boil gently.  Simmer hāhā for 10 minutes or until there is no "sting" noticeable to the taste.  The hāhā should be quite soft.  Season with butter, salt, and serve hot.

 


Mo‘olelo:

Hāhā, is the stalk that supports the leaf and enfolds the stem of certain plants as taro, sugar cane; layers in a banana stump.  Hāhā is also the stem of the lū‘au.  It cooks quickly when peeled and has the texture of the cooked eggplant.  It is used as a vegetable by itself or it can be combined with pork, or beef, butterfish or salted salmon.

The Chinese pickle the hāhā and use it to stir fry with pork.  In some recipes, the hāhā is cut off from the lū‘au when preparing he‘e (octopus) lū‘au and only the lū‘au is used.  It is a matter of preference.  Sometimes the hāhā is cut from the lū‘au when preparing laulaus to make wrapping easier but is cut into smaller pieces and then added to the laulau.  Other times, it is omitted.  When left on the lū‘au to make laulaus, it is not necessary to strip the hāhā because of the length of steaming.

The hāhā (lū‘au stem) has been found to have the least amount of calcium oxalate.  When using as a stir-fry it is adviseable to peel.  More important, it must be cooked at least 10 minutes before it is palatable.