In Hawai‘i we celebrate for any reason, birthday, wedding graduation, or for no reason at all. Lu‘au in traditional days could last for days and had strict rules dictating the type of food to be served at each occasion. Today, lu‘au enable family and friends to come together, enjoy good food, music and each other. Sam Choy and The Makaha Sons, two names synonymous with lu‘au in Hawai‘i have come together to create this cookbook and CD combo, a first in Hawai‘i. From “straight Hawaiian-style Poke” to mouth-watering kalua pig and cabbage, this book has it all to help you plan a successful Hawaiian lu‘au…including the music!

Table of Contents

Part One: Talk Story

The Makaha Sons

Sam Choy

The History of the Lu‘au

The Traditional Lu‘au Feast

The Pig and the Imu

Location, Guests, and How Can They?

Welcome to Wicky-Wacky-Tiki Time

Sam-Size That Dish

Countdown to Chowdown

Part Two: Recipes

The Hawaiian-Style Lu‘au

  • Steamed Mahimahi Laulau
  • Assorted Seafood Laulau
  • Easy Chicken Laulau
  • Chicken and Mahimahi Laulau
  • Poi—From Scratch
  • Kalua-Style Turkey
  • No-Imu Kalua Pig
  • Kalua Pig and Cabbage
  • Straight Hawaiian-Style Inamona Poke
  • My Mom’s Squid Lu‘au
  • Chicken Lu‘au—My Mother’s Favorite
  • Chicken Long Rice
  • Traditional Lomilomi Salmon
  • Haupia (Coconut Pudding)


  • Ahi Tartare with Ginger
  • Poke Patties
  • Deep-Fried Mahimahi Macadamia Nut Fingers
  • Pipi kaula (Dried Beef)
  • Spicy Chicken Wingettes
  • Spring Rolls
  • Teriyaki Roll-ups
  • Da Kine Poke Supreme


  • Ahi Poke Salad
  • Hilo Tropical Fruit Slaw
  • Pacific Rim Potato Salad
  • Hawaiian Barbecued Shrimp Salad
  • Oriental Macadamia Nut Chicken Salad
  • Chicken Avocado and Papaya Salad
  • Beef Noodle Salad

Side Dishes

  • Hibachi Mixed Vegetables
  • Baked Coconut Taro
  • Lomilomi Salmon with a Twist
  • Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Garlic Mashed Potatoes
  • Shiitake Mushroom Rice


  • Puna Papaya and Maui Onion Dressing
  • Dill Vinaigrette
  • Traditional Sweet-and-Sour Vinaigrette
  • Papaya-Mango Salsa
  • Sam Choy’s Creamy Oriental Dressing
  • Balsamic Wasabi Dressing
  • Wasabi Vinaigrette
  • Wasabi Mayonnaise


  • Grilled Marinated Mahimahi
  • Spicy Grilled Opah
  • Sautéed Opakapaka
  • Ahi with Lime-Shoyu Marinade
  • Poached Salmon


  • Hibachi Miso Chicken
  • Chicken and Portuguese Sausage Kabobs
  • Chicken and Coconut Milk
  • Quick and Easy Shoyu Chicken
  • Sweet-and-Sour Chicken Breasts
  • Curried Citrus Papaya Chicken


  • Tequila-Grilled Shrimp
  • Hilo Mango-Lilikoi-Basil Barbecue Shrimp
  • Wok Barbecue Shrimp
  • Sautéed Scallops
  • Broiled Lobster
  • Stuffed Calamari

Pork and Beef

  • Barbecue Beef Short Ribs
  • Tailgate Teri Steaks
  • Hulihuli (Rotisserie) Beef
  • Hoisin Pulehu Pork Chops
  • Hawaiian Pulehu Tri-Tip Steak
  • Sweet-and-Sour Pineapple Pork
  • Haleiwa Barbecue Pork Ribs


  • Grilled Tropical Fruits
  • Hibachi Pineapple Spears
  • Mango-Guava Sorbet
  • Three-Fruit Sherbet
  • Hilo Haupia Squares
  • Easy Banana Pie
  • Macadamia Nut Cream Pie
  • Banana Poi—Tahitian-Style
  • Pineapple Coconut Yum Yum


  • Tropical Fruit Punch
  • Haupia with a Kick, “Oh Yeah”
  • Sam’s North Shore Smoothie
  • Lava Flow—Get It While It’s Hot!!!
  • Scorpion in a Glass
  • Guava Colada from the Valley
  • Kona Mac Freeze
  • Loco Loco Mocha Mocha
  • Over the Rainbow
  • Tropical Crab Itch

Author: Sam Choy