Often eaten with just your fingers fingers, poi is described as one- two- or three-finger, depending on its thickness. Below you’ll find a simple, easy-to-follow recipe for “two finger poi”.
Traditionally, Hawaiians cooked the starchy, potato-like taro root for several hours in an imu. It was then pounded on large flat boards called papa ku`i`ai, using heavy stones called pohaku ku`i`ai. The taro was pounded into a smooth, sticky paste known as pa`i`ai and stored in air tight ti leaf bundles. Poi was created by slowly adding water to the pa`i`ai, then mixed and kneaded to the perfect consistency. It is sometimes left to ferment, giving it a unique and slightly sour taste.
Dinner & a Movie is a television show on TBS that features a movie along with the preparation of a themed dinner. I was excited to find that today’s film “50 First Dates” was accompanied by one of my favorite Hawaiian dishes – poi.
While I could have done without the lame comments provided by co-hosts Paul Gilmartin and Janet Varney (saying it belongs with scissors and construction paper for 2nd graders’ crafts, or as wallpaper paste – morons!)I definitely appreciate the work of Chef Claud Mann who shared this special recipe.
1 or 2 taro roots
Use a vegetable brush to scrub the taro root under cold, running water. Do not peel.
In a large pot, cover taro with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until taro can be pierced easily with a fork. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Peel the cooked taro and cut into small pieces. Using 2 cups at a time, put the cooked taro into a food processor bowl.
Add a tablespoon of water and process until smooth. The consistency should be sticky and thick enough to stick to one finger. (Adding more water will produce “three finger poi”.)
Rinse a non-reactive bowl (typically made of silicone or stainless steel) with cold water and transfer the mixture to the bowl. Slowly pour a thin layer of cool water on top of the poi and cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel.
Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 2-4 days.
The Heleloa family originated on the Big Island of Hawai'i. When the king and other chiefs wanted to send messages, they would send runners. These runners were known as 'hele loa' - the Hawaiian translation is roughly 'to go a far distance.' The heleloa were information runners. Read More >>