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What's your 'Ono?

We at Hawaii Food + Policy, want to encourage community involvement with food policies by providing a community based approach to some legislative actions during this 31st Hawaii Legislative Session 2022. In addition to some really good food-system strengthening bills, we also hope to develop impactful approaches in shaping bills to make positive impacts on ‘āina today. As the momentum for legislative support in the cultivation of taro grows with beneficial measures such as the general excise tax exemption for Taro with House Bill 2466 Relating to Taro, we must celebrate the use of some ‘ono Hawai’i grown foods. We invite you to share your favorite recipes.

Please include dish name, ingredients, instructions and where your ingredients are grown. We hope to start an exchange of recipes to GROW our ‘ONO for some Hawai’i grown foods and give ideas for your next dish.



Nabemono (Hot pot)


A bunch of local veggies of your choice (I prefer bok choi, spinach, mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, daikon, green onions, corn)
Local eggs
Add ons: Tofu, meat, saefood, or noodles
6 cups of vegetable brot, water, or pre-made hotpot broth
1 tsp. Dashi powder
Ponzu or shoyu for dipping (optional)
Rice (optional)

1. Wash and cut hard vegetables into similar sized chunks so they cook evenly. Rinse leafy vegatbles and set aside.
2. Using a large pot, bring vegeatable broth, water, or premade broth to a boil, then add dashi powder according to packet.
3. Add in your harder vegetables to the pot first, then leafy vegetables
4. Add in whole eggs, tofu, or noodles (if using)
5. Add meat last (if using) since it cooks very quickly
6. Once the meat is fully cooked, serve hot with ponzu or shoyu for dipping.
Optional: Serve with hot rice.

Kerstyn Afuso

ʻUlu Brownies

1 cup overripe breadfruit
1/4 cup nut butter
3/4 cup of date, or maple, syrup, or honey
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup cacao powder
2 Tbsp coconut oil
Chocolate chips (if desired)

Preheat oven to 350F (180C)
Mix all ingredients together in a food processor
Use a little bit of coconut oil to oil pan, 8x8 inches
Bake brownie mixture for 30 minutes, or until toothpick test comes out clean


Ulu Crackers, (perfect for pie crusts)

Ingredients:1 cup Ulu flour
1 cup flour
1 teas baking powder
1 teas Big Island Cinnamon
¼ c Sugar
½ stick butter
1 egg (or substitute)
¼ c ‘Olena Honey
1 teas Vanilla
2 teas milk

1. Mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon (dry mix)
2. Cream butter & Sugar (wet mix)
3. Mix Dry & Wet mixes together
3. Beat in Egg
4. Add 'Olena Honey, Vanilla, Milk
5. Shape dough into ball,flatten in plastic wrap
6. Preheat oven 350 degrees
7. Divide dough into 2 parts & flatten each to 1/8 in thick
8. Cut crackers into squares and pull apart
9. Bake 20-25 minutes or till edges light brown


Poi Shakshuka

1/4 to 1/2 bag old poi*
4-5 local eggs*
half can tomato sauce
garlic, onions, peppers, spices

1. Saute minced garlic and thin slicked onions and peppers (add mushrooms, sausage, whatever toppings you want) and set aside.
2. Grease pan with butter/oil and add poi in globs, fry until bottom gets crusty
3. Drop in tomato sauce, toppings, and then add the eggs
4. Cover and let simmer/steam until eggs are done but yolks are runny
5. Serve with toast to dip, or by itself


'Uala Niu ice cream

2 cup Steamed 'Uala*
1 ½ cup coconut condensed milk (homemade with cream of coconut or canned condensed milk works)
2 ½ cups COLD Coconut whipping cream*

1. Steam 'Uala (sweet potato)
2. Mash, and set aside to cool.
3. Add coconut condensed milk to mashed 'uala.
3. Whip Cold Coconut whipping cream.
4. Fold in mashed 'Uala
5. Freeze overnight
6. Enjoy the best 'Uala Niu Ice cream
*Instead of ‘Uala, try with Kalo. My kids LOVE that.
**If you don't like Niu, switch out coconut whipping cream and Coconut condensed milk for Heavy Whipping cream and Condensed milk.


Instant noodles with ground kalo

Instant noodles
Chili garlic oil sauce
Soy sauce
Olive oil
Vegetable broth

Steam the kalo until you can poke a wooden skewer through it easily.
Grate the kalo so it looks like ground meat.
Marinate the ground meat in soy sauce.
Fry the ground meat and season to taste.
Make your instant noodles.
Add whatever you want to it! I blanched some pak choy and added chili garlic oil sauce.


Kai nīʻoi (Hawaiʻi chili pepper water)

6-10 peppers
1 tsp paʻakai (Hawaiʻi sea salt)
2 cloves of fresh garlic
8 oz. water
2 oz vinegar (apple cider for medicine/white for food)

Place crushed, in-tact peppers into a jar or bottle along with paʻakai, garlic, and vinegar. Bring water to a boil and slowly pour into a vessel on top of all ingredients. Seal the cap and store at room temperature until heat has reduced significantly.
Place in the refrigerator for one week before enjoying.

Local ingredients:
I use the chili peppers my family and I grow in our māla (garden). The paʻakai is from a friend I trade medicine with and it comes from Hanapepe, Kauaʻi.


Kalo Poke

2 cups kalo, cooked*, cooled, and cut into cubes
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. inamona
Hawaiian salt to taste
Limu (seaweed) to taste (optional)

Place cooked kalo in a large bowl with sesame oil, inamona, and salt. Mix gently to combine. Top with limu, if using. Refrigerate 10 minutes before serving. Makes 4 servings.
* Make sure to cook kalo all the way through. Raw kalo contains needle- like calcium oxalate crystals that can irritate your mouth and throat when eaten. Heat produced during cooking, baking, or steaming breaks down these crystals.
Per serving (without limu): Calories 130, protein 1 g, carbohydrates 23 g, total fat 4 g, sodium 310 mg, fiber 3 g

Home-grown kalo from waianae. Sesame oil is store bought (Optional, depending on who is eating). Inamona is made from kukui - roasted over the grill and shaved to perfection and then mixed in with paakai from kaena point. Limu Kohu is picked from the reefs of Nanakuli for both accent and an added sweetness.



-fresh green tamarind
-fresh veggies

1. Boil tamarind in water until you can smash it (~20 min)
2. Use a strainer to remove smashed tamarind and keep water for soup.
3. Boil ginger, garlic, and tomatoes with tamarind water. Add meat if you are cooking with meat.
4. Add fresh veggies.
5. Add salt as needed.

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