Beef Luau Recipe

Beef Luau

Ahhhh beef luau. One of my favorite dishes ever! Beef, luau leaves, water, salt… maybe an onion… and that’s it. Aren’t the simplest dishes always the best?

This weekend I had a mean craving for this (it might’ve been because of all the Hilo rain). The problem was that I never really made this myself before and searching the google internet machine resulted in no success either. :(

Why is it so hard to find a recipe for this? Luckily, the helpful guys at the KauKau Corner were nice to help me out. *s*

I used some of the tips they gave me and adapted it for the pressure cooker. Normally this dish would take 3-4 hours, but with a pressure cooker, only 1-1.5 hours.


- 1lb Luau Leaves
- 2lb Beef Brisket
- Water
- Good handful of Hawaiian Salt
- 1 Large Onion sliced thinly

First step is to prepare the luau leaves.

Luau Leaves

Just make sure to cut out the big vein section that connects to the stem. Some people take all the veins out, but it’s really not necessary.

Luau Leaf cleaning

Next, pressure cook the leaves in water for 5-10 minutes (boil ~15-20 minutes if no pressure cooker).  I’m not too sure how much this helps, but it is supposed to make the dish “cleaner tasting”.

Luau leaves
pressure cooker

Then drain out the brownish water which has all that itchy-mouth stuff.

Itchy-mouth water
Drain luau leaves

For the beef I used bone-in brisket because it’s a great stewing meat with good fat content which enhances this dish. Having the bone still on creates a richer broth. Cost-U-Less in Hilo has good deals on this. If you don’t have brisket, any good stewing beef would work just as good. Note: You may want to trim some of the fat if your cut is very fatty.

Da Beef Brisket

Brown the brisket.

Beef Brisket Browning

Throw in a large chopped onion sliced thinly.

Chopped Onion

Saute for a few minutes.

Beef brisket Browning

Next, add some water and scrape all the brown yum-yums off the bottom of the pot. Then mix in the luau leaves and add enough water to cover. Yeah, my pressure cooker was too small for this. :P

Beef Luau Recipe

Pressure cook for about 50 minutes. 3 hours if no pressure cooker.

pressure cooker

Beef Luau Recipe

The kitchen should now smell onolicious! Open up the pressure cooker and taste test the luau leaves. Are they still a little tough? Do they make your mouth itchy? If so, you need to cook it some more until it’s tender, moist and clean-tasting.

Once the leaves are all tender, add hawaiian salt to taste.

Hawaiian Salt

I added more water since I wanted it a more soupy consistency…

Beef Luau Recipe

Grindage time!!!

Serve with rice or poi, raw maui onions and chili peppa water on da side. I think I going eat some more now…

Beef Luau Grinds

Much mahalos to da guys at!

77 Responses to “Beef Luau Recipe”

  1. Reid Says:


    I’m glad you were able to satisfy your beef lu’au craving. Usually when I feel like eating this, I use a crock pot. I put it in the pot at night and wake up to some onolicious smells…otherwise, I put it on before going to work, and when I get home, the neighbors are waiting for me at the door!

    Great job!

  2. Penny Says:

    Nice photos James! Very professional looking : )

  3. alan Says:

    You know, I think I’ve made every other kind of luau you can think of, but never beef. Thanks for the recipe, eh.

  4. kelly Says:

    looks ono brah…….ono

  5. Lori Says:

    Hi James,
    Thanks for sharing this recipe, it looks really ono…especially in that last picture! :)

  6. Leilani Says:

    Can’t wait to try this recipe…thanks for sharing! Gonna try it the crock-pot way Reid suggested…love coming home to good smells :) :)

  7. MITZI Says:

    Used your recipe loved it! Had to cook a little longer as I doubled the recipe….and added Veg Oil..TURNED OUT FABULOUS! Thanks!

  8. g Says:

    Been craving for this for a long time. Couldnt believe I went to a Hawaiian Food Restaurant and they never had it on their menu. I was so sad. I still need to satisfy my cravings. Mahalo for the recipe. Gonna try it this weekend.

  9. mahealani Says:

    Thanks for the recipe…I haven’t used a pressure cooker before, besides, the one I have is too small. However, I would like to try using a crock pot…haven’t used that before either. So…can anyone help me with instructions on doing this recipe using a crock pot?….Do I cook the taro leaf before putting it in the crock pot?. Do I brown my brisket before putting it in the crock as well?…Please help asap!!!!…I’m drooling just looking at your pics…well done James…Mahalo

  10. "E" from Ewa Says:

    Thanks for the recipe I was ono for this all week…mahalo!!

  11. Sophie Says:

    We would like to feature this recipe on our blog. Please email if interested. Thanks :)

  12. Keakaoakala Says:

    Mahalo for the recipe!

  13. Puanani Says:

    I was looking everywhere for this recipe! It’s almost ready and we can’t wait to dig in.


  14. Caroline Says:

    A famous hawaii chef says to add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to kill the itch..thanks for the recipe..I also add diced carrots…ONOLICIOUS..I really love the visuals helped me..

  15. Brooks Says:

    Nice entry. Love those dark earthy greens.

  16. Anuhea Says:

    I made this a month ago, and it was so ono. I had never had it before, but my dad said it was perfect. Thanks for posting this recipe! I am about to make it again:)

  17. Noel Says:

    can the recipe be made with coconut milk as well? has anyone tried it that way? let me know……

  18. Kathy Says:

    I tried this recipe today and am satisfied. I don’t cook much and maybe it’s a little salty but it sure hit the spot.
    Thank-you for this simple recipe.


  19. Joanne Says:

    This is the exact recipe that I was going to try except with corned beef but I just needed to find out how to clean the leaves, glad I googled it, now I really know that the recipe will be worth doing. Thanks for all the info!

  20. Bob Says:

    My mom always added one can of coconut milk. Its not an overpowered coconut taste and its ONO!

  21. Katherine Says:

    Aloha and mahalo Braddah for this ono recipe. Am making it right now and can’t wait to dig in.

  22. Kata Says:

    Use, if can get, the tahitian luau leaves ~ those work the best!

  23. Countrygirl808 Says:

    I want to try the crock pot way too. I guess I should pre-boil the leaf and pre-brown the meat. Leave on low all day while I’m at work. Will it run out of water? Can anyone offer some advise?

  24. Pat Says:

    I’m doing it with the crock pot as I type this. I’m boiling the leaves now for about 20 min. I wasn’t planning on browing the meat cause I”m sure it’s gonna cook fully after 8 hours in the crockpot. I’m also gonna add a can of coconut milk and substitute the water with beef stock. We’ll find out how it turns out during the Hawaii VS Boise ST. game tomorrow morning. Go Warriors!

  25. pat Says:

    Turned out onolicious. I also threw a can of cream of mushroom. So yummy.

  26. Malia Says:

    Just wanted to say, I keep coming back to this recipe. (it’s been at least 1.5 years now) It’s ono. I also add ginger when cooking the final stage. My family loves it.

  27. gmarie808 Says:

    Am trying this recipe right now. Added coconut milk, garlic and a dash of ginger.
    Didn’t brown the meat though, I hope it comes out ok. The pressure cooker will definitely cook it. Hope it works for microwave pressure cookers! Wonder if it will make much of a difference? Also put some red hawn salt in as it is cooking…well, will know what the outcome is in about 35 min. Better get the rice cooking, it is starting to smell good!

  28. gmarie808 Says:

    OK guys. This recipe definitely is NOT for microwave pressure cookers! Ho and it was smelling so ono…but not now, its burnt to a crisp. My heart is broken. I’m thinking 15-20 min on the second cooking would suffice. Well I guess I’ll be going to the Taro Patch restaurant tomorrow. Boy the house stinks and I am going to have some fun cleaning the crust off that pressure cooker! Live and learn.

  29. Russell Kalaola-Wightman Says:

    Ho Cuz much mahalo for da receipe, it only took two hours from start to finish with only 50 min cook time using the pressure cooker. When I say two hours from start to finish, I mean one person (first time cook) wash all dishes(from the morning) prep/cook food, make rice, clean the whole kitchen wash all dishes/pots along the way with table settings (bowls and spoons) :-) And ready fo grind! It all came out great real easy with pressure cooker, next month will taste even better as I will perfect my cooking skills and use a different cut of meat and not brown it as long,


    Russell from maui!!!

  30. uzuhed Says:

    Bras/Sistah’s…salt & peppah the meat. let set az long az u like. Tro da buggah on the grill til sta brown 2 sides. Simmah dah luau leaf in 1 ahda pot 4 about 1 owha, den drain the luah leaf. Now take u slow kookah. put 1 12oz. can chicken broth inside, add 1 med. onion/sliced, luau leaf, and meat on top. Kavah and let it rip….da longah da bettah(ovahnite)…1 mo ting…get the slo kookah going 1st ting.

  31. Nalei Says:

    My dad would make this all the time. This, and watercress stew, amongst a ton of other `ono, local grinds (and even some not so local, like his infamous Italian Soup. Winners!) He was the BEST cook. He cooked with passion and love. I miss his cooking, but miss him more. He passed 5 years ago.

    Gonna make this on Saturday and I can’t wait! I knew how to make it, but just needed some inspiration. Your description and pictures did it for me. Mahalo for sharing, James.

    FBI (from Big Island), but now call Kaneohe home.
    Aloha nui,

  32. Victor Says:

    Thank you very much! My cousins took my family to Ono Hawaiian Foods when we were there in August (best meal I had the whole week), and I’ve been craving their Salted Beef Luau ever since. This recipe is close enough until I make my way back to the islands in a couple of years. Again, mahalo!

  33. Kamuela Says:

    Hmm! My dad prepared this dish often, how I long for his mana’o in the kitchen, he was a wonderful cook. I was prepping the ingredients as I read your recipe; I don’t have pressure cooker but I do have a crock-pot, hopefully as James stated: I hope to wake tomorrow morning with the house scented with the delicious smells of chicken Luau…I didn’t have enough beef so I used chicken instead.

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  35. Gina Says:

    This is looks sooo ONO! Im gonna have to make this tonight! Ill let you know how it comes out!

  36. AJudy Says:

    I’ve never made stew luau before, but, I can hardly wait to make it soon.

  37. kamaflauge Says:

    huuuuuuuuuweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…damm this bagah came out like broke da mouth action, 1st time cooking this recipe. and i love it. im definately making this for my uso family this new years. thanks for the recipe….cheeeeeehuuuuuuuuuu!

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  62. Al Moy Says:

    James, mahalo for sharing your luau stew recipe. When Leong’s Café closed their doors years ago, I immediately began to have withdrawals for their Luau Stew. I worked on duplicating the flavor, and after many tries, I think I got it close. At least I am very happy with it, and my friends love it. Leong’s Cafe cooked their luau leaves until it almost disintegrates, and they also used beef brisket. To achieve the same consistency, I have to cook the leaves for about 4 hours, in a pressure cooker. There is a flavor that comes with the mushy leaves, and that’s the taste that I craved for. I also add chopped garlic, a bunch of whole black pepper corns in a wire mesh container, and chicken base(Costco brand). I have had the pressure cooker going on my stove right now for almost four hours, and will add the beef brisket and cook for another 45 minutes. My friends and I will enjoy this luau stew tomorrow afternoon, watching boxing pay per view. Chili pepper water, Maui onions and Hawaiian salt are a must. Good eating gang!


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  65. MauiGirl Says:

    Thanks for sharing! Only hard finding homestyle recipes on the internet. Nice to see some locals out there. I love my pressure cooker too!

  66. Wai'anae Says:

    Ono Ono Ono!!!! My mom taught me how to cook stew lu’au…but when my brain cells no work, I go straight to dis site. Brings me back to what I need to do:) :) :) love love love!!! I don’t have a pressure cooker :( I am working on getting one. We get the kine stove only can use stainless steel, unreal. Anyway, mahalo nui! Cheeeeee

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  76. Raymond Salazar Says:

    I am making for the very first time. My grandson came home from a field trip in May with 8 Kalo plants. We planted them, their thriving, now I cutting some leaves and making your Beef Luau. I hope he come it winna. Mahalo.

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