aaaaaah Hawai’i. My family has lived there for nearly 30 years and I’ve never been to visit! I planned to do a detailed video on limu (sea vegetables), but the weather didn’t cooperate. So, unlike all my other unfinished videos I decided to share this one….and give my show a new name. The video is not complete, but gives information on ‘ulu, or Hawaiian breadfruit. This mega-producer is known as Artocarpus altilis to botanists, and has been recorded producing up to 700 fruits per year…reaching the size of a human head. Welcome to Savage in the Wild!
Fresh food is a signature of the tropics. There are less than a dozen native Hawaiian plants that are edible, but the Polynesians brought many edible, useful and medicinal plants with them and they are known as canoe plants. Click here to learn about uses and preparation of ‘ulu. I harvested my first ‘ulu with the help of Bonnie Kerr-Pilon at the Hana Cultural Center & Museum. She has written and illustrated a fabulous cookbook called The Sensual World: Tropical Garden Cookbook from her experiences living 90% off her land near Hana, Maui. I would also recommend Hawaiian Breadfruit: Ethnobotany, Nutrition, and Human Ecology, which you can purchase through the National Tropical Botanical Garden on Kauai. And finally the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation has a great cookbook and guide to using local produce called, The Hawai’i Farmers Market Cookbook: Fresh Island Products from A to Z.. The following recipe comes from Bonnie’s book:
1 Breadfruit – firm yet yielding, chopped
3 c coconut milk
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
12 oz firm tofu, mashed (optional)
Chop onion and line bottom of large cooking pot with it. Crush tofu with fork and arrange on top of onion. Peel breadfruit (you don’t have to), cut it in half and remove center core. Cut into 1” cubes and layer on top of onions and tofu. Sprinkle on salt. Pour enough coconut milk to cover the breadfruit. Cover and boil on high heat for about 10 minutes. When milk begins to bubble, reduce to simmer for 20 minutes, or until breadfruit is tender like a cooked potato.