Hawaiian Cooking – Book Review

Hawaiian Cooking – Book Review
Cooking with Hawaiian Magic by Lee and Mae Keao

I was looking for some Hawaiian recipes for a Luau and came across this book at my public library. It was just what I needed.

Page 143 gave me a Kamaaina (old timer) Luau Menu. There were instructions and illustrations of how to prepare an Imu or Hawaiian Underground Oven. There is also information on luaus and how to make it “magic after dark” by paying attention to the guest list, décor, foods, centerpieces, tropical look and seating whether it be chairs and tables or floor pillows or mats.

Since the pineapple is so prevalent in Hawaii it goes without saying that a true book of Hawaiian recipes would give good info on pineapples and I was not disappointed. They show us with descriptions and illustrations many new ideas for cutting up a pineapple: how to quarter it, make a pineapple ruby, the outrigger and pineapple spear- they even give us instructions on how to grow a pineapple.

Coconut, another Hawaiian staple is also discussed and they provide how to crack the coconut. There is additional information on baking a coconut, coconut milk, coconut cream and their differences.

There is a good glossary at the back of the book for those who are not quite sure of an ingredient called for in a recipe. Do you need to know about Lily Buds, Cloud Rear Mushrooms, Hoisin Sauce, Daikon, Chinese Five Spices, Ti Leaves, and Lilokoi? Check out the glossary starting on page 150.

The book gives complete menu ideas for different types of parties: Polynesian Prince (a dinner menu), Bora Bora (a rehearsal dinner), Tiki Tiki Waikiki (a dinner menu), Wicked Wahini (Wild Woman) Luncheon, Honeymooners’ Delight (breakfast menu), Pupu Party (just appetizers), Bridal Tea, Starry Starry Night ( a romantic dinner for two), Mainland Luau, Tropical Heat Wave (a teenagers’ party) and Keiki( a party for the little ones).

Some recipes that impressed me and became favorites were: the Layered Salad, Lahaina p.29 (different from the tossed salads I had been used to), Wiki Wiki Walnut Chicken p. 62 (easy and I liked the crispy, crunch of the bamboo shoots and water chestnuts), Fresh Pineapple Cobbler p. 118(wonderful with some whipped cream or ice cream), and The Dole Super Burger p. 71 (a large burger made to fit the bread and then you need to cut it up to serve it).

If you want authentic recipes for Hawaiian Short Ribs, Puka Burgers, Teriyaki Chicken, Aloha Barbecued Fish, Steamed Bas Hawaiian Style and Hekka( beef, pork shrimp or chicken) look no further. There is no way I can mention all the great recipes in this book, if you need Hawaiian recipes try this book.

Leo and Mae Keao have written several other books: “Hawaiian Magic”, and “The Hawaiian Luau Book”.

Note: I used a library copy of this book for this review.

Buy Cooking With Hawaiian Magic: At Last! Island Recipes and Luau Ideas for Our Mainland Friends from Amazon.



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