Recipes for a Home Luau

By: Kathleen A. Hart, Esq.

This summer simply went by and I am sad to say, we did not dine out much. Likely a combination of the weather, vacation and my husband’s broken foot. Long story, moral is don’t kick a car while wearing crocs as it does not end well. However, I did manage to put together a small sixtieth birthday for the big guy for a few friends and family. Here are some of the recipes I served, and I hope you enjoy!

John’s Birthday Luau Menu

Sweet & Sour Meatballs


1.5 pounds ground beef
1 egg
¼ cup breadcrumbs
¼ cup gojuchang (you can find in Asian aisle of supermarket)
¼ cup finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons ginger
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper


1 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
½ cup ketchup
¼ cup hoisin sauce
½ cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch

  1. For meatballs, mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Shape mixture into one inch diameter balls and place on baking sheet.
  2. After all have been made, place the sheet in freezer, covered in plastic until next day.
  3. Make sauce by mixing all ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Place meatballs in a baking dish. Pour sauce over the meatballs.
  6. Bake about 35 minutes until meatballs are done and sauce is bubbly.

Oven Cooked Kahlua Pork

3 -5-pound pork butt, trimmed and tied so will cook evenly
4 tablespoons minced garlic (about 12 cloves)
2-3 tablespoons minced ginger or ginger paste (you can find in produce aisle in a tube)
2 tablespoons sea salt
2 tablespoons liquid smoke
Package of banana leaves

  1. Mix garlic, ginger, salt and liquid smoke to make a paste. Rub paste all over the pork butt until fully covered.
  2. Wrap pork up tightly in saran wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  3. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 225 degrees.
  4. Remove saran wrap and rewrap the pork in the banana leaves. Place wrapped meat in roasting pan and cover with aluminum foil.
  5. Cook the pork butt for 8 to 9 hours.
  6. Remove pan from oven and let rest for about 20 minutes, still covered.
  7. Take meat from pan and skim fat from the pan juices.
  8. Place meat back in pan, unwrap and untie. Shred meat with two forks
  9. Mix meat, juices and a squeeze of Hawaiian BBQ sauce and serve on soft rolls.

Coconut rice

2 cups jasmine rice
1 can coconut milk
1.5 cups water (or fill can of coconut milk with water and use as well)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
1 red pepper diced
1yellow pepper diced
½ cup chopped fresh pineapple

    1. in a mesh sieve, rinse dry rice in cold water until it runs clear.
    2. Place drained rice in a pot.
    3. Add coconut milk, water, salt, and sugar.
    4. Bring mixture to boil over high heat. Once it starts to boil, turn heat down to low, cover and cook about 20 minutes.
    5. While the rice is cooking, sauté peppers in a frying pan until soft but color remains.
    6. Uncover rice and cook 5 minutes longer.
    7. Once cooked, mix rice, peppers and pineapple together and serve in festive bowl.

For dessert, serve a bowl of fresh, tropical fruit and your favorite yellow cake topped with grilled pineapple and whipped cream to complete the theme.

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