Chef Sam Choy had his first bite of ‘ulu as a child growing up in Lā‘ie, on O‘ahu’s North Shore, in a neighborhood where everyone had a breadfruit tree in their yard.
Sam learned methods of preparing ‘ulu from both family and neighbors who originated from all over the Pacific, bringing to Hawai‘i their cherished traditions. This upbringing permeates his entire professional career.
Sam Choy’s ‘Ulu Cookbook is a rare recipe collection devoted to a truly Hawaiian and Polynesian staple. The recipes are Sam’s own, from friends, and the Hawai‘i ‘Ulu Cooperative, who partnered in creating this book. Galyn Wong, who felt passionately about ‘ulu’s health values, pioneered with Sam the idea of an entire book devoted to what she considered was a wonder food. The book comes at an ideal time for home cooks now that the Hawai‘i ‘Ulu Cooperative has helped to increase supply and make frozen, recipe-ready ‘ulu available throughout the islands and even by mail order.
The recipes are both traditional and contemporary: ‘Ulu chips with a multitude of dips to accompany them. Salads that pair ‘ulu with other island favorites like hō‘i‘o (fern shoots). Soups made substantial and creamy through the magic of ‘ulu. Burgers, croquettes, and more—including a host of desserts.