The Chief Chef

Sam Choy
By Sam Choy
Wednesday - August 10, 2005
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This week Samoan Chief Sielu Avea joins us on the show to prepare a taste of Polynesia.

PALUSAMI

• 20 taro leaves (or 2 pounds fresh spinach leaves) cleaned and patted dry
• 2 medium onions, diced
salt and pepper, to taste
• 2 8-ounce cans coconut milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line the bottom of a 9x13-inch pan with taro or spinach leaves. In a large mixing bowl, combine onions, salt and pepper, and coconut milk. Stir for 15 seconds, or until blended. Pour coconut milk mixture into pan, covering taro leaves. Cover pan with aluminum foil and place in 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.

Or you can prepare it the way Chief Sielu Avea demonstrated the dish on the show.

Combine diced onions with the coconut milk and seasoning. Take four-five taro leaves and cup them in the palm of your hand. Add about half of a cup of the coconut milk mixture and wrap the leaves

without letting the coconut milk mixture spill out. Wrap the ball of taro leaves with a piece of banana leaf, and last but not least, wrap the ball with a breadfruit leaf. Bake the palusami in the oven for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

COCONUT CRAB CAKES

• 2 tablespoons canola oil
• 1⁄2 onion, finely diced
• 1 stalk celery, finely diced
• 1 pound coconut crab or lump crab meat
• 1⁄2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
• 2⁄3 cup mayonnaise
• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• 2 tablespoons finely minced chives
• 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
• 1 cup panko
salt and pepper, to taste
• 1⁄2 cup flour, for dusting
• 3 large eggs, beaten
• 4 cups panko, for dusting
oil, for deep-frying
• diced tomatoes, for garnish
chives, for garnish
Coconut-Basil Mayonnaise

Heat oil in a sauté pan. Add onions and celery, and sauté until onion is translucent. Remove from heat and set aside.


In a large bowl, mix crab meat, coconut, mayonnaise, mustard, chives, parsley and 1 cup panko with the celery-onion mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Form into 2-inch-diameter cakes. Roll cakes first in flour, then in beaten eggs, then in the remaining 4 cups of panko, each time shaking off excess. Heat oil and sauté the crab cakes until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Arrange on a platter. Garnish with tomatoes and chives. Serve with Coconut-Basil Mayonnaise.

For Coconut-Basil Mayonnaise:

• 1 cup mayonnaise
• 1⁄2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
• 1 tablespoon lime juice
• 1 tablespoon chopped basil
• 1 tablespoon chili garlic paste
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. May be prepared a day ahead, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.

(Watch “Sam Choy’s Kitchen” Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. on KHNL News 8.)

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