'Ulu (Breadfruit) Chowder


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'Ulu, or Breadfruit, is referred to in the Hawaiian islands as "canoe food". It was one of the crops that the earliest voyagers brought on their sailing vessels to plant when they arrived. Along with Kalo, or Taro, it is a traditional starch of Polynesia, revered for being a prolific crop, nutrient dense & even sacred. 

I challenge myself to eat as much locally sourced food as possible. I have gone up to 1 month (twice!) eating 100% of my diet made up of food only grown here in Hawaii, right down to the oil & spices. That is a major challenege! For the most part I just try to be aware of where my food is coming from by reading labels & supporting my local farmers markets as much as possible. This recipe here was created for that very commitment. 

If you've never tried 'Ulu before, it is similar in consistency to a yukon gold potato, but much more rich, creamy & nutrient dense. If you live in a tropical climate where it grows I challenge you to seek it out & give this recipe a try!


'Ulu Chowder

MAKES APPROXIMATELY 6 QUARTS OF SOUP


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INGREDIENTS

5 lb mature ‘Ulu (Breadfruit)

3 quarts water 

5 cups of Macadamia Nut Milk or other unsweetened plant based milk

1 lb onion, diced

1 large Red Bell Pepper, diced 

1 lb Broccoli, break down the florets & cut the stem into rounds

1 lb Carrots, cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds

1/2 lb Kale, torn into pieces

15 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast

1 tbl dry dill

1 & 1/2 tsp black pepper

2 tbl salt 

Fresh Dill for garnish

 

instructions

*If you are planning on making a fresh macadamia nut milk, soak the mac nuts now if you have not yet*

Start by prepping your 'Ulu. With a sharp knife, cut it in half & carefully cut the Skin off. then cut it into quarters and cut the pit out. Although it is edible & soft we want to cut it out for this recipe. Chop all of the 'ulu down into 1 inch cubes. They don't have to be perfect pieces. we will be cooking these down for awile and the edges will soften quite a bit.

In a large stock pot add the water, ‘ulu, garlic, onion & salt. Cook on high until the water comes to a boil. then Turn the heat down to low-medium, put on the lid and simmer for approx 1& 1/2 hours, or until cooking liquid starts to become thick & viscous. give it a stir every 20 min or so.

while the 'ulu is cooking down, wash & prep the rest of your vegetables & make your mac nut milk.

Keep checking in on the pot. Once the cooking liquid has started to thicken & 'ulu has softed & turned from off-white to a pale yellow, you are ready to add the rest of your ingredients.

add to the pot everything except the kale & fresh dill.

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You'll want to keep the cooking TEMPERATURE down to a low-medium. as the soup thickens it can burn easily, so Stir often for this final stage.

Once the veggies are cooked, soft to the touch but haven't lost their vibrant color, turn off the heat and add the greens, Stirring them throughout. 

Serve in a soup bowl and top with fresh dill. 

 

Notes

'Ulu has 3 stages- young, mature & ripe. young 'ulu is smaller, very firm & green with pronounced bumps. Usually it is not harvested at this stage, but they can fall off the trees in heavy winds & are edible. Mature 'Ulu is firm and the skin has started to smooth out. You will notice the reminisce of white sap that has dripped down from the stem. The color is a light bright green & yellow. Ripe 'ulu is soft to the touch, you could make a dent in it if you press with your finger. the color is yellow the smell is sweet, like juicy fruit gum. It is very important to use 'ulu in it's mature stage for this recipe.

This recipe was developed specifically for 'Ulu. I don't recommend substituting potato for 'Ulu here. It is very unique in that cooking the 'ulu for this amount of time acts as a natural thickening agent. If you cook potato for the same amount of time it will break apart. 

 

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