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Revitalizing Breadfruit

Revitalizing Breadfruit

"The Ho'oulu ka 'Ulu Project.“

Ho'oulu ka 'Ulu is a project to revitalize 'ulu (breadfruit) as an attractive, delicious, nutritious, abundant, affordable, and culturally appropriate food which addresses Hawai'i's food security issues. It is well known that Hawai'i imports about 90% of its food, making it one of the most food insecure states in the nation. Additionally, since the economic downturn of 2008, many families lack access to affordable and nutritious food. We believe that breadfruit is a key to solving Hawaii's food security problems.

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A Breadfruit Kind of Day!

Display of breadfruit varieties at chef demonstration tent.
Display of breadfruit varieties at chef demonstration tent.

Results of the Breadfruit Festival 2011 cooking contest

By all accounts, the Breadfruit Festival held this past Saturday, September 24 at the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in South Kona, was a resounding success. The Cooking Contest was one of the first events of the day, and ended up being quite exciting. We had 29 different entries in the Appetizer, Soups/Salads/Side Dishes, Main Dish/Entrée and Desserts categories.The rules of the contest called for original recipes featuring breadfruit as the main ingredient. 

The beautifully set tables also carried the theme with tablecloths printed in a bold ‘ulu pattern, displaying  everything from summer rolls, chowder, tamales, ‘ulu pound cake served with ‘ulu ice cream, even burgers and ‘ulu-corn beef patties as well as many other delicious dishes.

The panel of five judges composed of celebrity chefs Mark Tsuchiyama of Hualalai Resort, Olelo pa‘a Ogawa of Glow Hawaii and Jacqueline Lau of Roy's Restaurants, food writer and cookbook author Sonia R. Martinez and KITV weekend anchor Pamela Young, had a challenging job of tasting and scoring each entry for best use of ‘ulu, taste, presentation, originality and the best use of healthy ingredients.

Top winners in the competition were:

  • Best of Show: Ann Sutherland of Kailua, Kona with her 'Ulu Tart, winning 2 nights Keauhou Beach Resort ($300 value) See photo and recipe below.
  • Healthiest Choice: Kua O Ka La New Century Public Charter School and their culinary kumu Mariposa Blanco of Pahoa, Puna with their 'Ulu Tamales with Coleslaw & Salsa, winning 2 persons Hawaii Forest and Trail Zip Line ($300) See photo and recipe below.
  • 1st Place Appetizer: Ann Sutherland of Kailua, Kona with her Ulu Summer Rolls, winning 2 persons Ocean Sports Snorkel ($250 value)
  • 1st Place Soup/Salad/Side Dish: Nader ‘Nanoa’ Parsia of Kailua, Kona with his Ulu Salad winning 2 persons Fair Winds Cruises ($250 value)
  • 1st Place Main Dish/Entrée: Kua O Ka La Charter School and their culinary kumu Mariposa Blanco of Pahoa, Puna with their Ulu Tamales with Coleslaw & Salsa, winning 2 persons Body Glove Cruises ($240 value)
  • 1st Place Dessert: Ann Sutherland of Kailua, Kona with her Ulu Tart winning 2 nights at the Log Cabin B&B in Holualoa

Breadfruit Tart

Breadfruit tart by Chef Ann Sutherland.
Breadfruit tart by Chef Ann Sutherland.

SOURCE: Chef Ann Sutherland of Home Tours, Hawai’i

  • 1 pie crust made with ground macadamia nuts and almonds prebaked in a 10 inch springform pan
  • 2 cups ripe, cooked breadfruit
  • 1 cup fresh coconut milk
  • 1-1/4 cups milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup lehua honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups assorted sliced local fruit (*)
  • 1/4 cup guava jelly
  • 1/2 grated and toasted fresh coconut

Parbake the pastry crust and set aside to cool.
Blend cooked breadfruit in food processor with coconut milk, milk, egg yolks, honey and vanilla.
Pour mixture into crust and bake for 25-30 minutes at 345 degrees F.
Cool.  Top the tart with spirals of fresh fruit.  Melt guava jelly and brush tart to glaze.  Sprinkle with the toasted coconut.
NOTES: (*) Fruit used were Waimea strawberries, poha berries, kiwi, mango, starfruit and apple bananas.
To parbake is to partially bake a crust or dough and store in freezer for later use.
YIELD: 10 servings

‘Ulu Tamales

Breadfruit tamales.
Breadfruit tamales by the culinary students of Kua O Ka La New Century Public Charter School and their kumu Mariposa Blanco.

SOURCE: The culinary students of Kua O Ka La New Century Public Charter School and their kumu Mariposa Blanco

  • 3 large or 4 medium ‘ulu
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • Any veggies or meat you want to add for the filling (*)

Have all of your ingredients in prep bowls ready to fill the tamales.
Soak the corn husks and have ready; you can also use fresh corn husks, ti or banana leaves.  You will need raffia or cotton kitchen string to tie the tamale 'packages' before steaming them.
Steam the ‘ulu and make into poi by pureeing while adding the coconut oil little by little to reach the consistency desired (best if not too sticky. If too sticky you might need to add a bit more oil.)
When the ‘ulu poi is ready , take two leaves and place wide parts overlapping, start filling by spooning some of the poi, making a slight indentation in the poi.  Start adding whatever veggies, goat cheese and meat (if desired), not too full.  Wrap and tie.
Steam them for 15 to 20 minutes if vegetarian.  If adding meat, steam for 25 minutes.
NOTES: (*) Due to travel to the competition, we chose to make vegetarian tamales adding red onion, goat feta, beet greens, red and yellow bell peppers, tomatoes and sea salt.
The presentation included a side of green and purple coleslaw dressed with coconut oil mayo and sea salt and dry salsa made with pineapple, tomatoes, cilantro, liliko’i, red onions and Hawaiian chile peppers.
We cook only with 100% locally grown foods.  All of our ingredients are grown, produced or made in Hawai’i.
Preparation time: About 2 hours
YIELD: 15 servings

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