Lūʻau Stew for Graduation and other Mile-Stone Celebrations!

Odelian Kaikana
Peeking into Granny’s pot, yummy morsels of beef amongst the creamy lūʻau makes the mouth water!

Photo courtest of Jalna Amoy



40 lbs.   Beef brisket                 

10 lbs.   Sliced onions

40 lbs.   Cooked lūʻau leaves

(See recipe below: note that approximately thirty 20 lb. bags of raw lūʻau will be needed to make the desired 40 lbs. of cooked lūʻau. )

4 lbs.      Beef (bouillon) base

2 lbs.      Flour

              Salt & Pepper to taste



Sometimes it’s hard to accommodate a large portion of beef brisket on one board, but for a hundred servings or more, we will have to make space!

Photo courtesy of C. John


Cooking Instructions:

Cut beef brisket into bite-sized chunks.

In a separate pot, coat beef with flour, salt and pepper to taste.

Cook in hot oil until seared. 

Fill water to cover meat. Bring to a boil. Add beef base and cook until beef is tender. Add lūʻau leaves. Adjust flavor if needed by adding Hawaiian salt to taste. Heat through and serve hot to avoid oiliness.

This recipe makes approximately 100 servings.


In a large pot, fill with water and bring to high, constant boil. Add a generous sprinkling of baking soda to the water. Once the water reaches a constant boil, submerse a large amount of raw lūʻau leaves. Push down with large wooden spoon or spatula to cover leaves with boiling water for several minutes until blanched.


Verdant taro fields in Hanalei will provide the lūʻau needed to enjoy this sumptuous dish for many graduations this year.

Photo courtesy of Joy Alama



Remove blanched lūʻau from boiling water with a fine mesh spoon or grate to retrieve all lūʻau and place in a cheese cloth or fine mesh bag and squeeze excess water out. Be careful not to burn yourself as the blanched lūʻau is drenched with hot water.

Repeat the process, refilling water as needed until all lūʻau is completely processed (1 large bag of raw lūʻau normally makes 1-2 gallon-sized Ziploc bags).

Let blanched lūʻau sit out to dry in the sun for a day. We normally hang a fine mesh bag from our clothesline.

Bag completely blanched, dried, and cooled lūʻau into gallon-sized Ziploc bags. Freeze for future use. After this process, the lūʻau keeps in the freezer just as well as frozen spinach.

Note: This process is for making smaller quantities of lūʻau; One 20 lb bag of lūʻau generally comes out 1-2 gallon-sized bags of finished lūʻau leaves. To make 40 lbs of lūʻau one would probably have to use approximately thirty 20 lb. bags of lūʻau leaves and repeat the process accordingly.