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Squid Luau

A Hawaiian side dish made of cooked luau leaves and squid. It is typically served at luaus alongside kalua pork, laulau, lomi salmon, chicken long rice, etc.
4.50 from 2 votes
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 35 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Hawaiian
Servings 15


  • Pot


  • 2 lb luau leaves
  • 1 lb squid substitute for chicken, beef, or tako (octopus)
  • 1 tsp Hawaiian salt
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet onions
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk


Prepare the luau leaves

  • If you have sensitive hands, use gloves to protect from the leaves' calcium oxalate. Rinse the leaves then remove the stems from the luau leaves. If you want to include the stems, peel off the fibrous parts of the stem and cut into 1-2 inch pieces. Then trim the pointy parts of the leaves.
  • Cut the leaves into smaller pieces by stacking 3-5 leaves at a time. Tightly roll it up. Chop it into thin strips and cut it again in the opposite direction.
  • In a large pot, add in enough water to boil all of the leaves. Add in the Hawaiian salt and luau leaves. Bring the pot to a simmer the cover it. Let it simmer for one hour to an hour and a half.

Prepare the squid or other choice of meat

  • Remove the feeler tentacle. Separate the head and the body from each other by gently tugging each other apart. When pulling it apart, the innards will come out, which you can discard. Remove the squid's cartilage and skin from the head and discard. Rip off the two flaps from the head and set aside. Slide your finger down the outside of the head's tube to remove any more remaining guts. Flip the tube inside out to clean it more thoroughly. Flip it outside again and set aside. Cut below the eyes and remove the beak if it's with part of the tentacle body.
  • Cut the head and tentacles into smaller bite sized pieces. Set aside

Bringing everything together

  • After the leaves have cooked, drain it in a colander. Press down on the leaves to drain any remaining leaves.
  • Melt the butter in a pot. Saute the onions and squid until the onions are translucent.
  • Add in the leaves, sugar, salt, and coconut milk. Mix it well and bring it to a simmer. Cover and let is cook for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Serve it hot and enjoy!
Keyword beef, blanch, chicken, leaves, luau, pork, squid