Yes, I’m the girl who loves Cooking In Stilettos but what many don’t know is that while I love cooking (and baking) all sorts of scrumptious dishes, I REALLY love making Polynesian food, inspired by the gorgeous islands of Polynesia (i.e. Hawaii, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and other islands in the South Pacific).
I remember the first time I had Huli Huli Chicken. It took ordinary grilled chicken and flipped it into a new realm with the bite of fresh ginger married with garlic, soy and a few other ingredients. Once you see how easy it is to make, you’ll never use bottled sauce again.
Where I grew up, when one thought of Hawaiian or Polynesian food, the local restaurant served cocktails either in tiki mugs or a scorpion bowl and there was chicken long rice and pu pu platters for days! Tasty – absolutely – but that’s not what Polynesian cooking is all about.
I have adored Polynesian food since I was about 12. I remember my friends’ mom cooking up a storm in her kitchen and the treats she made – oh my heavens – they were always scrumptious. To this day, if there was an Iron Chef pitting her against Hawaii’s Legendary Chef Sam Choy (who I also adore), I would bet my stilettos that my friends’ mom would win – hands down. Her food could make even the staunchest food critic cry happy tears.
When I moved to Orlando is when I really learned the diversity of Polynesian cooking. I had just started on my culinary adventure with Cooking In Stilettos. I was learning to cook (because at that time I could probably burn water if I really put my mind to it). However, finding the Polynesian recipes that I loved (or getting friends’ moms or aunties to part with them) was an adventure. However, I persevered – learning through cookbooks, endless recipe testing and guidance from friends and their families.
Now – not only can I not scorch water, but I can make a chicken lu pulu that will make you beg for seconds. A sip of my favorite Watermelon ‘Otai Margarita will have you swooning and the easiest slow cooked kalua pork that is so tender that you would think it was cooked in a backyard imu is always a popular request for soirees, especially when I’m making these delicious Kalua Pork Wontons.
These tried and true recipes here on Aloha Flavor will make you look like a culinary rock star. We’re talking tasty Polynesian inspired dishes – some traditional, some modern and, of course, some with a bit of a healthy twist – all absolutely delicious.
So – grab your favorite cocktail and let’s get cooking!