Category: Recipes from Auntie Lulu’s Kitchen

Jan 14








1-1/2 lbs raw peanuts

1/3 C Hawaiian or Kosher salt

1 Gallon water

6-8 whole star anise pods

2″ piece of fresh ginger, cut into coins

Pinch of black pepper (to taste)

Rinse the peanuts then place in a large pot cover with water and soak for 30 minutes to 12 hours (you may need to use a pot top, plate, or resealable plastic bag filled with water to help keep the peanuts submerged). The longer you soak the peanuts, the less time they’ll need to simmer so I’d recommend going longer if you have the time.

Drain the water, cover the peanuts with fresh water, add the remaining ingredients and stir. Bring to a boil over medium heat. When it boils, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring every 15 minutes.

Start checking the peanuts after 1 hour of cooking. Remove one peanut from the liquid, let it cool slightly then peel it open and taste the peanut it’s done when it has the texture of a cooked bean. You may need up to 2 hours total. You’re only going for the cooked texture at this point so don’t worry too much about flavor.

Remove the peanuts from the heat and let cool in cooking water for 30 minutes to 2 hours. (Don’t skip this step because it’s essential to helping the peanuts get fully seasoned.)

Drain and store refrigerated until ready to eat. (These taste best when consumed within 7 days.)

Sep 13

Classic Ahi Poke (no need seaweed)  

  • 1 pound fresh tuna steak (in Hawaii, we call this “ahi”) cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 cup fresh limu seaweed, rinsed and chopped (if available)
  • 2 tablespoons “shoyu” (aka “soy sauce”)
  • 2 green onions, finely sliced (including the green part)
  • 1 Hawaiian (or thai) chili pepper, trimmed and minced* (or 1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Refrigerate for an hour, or until ready to serve.

As we say in Hawaii: “Have?” or “No have”. If you “no have” seaweed, don’t worry. Hopefully, this poke will still satisfy until you come back.

*Always use caution handling hot peppers, best not to touch cut peppers, or use cooking gloves.

Sep 13
I’ve adapted this recipe from the original in Gourmet Magazine, which uses fresh pineapple.
The topping:
1 small fresh pineapple, peeled and cut into 1/2 slices, core removed
3/4 stick butter
3/4 C packed light brown sugar
The batter:
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick soft butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoons dark rum for sprinkling over cake (optional)

Instructions: To make the topping: gently melt butter, brown sugar and pineapple in a skillet for just one minute, then cool. Once cool, break the pineapple slices into small chunks. Insert muffin liners into your tins, spooning 2 teaspoons of the butter/sugar/pineapple mixture into each liner (preheat oven to 350°F.) To make the batter: sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, beat together butter with sugar, eggs, vanilla and pineapple juice. Add the flour half at a time, stirring until well blended. To bake it: Spoon batter into muffin tins, filling about 1/2 full. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Cool cakes before turning them over, then carefully peel the liner off. Garnish with a halved maraschino or candied cherry (optional). Serve warm. Makes about 24.

Jun 13

It’s mango season here in Hawaii and we’re up to our eyeballs in this luscious fruit. Come, we’re happy to share! If you cannot come right away, mangos are also likely available from your local grocer. For best results, wait for the fruit to ripen (it is still firm, but easy to cut into).


I large ripe mango, pitted, skinned and chopped

1/2 cup chopped tomato

1/3 cup diced red onion

1-2 jalapeños, chopped

Fresh juice of 1 big lime

1/4 cup cilantro

Salt to taste

Combine all the above ingredients and let it sit for at least half an hour. Caution: wash your hands with soap and water once you’re done chopping the jalapeños (or wear gloves).

Serving Suggestion: Serve with corn chips or as serve with grilled chicken, shrimp or fish.

Dec 12

These luscious cookie bars may resemble ordinary lemon squares, but there’s nothing ordinary about them! Tart passionfruit and tangy lime complement each other perfectly. The crust can be made with graham crackers (or whatever cookies you have on hand or that need eating :)


7 ounces of cookie crumbs

5 tablespoons butter, melted

4 tablespoons brown sugar

Pinch of salt

3 big juicy limes

3 ounces soft cream cheese

14 oz sweetened condensed milk

1 egg yolk

1/3 cup passionfruit juice or fresh pulp (see tip on removing seeds)

Directions: (Preheat oven to 325º)
  • Lightly spray/oil a 9″x9″ inch (or equivalent sized) baking pan.
  • Process the cookies in a food processor until they are fine crumbs. Stir the melted butter, brown sugar, and pinch of salt into the crumbs. Blend well.
  • Press the crumbs firmly into the pan, making a smooth layer.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  • Zest 2 of the limes and chop until fine, then juice all 3 limes, taking care to remove the seeds.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the: condensed milk, lime juice, *passionfruit pulp (see below), cream cheese, egg yolk, a pinch of salt, and 1 tablespoon of the lime zest.
  • Pour this mixture into the pan over the cookie crust. Return pan to the oven and bake until center is set, about 20-25 minutes.
  • Remove pan from the oven and let cool on a rack for at least an hour. Chill in the refrigerator for another hour before cutting. Sprinkle bars with remaining lime zest.

*Note: To remove passionfruit seeds when using fresh pulp: scoop the pulp out of the fruit to measure 1/3C, then pulse pulp briefly in a blender or food processor (this breaks the seeds away from the juice) then press through a sieve to remove seeds. This takes a few minutes but the results are well worth it. A guaranteed hit at parties!