Polynesian Pani Popo

I would never attempt to give you a Polynesian recipe because I am not Polynesian. I do love the Polynesian people and culture. I guess my adoration can be traced back to growing up so closely with the Poly’s in my hometown of Carlsbad, CA and the neighboring town of Oceanside, CA. My dad was a Bishop of the church there when it took two whole cities to make up one congregation. Now, there are many congregations there. But, my family were so very fortunate to have many Polynesian friends. They became like family to us. To this day, I am drawn to Polynesian people. I feel like I am adopted in to their vast family. As they will be the first to tell you they are all cousins. Samoans, Hawaiians, Tongans, New Zea-landers…all cousins.

When LG and I got married 10 days after deciding, it was once again my Polynesian family who came through. My good friends Kia and Kyla (both originally from Hawaii) and their friend Lisa (who was totally white) decided to throw us a luau. To this day, without fail, every time we attend a wedding reception LG will proclaim that nobody has better food than we did. I think he dreams about the noodles. I didn’t get to eat much that evening. Apparently, I was playing hostess as LG was gorging at the spread. Can you say foreshadow? I am not calling my husband fat. I am just saying that if there is one hostess in this family, it is me, so in-laws stop typing shame on you’s now.

However, on that evening I got to eat one thing. Well, I actually probably ate at least 8. LG would bring them to me on a plate from time to time. Pani popo. I can’t even utter the word without salivating. Years ago when I started blogging I made an online blogging friend who posted the recipe. I have successfully made much pani popo on my own. I guess that means I am really a true cousin now. Out of pure reverence for my friend sharing her polynesian equivalent to The Holy Grail,  I am refraining from giving you the recipe here, but do go over and get it. You will not be disappointed. And at your next Palagi luau, I promise you will receive the most leis.

And just to give you a peek at how easy this recipe is. From the top of my head I can only remember three ingredients that are needed and one is Rhode’s rolls.

Pani PoPo



  1. Lucky you! I have never tasted Pani Popo… but this post makes me want to.

    Your quicky wedding event luau. It sounds perfect to me.


  2. my mouth is watering. I am going to grab the recipe and give it a whirl/try.

    I am with you, the Polynesian people that I grew up were the best. I love how I could count on a hug and word of encouragement when ever I was around them. They are one of the biggest reasons I miss “Home” so much at certain times of the year.

  3. Thanks for an awesome & fun post and for the mention! Hopefully I will be blessed to meet you one day! I am in the Salt Lake area! Have a wonderful weekend cousin! 🙂

  4. Thanks for an awesome & fun post and for the mention! Hopefully I will be blessed to meet you one day! I am in the Salt Lake area! Have a wonderful weekend cousin! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s