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Coming Up

  • Next on 'Ono Kine Grindz:

    The Wedding Cafe, Manoa

    Recently Consumed:

    Zaney's, Downtown Honolulu
    Bob's Bar-B-Que, Kalihi
    Restaurant Yamagen, Moili'ili

    Below you will find a never ending list of restaurants that I want to visit or re-visit:

    Young's Fish Market
    Alan Wong's Pineapple Room
    Cafe Sistina
    Indigo Eurasian Cuisine
    Yakiniku Toraji
    Sushi Masa
    Ono Hawaiian Foods
    Tsukuneya Robata Grill

    If you would like to give me a tip on a new restaurant that is opening up, or give me a recommendation on some of your favorite restaurants, please send an e-mail to:

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    The following posts should be completed someday (!):

    New Diner's Drive In
    Border Grill
    Penang Malaysian
    Chez Panisse
    Zuni Cafe
    Indonesia Restaurant
    Boston's North End Pizza
    Happy Inn
    Kat's Sushi
    Fritz's European Bakery
    Makino Chaya
    Singapore/Bangkok Posts
    Chin's Kahala
    Hata Restaurant
    Ebisu Catering Service
    Bubba Burgers
    The Eggberts
    Blossoming Lotus
    Hamura Saimin Stand
    Bob's Big Boy

    WHEW! I hope to have them done by year's end!

    Upcoming adventures

    San Francisco, CA

    Sydney, NSW, Australia

    London, UK
    Paris, France
    Chicago, IL
    Seoul, South Korea
    I won't be able to visit Korea this year.
    San Francisco, CA
    New Orleans, LA
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Shanghai, China

    Hopefully, some of you can provide me with recommendations for some good eats!

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'Onolicious Archives


« Lomilomi Salmon | Main | The Daily Grindz »

October 29, 2005



hi reid, even sans picture, i just know your pudding will taste and look phenomenal...i adore any sweet that's based on fresh coconut milk...


I'll add just a little vanilla extract to my recipe...I know, I know...that's not traditional haupia but it adds a little zest to it. I don't know if you remember how we made it by scratch back in the old days with the small metal coconut grater at the end of a wooden seat? Oh, just to remind everyone that coconut oil is a laxative and eating too much of it will make you do the "Russian two-step" called the Trotskys.


Hi Reid - I was taught that you should use Arrowroot instead of cornstarch, but I could never tell the difference. Do you or Clinton know anything about that? And I always thought the frozen Coconut Milk (i.e. Mendonca's) works better then the canned - with the canned YMMV, some are really of poor quality. Actually some vanilla extract sounds good - I mean food is ever evolving isn't it?


I only heard of arrow root when I first started watching Martin and Stephen Yan talk about it on their shows many many years ago. As a matter of fact, Jeff Smith (Frugal Gourmet) used to use it too as his thickening agent all the time. I always only used tapioca starch but later on started using corn starch instead because it seemed to hold better. Tapioca will get runny after a while so that's why I stop using it.


I love any coconut dessert! I often find that a pinch of salt will help bring out the flavour of coconut too.


Hi J,

Thank you. The pictures here will never be as gorgeous as yours are.

Hi Clinton,

Vanilla? I've never heard of that, but I guess it might make the flavor a bit richer.

Hi Kirk,

Actually yes. When I first started making this years ago, I learned to make it with arrowroot. However, it is quite difficult to find and a bit expensive.

Mendonca's is a good substitute for fresh.

Hi Clinton,

I've actually never used tapioca, but I heard that you can also use gelatin sheets. I've never tried gelatin as I think it would be too "firm". I actually only use cornstarch for convenience.

Hi AG,

I used to use salt to accentuate the flavor of the coconut a bit more, but I've been trying to cut back and haven't really noticed too much of a difference. By the same token, I am also trying to use less sugar, which is why I normally add only about 1/4 cup to this as well.


A pinch of salt will add a different dimension to the flavors of any sugar-sweetened dish. Too much though will ruin it.
I have never used arrow root before and to be quite honest, have never looked for it in markets. I just like using corn starch because it's cheap and can be found anywhere. I use a lot of it for frying and thickening.


I've absolutely loved the Hawaiian lu'au series! Great job! Thanks so much for all the wonderful recipes--I can't wait to try them at home.



Haupia...It is one of my favourite desserts. In September my church (which is populated with a lot of Hawaiian transplants) had a luau...Yeha you can say I had my share and then some of haupia. ;)


Hi Clinton,

Years ago I used to use just a little salt in this (maybe 1/8 teaspoon). Then I read an article on how in the West (the US most likely) we used salt to supposedly make everything taste better. Since then, I've cut out a lot of salt from my diet. Maybe that's why a lot of times Chinese food tastes salty to me...hmmm, I wonder.

As for arrowroot, the person who taught me how to make Hawaiian food told me that I should use this to thicken haupia. Don't really know why though.

Hi Megwoo,

Thank you! I'm glad you liked the series. Hope you have fun cooking!

Hi Milgwimper,

Maybe you can surprise them by making something next time! =)

I love haupia too!


Like I mentioned before, I have never used arrow root and don't know why your Hawaiian friend likes it that much? Maybe it's what they were accustomed to? I still rather prefer corn starch. I used to use tapioca but found out that raw cassava (which is what the root it's made from) contains small traces of natural cyanide. Might be all psychological?


I think the reason some people still prefer arrowroot is that that's the originial thickener used for haupia. Isn't arrowroot one of the few plants considered "native" to Hawaii? Corn and cornstarch came far later. For the same reasons as you, price and availability, I've only used cornstarch for making haupia. Some day I'd like to try arrowroot just to compare.

Veruca salt

Yum. They look so delicious. Reminds me of the coconut clouds they have at yum cha over here.

I have been following this series with much eagerness but blonde question - what is a lu'au exactly?

I have heard the term before. Is it just a beach party?


I broke open a few books and figured out that arrowroot was probably brought by the first Polynesians. That's not "native" exactly but still predates the arrival of cornstarch by at least thousand years.


hi reid, i was right! it looks as delicious as it sounded in black and white...thanks for the recipe...



Oh I plan to cook up a storm if/when we have the lu'au again. I love the people at my because they love food! Well okay thats not the whole reason, but right now my priorities lie at thism moment. LOL all are good cooks and I have already snagged some recipes. *sigh* :) So I can't wait to cook for them!

Haupia is so dangerous around me. They call out my name but alas it is really futile. ;P


Hi Clinton,

Actually, the person that taught me how to make haupia, as well as some other Hawaiian dishes, was my old manager at the supermarket. He was Hawaiian and taught me to make it in the way that he was taught. I'm not sure if he liked arrowroot, but he told me that he was taught to use it.

Hi Alan,

There is a subtle difference when you use arrowroot to thicken this. Try it and let me know what you think. I actually think it has a different mouthfeel.

I'm not sure if it's a native plant or not. I'd have to do some research.

Hi Veruca Salt,

Are you blonde? *wink*

A lu'au is a traditional Hawaiian feast. Locals will have lu'aus to celebrate weddings or baby's first birthdays.

Hi Alan,

Thanks for that information. I'm just assuming that the older folk use it because that's how they learned to make it.

Hi J,

You're welcome! =) Enjoy!

Hi Milgwimper,

I'd be interested to know what you make for your next lu'au. I love haupia too, but I shouldn't eat it so often.


Well I don't know when the next one is yet, but soon as I know I will let ya know the menu! :) I love haupia too, and before the lu'au in September I hadnot touched a haupia in 2 years. Let me tell you I keep it that way...I am bad when haupia is around.


I also made this tonight. I've been craving haupia ever since I had Ted's Bakery haupia and haupia & chocolate pies on my trip home. Oh you know what? Their banana cream pie is AWESOME too. ^_^ Great recipes!


p.s. I think I can figure out how to make a chocolate haupia pie now. If I figure it out, I'll post the recipe.


Hi Cindy,

I like Ted's chocolate haupia pie. I normally make mine with chocolate pudding and one envelope of gelatin. I'm interested in seeing your recipe for it. Good luck!

maria pelekane

Thank you so much for having this recipe. I tryed looking all over for this. Its thanksgiving day so i thank you .

Aloha:Maria Pelekane


Hi Maria,

Thank you for visiting my blog and you're so very welcome. I'm glad you found what you were looking for here.

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!


My mother-in-law used to take crushed pineapple and squeeze out all the juices then mix it in with the haupia. It was yummy.


Hallo ~

I realize I'm commenting long after the original postings, but thought it worth mentioning:

With advances in health, nutrition, and medicine as well as GMO's and chemicals in mass-harvested produce, it is becoming more crucial to find substitutes for huge allergy foods like corn.

I was born in Kapiolani Hospital and grew up here in the Islands, and as a young adult developed a food allergy to corn.

Arrowroot powder is more expensive, but when it comes to health issues, there is no contest to how healthy it is.

I have to make my haupia at home because it is the only place I can find it free of corn.

It's wonderful to know that arrowroot was actually the original haupia thickener!

Thank you for your website.

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