Hawaiian luaus are known the world over for producing fork-tender meats and a number of unforgettable foods. One of most popular is kalua pig. Kalua pig is a time-honored, island dish that is made from steamed pork. After one bite, many visitors who stay in our Kaanapali Beach vacation rentals wish that they could recreate the dish at home. However, making kalua pig takes a good deal of time, knowledge and skill.
On Maui and the other Hawaiian Islands, old world chefs use an imu to slow steam either the whole pork or select cuts to perfection. An imu is a primitive cooking pit that is built using natural materials taken from the island’s environment. Examples include, but are not limited to lava rocks, banana tree stumps, banana leaves and other indigenous stones.
Once the pit is meticulously built, the pork is prepared using Hawaiian herbs, spices and other seasonings before being wrapped up tightly in banana leaves. The meat and banana leaf bundles are then tied together with leaf stems or strips of vegetation before being placed on to the coals. If a whole pig is being cooked, the process is a bit different.
After the select cuts of meat are placed inside of the underground pit, it is covered with more banana stumps, leaves and water-soaked burlap. This helps create the steam and wet heat that will slow cook the meat for hours. When the meat is ready, it is removed from the underground pit, unwrapped and served while it’s still on the hot, wet leaves.
Often, the steamed pork is accompanied by a series of island fruits, vegetables and additional, old world dishes like poi. Of course tropical beverages and desserts are also served, especially at contemporary luaus held on Maui. Music, dancing and live entertainment are part of the experience too.
To book your Kaanapali Beach vacation rentals and experience the joys of eating imu cooking first hand, please contact us. Our Maui Kai Guest Services’ team can help you make oceanfront suite and luau reservations today.