InstaPot Palusami with Pala‘ai

This InstaPot Palusami with Pala‘ai is inspired by the local term “use what get” and the beauty of a quick meal all thanks to the InstaPot. Stormy is a big Kimi Werner fan and learned how to make laulau in an InstaPot from Kimi’s YouTube channel. Modern technology has completely changed the game when it comes to cooking traditional Hawaiian foods, which typically take hours and hours to make, and it’s so cool! 

With a goal to eat more healthy/local, every week Stormy buys luau leaves, CSA produce, and Aloha Aina Poi from the Malama Kauai online store. When she received her Kaukau 4 Keiki box, a big, local pumpkin stared back at her and offered itself to the palusami recipe. The rest is legendary. The house was filled with tantalizing smells of beef, coconut milk, and luau. The bundles were opened and the dripping, steaming palusami was enjoyed amidst exclamations of “this is amazing!” and lots of lip smacking and finger licking. You want your kid to eat all their dinner? Make. This. Dish. 

InstaPot Palusami with Pala‘ai


  • 24 Luau Leaves (taro leaves)
  • 1 Pala‘ai (local pumpkin)
  • 3 cans Corned beef, Palm brand is good or make from scratch
  • 1 Onion
  • *1 can Coconut Milk
  • Paakai (Hawaiian salt) and Pepper
  • 12 Ti leaf, washed and de-boned and baker’s string OR aluminum foil


  1. Wash your luau leaves and let dry. On a clean counter, make stacks of 4 leaves with your largest leaves on the bottom and smallest leaves on the top. Then prep your filling.
  2. Wash and cut your pala‘ai, leaving the skin on. Remove seeds and cut into large chunks. Then cut your onion into large chunks.
  3. In a large bowl, add your corned beef, palaai, and onions and mix together. 
  4. Than add your coconut milk. *Add half the can if you like your palusami more savory. Add the whole can if you like your palusami more sweet. Up to you!
  5. Season with paakai and pepper and stir until everything is well combined.
  6. Scoop your corned beef and pala‘ai mixture out evenly onto your luau leaf stacks.
  7. Wrap all of your palusami tightly, folding over one side of your luau leaf stack, then folding in the two sides and rolling the bundle shut. Kind of like you would roll a burrito!
  8. Wrap tightly in ti leaf and secure with string. Or wrap tightly in foil.
  9. Add all 6 bundles to your InstaPot. Add 1 ½ cup water to the Pot. Secure the lid and pressure cook for 1 hour 45 minutes – 2 hours. 
  10. Serve hot with a side of poi.

Share your own Kaukau 4 Keiki inspired recipe and be entered into our weekly recipe contest!
Details here.