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Luau Pig - Imu

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Category: Hawaiian, Pork

 Ingredients List

  • *** NON NE *****


Here's how we cook a pig for a luau!

We cook whole pigs, together with sweet potatoes and other goodies for our
luau (feast). The pit is dug deep and wide and is filled with hot rocks.
It's called an imu (e moo).

Traditionally the killing of the pig, as well as the preparation and
tending of the imu, is men's work. Hardwood logs are used for the fire and
several dozen imu stones are placed on the fire and heated until red hot.
(Imu stones are specially picked smooth, porous rocks that are no more than
3 to 4 inches in diameter and are handed down from generation to

When the fire has burned down and the rocks are red hot, the pig is brought
to the fire on a large piece of chicken wire and the cavities (between the
legs, the body, the throat, etc.) are filled with the rocks. The legs are
tied together and the wire is wrapped over the pig. The embers are raked
and the remaining rocks spread out. The pit is lined with banana leaves (or
sometimes corn husks), several inches thick. The pig is lowered into the
imu - feet up and a crate full of sweet potatoes, bananas, fish, etc. (all
wrapped in ti leaves) is added to the imu. Cover this with several more
layers of banana leaves so that it forms a steam-proof covering. Dip burlap
bags in water and tuck the soaking burlap securely all around the pig
potatoes, etc. Shovel earth on the mound until no steam escapes. If a leak
is found, add more earth. Dampen slightly and leave for a minimum of four
hours (or up to 10-12 hours) or until the party is ready for the kaukau

Before the pig is placed in the imu (while the imu is being prepared) the
pig is rubbed inside and out with Hawaiian salt (rock salt) and about a
pint of soy sauce. Sometimes the salt is mixed with about a half of a
bottle of bourbon (my family's preference). True Hawaiian etiquette is to
eat luau food without utensils, just fingers; however, most luaus have
plenty of knives, forks, spoons and chop sticks! <G>

No luau is complete without the playing of Hawaiian music and the dancing
of the hula.

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