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Hilo Eats: Kulana Blood Sausage

Here we have Kulana Blood Sausage from Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii. This is yet another one of those specialty foods exclusive to the Big Island and difficult to find if not at all from major supermarkets on the other islands. Perhaps some smaller mom n’ pops may have it, but I’m not sure. I’m not aware of any retailer on Oahu who carries it.

I remember as a young boy when we used to visit my grandmother’s home in Hilo, she’d always make us breakfast served with this blood sausage, so just smelling it cooking in the kitchen once again brings back fond memories of granny’s house. My mother keeps them stocked in her freezer to eat on occasion, thanks to relatives who bring them back for her from the Big Island. So she gave me a fresh package from KTA Supermarket to take home and enjoy, which I’m sharing with you here.

Here’s the back of the vacuum-sealed package…

Here it is out of the package…

Now I know what you’re probably thinking at this point: not only does this sound disgusting, but it also looks disgusting. Well hopefully you can get over that and at least give it a try if given the opportunity. Come on now, Andrew Zimmern would consider this as good as chocolate ice cream!

Like the Portuguese Sausages made by various manufacturers in the islands, Kulana Blood Sausage has a unique blend of spices that just tastes “local”. You can tell this is something made in Hawaii after just one bite.

Here you see a cross-cut view of the sausage in uncooked state…

You can see there’s an abundance of ground pork fat, and also a good amount of chopped white and green onions, which I think is what really helps give this blood sausage its great taste. Then of course there’s that chocolate brown color thanks to the pig’s blood.

While it has an entirely different flavor than, say, Filipino Dinuguan, there is a slight similarity to it in the way the blood flavors the pork and pork fat.

Being already fully cooked, the best way to heat up Kulana Blood Sausage is to par-boil it intact in the casing for about 5-10 minutes, then finish it by pan frying it to brown the casing.

Then cut and serve…

…with rice and sunnyside-up eggs of course! As you see, I also always include my favorite Tsukemono, Beni Shoga (red pickled ginger) and Takuwan yellow pickled turnip).

Here’s a closer look…

Blood Sausage is very moist and loose inside of the casing thanks to the high pork fat content, so it’s best to break it up over the rice like this…

Oh yeah, mix the blood sausage into the rice along with the runny egg yolk… braddah, talk about broke da’ mout’! So ono. Blood Sausage is winnahz with poi as well. Great match.

Of course like most other sausages, this is high in fat and sodium, so it’s obviously something you’re not going to eat every day of the week, but on occasion it’s a yummy breakfast treat.

If you visit the Big Island, pick up a package Kulana Blood Sausage and give it a try, then get back to us and let us know what you think. If you know of any store on Oahu or whatever other island you’re on that carries Kulana Blood Sausage, let us know as well. Mahalo.

Hey, speaking of sausages, the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile is on Oahu! It will be on display at Don Quijote stores around the island on the following dates…

24 thoughts on “Hilo Eats: Kulana Blood Sausage

  • July 4, 2009 at 4:57 pm
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    Pomai, is it like the German Blood Sausage? I can get that at Safeway across the street where I lived. Chinese have duck liver lup choong that taste like some what like blood sausage but not that much.

    Reply
  • July 5, 2009 at 1:49 am
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    Yup the secret is out. I ALWAYS keep a supply in my freezer her in Kalihi.

    Reply
  • July 5, 2009 at 6:03 am
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    Used to always look for Gouveia blood sausages on our visits back to HNL but somehow they stop selling them at Foodland and other supermarkets. I only could find them at the Gouveia factory in Kakaako and they were frozen. Any other suggestions on where to find them?

    Reply
  • July 5, 2009 at 1:48 pm
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    Pomai, is this sausage called Morcilla? Someone said Korean Market have Korean blood sausages . Too bad do not know the name of it.

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  • July 5, 2009 at 2:51 pm
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    Pomai, where can I find Fiddlehead Fern? Saw in your Maui entry a salad made with it. On Hippy Gourmet Show it showed plants grew in wood wild on ferns plants. They said it tasted like asparagus I for that very well. Not sure able to find Korean Blood Sausage but will looked other places too.

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  • July 7, 2009 at 11:54 am
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    Korean sausage is called Soondae.
    and some of the restaurants in Ala moana aras serve this as ready to eat.
    Best to dip it in little of Salt and Pepper.

    Reply
  • July 7, 2009 at 8:04 pm
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    Erica, when I was at the Smoked Meat Competition, one of the competitors featuring Warabi (Fiddlehead Fern) in their dish mentioned that the stuff grows wildly in rainy forests around the Big Island (where they were from). I don’t recall seeing it at the KCC Farmer’s Market, although I wasn’t actually looking for it. I’m sure Chinatown’s got it. Or check your nearest asian grocery store (Don Quijote, Pacific Market, Palama Market, etc.).

    Amy, I see Morcilla is the Spanish name for Blood Sausage, while the Portuguese version is called Morcela, with variations of it depending on region and/or personal recipes. Being that the manufacturers of Blood Sausage in Hawaii are also producers of Portuguese Sausage (including Kulana), that the recipe of those made here are derived from the Portuguese variant.

    Clinton, now that you mention that, I remember seeing Gouviea brand blood sausage at select markets on Oahu, but not anymore. I’m curious how it compares in taste to the Kulana Brand.

    Yoro, any chance you’re related to the Kam family?…
    http://kamfamily.wordpress.com/?tag=blood-sausage
    Based on that comment, it’s got your name written all over that post! lol

    Betty, Duck liver Lup Cheong eh? News to me.

    Sara, I’ll check the Palama Market here for Soondae and season it as you suggested. Can’t wait to try it!

    Reply
  • July 31, 2009 at 2:56 am
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    How does one get an opportunity to order blood sausage. Born and raised in Hawaii, I so enjoyed this tasty item and am anxious to find a company that sells them. I am unable to find any where to order it. I now reside in Las Vegas. Can anyone help me locate a company that sells this?

    Mahalo

    Sandi Carvalho

    Reply
  • July 31, 2009 at 6:45 am
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    Sandi,

    There’s this company….

    http://www.hawaiianfoodonline.com

    They have many fine brands of Portuguese Sausage for sale online, but sorry, no Hawaii-made blood sausage. You’re gonna’ have to hook-up with someone who lives on the Big Island of Hawaii for that one. Even Oahu doesn’t have a retail source for it.

    Reply
    • May 2, 2016 at 8:21 am
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      Aloha bra.  I called Kulana foods looking for a place on oahu that sells Kulana blood sausage. Ages in kailua was the last place, but have since stopped ordering/selling.  I asked Kulana if they ship the blood sausages anywhere and they said yes.  Just got to order a minimum of a case.  The case ran about 60 dollars plus whatever shipping costs.  I wanted to order a case and freeze them.  That way I would always have.

      Reply
      • May 2, 2016 at 8:36 am
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        John,

        Here in Honolulu, Don Quijote and Marukai (Ward Farmers Market location) currently carries most of the products Kulana offers, including their AWESOME Portuguese Sausage, Blood Sausage and Pipikaula. More expensive than the Oahu brands, but totally worth it. I’ll do a full review of all Kulana’s stuffs later. ;-)

        Reply
  • October 13, 2011 at 7:25 am
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    Here in the Midwest ( Ill ), we have access to Blood Sausage almost on a regular bases, as of yesterday I picked up 8 lbs of freshly made from a packing plant ( Highland Pack in Colona, Illinois ) sold pre frozzen.

    Reply
  • October 28, 2012 at 10:54 am
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    Contact Kulana Foods on da big Island. They sell it by the case and will ship it

    Reply
  • December 21, 2013 at 8:55 pm
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    I would like to purchase Kulana Foods Blood Sausage. I live on Oahu and cannot find it anywhere. My friend usually brings some to me when they come to Oahu, but it takes too long to wait.

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    • December 22, 2013 at 8:49 am
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      William Kaneko,

      Are you Niel Abercrombie’s campaign manager? Reason asking, I receive news updates from a William Kaneko for Governor Abercrombie.

      FYI, Rego’s Purity brand has a blood sausage that you can find at Don Quijote and Times Supermarket. Never tried it, so I don’t know how it compares to the Kulana Brand. My bet is the Kulana brand will beat it in taste.

      I happen to have a package of Kulana Blood Sausage in my freezer, so I’ll do a Blood Sausage shootout soon, pitting it against Rego’s Purity Blood Sausage. Should be bloody fun!

      Reply
      • December 22, 2013 at 9:13 am
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        NO, I have no affiliation with that so called governor of this state. Don’t want to either.
        I have already tried this Purity Product and it has a less impact on the sausage taste. You just cannot beat Kulana.

        Reply
      • December 22, 2013 at 9:27 am
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        Dean,

        Sorry, didn’t mean to offend you. Well, at least you’re aware of that now in case anyone else asks (unless others already have). I thought it was ironic when I discovered there’s another Pomai Souza. Dang, and here i was thinking I was the only one! He’s actually a musician.

        Being you already tried them both and vouch for the Kulana brand, I’m more intrigued now to do my own taste test of them both! As may know, Koreans also have their own blood sausage called Sundae/Soon Dae, which uses rice as filling agent. You can find that at Palama Market (or any other Korean import supermarket). Never tried it myself, yet I may throw that in with my comparo’ as Korean ‘Wild Card’!

        Reply
        • December 22, 2013 at 9:51 am
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          Thanks, I already tried Korean blood sausage and I will just stick with Kulana.

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          • December 22, 2013 at 9:58 am
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            Dean,

            According to reader Fred Pedro who commented previously, by contacting them, Kulana will ship you a whole case! Question is shipping charge, of course. Try find out and let us know!

            The Kulana Blood Sausage I have weighs 0.74 lbs. @ 7.57/lbs = $5.60 per package from KTA in Hilo.

          • December 22, 2013 at 10:36 am
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            I will take a whole case. Do you know how many is in the case? I am looking for about 12 pieces. I will include the shipping from Hilo.

  • December 22, 2013 at 1:19 pm
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    Franks Food also has a blood sausage that they are quite proud of. Big seller on Maui.

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  • May 28, 2014 at 2:02 pm
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    Anybody have a good local Portugese blood sausage recipe?

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    • May 28, 2014 at 6:26 pm
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      Nate,

      From reader Honu in the ‘Great Portuguese Sausage Shootout’ post (yikes! on the salt peter!):

      “Here’s a recipe for Portuguese sausage clipped from a long-ago Honolulu Star Bulletin article. According to the article the recipe for Hilo Portuguese Sausage is from the “All Hawaiian Cook Book, E Ho`Olako Mau, Vol. II” by Tamar Luke Panee.

      I’ve never tried it to make it myself, but it could be a great fundraiser or Christmas gift.

      25 lbs. pork with fat
      1 c. Hawaiian salt
      2 tabl. prague powder (salt peter)
      1/2 c. vinegar
      16 cloves garlic
      34 Hawaiian chili peppers (for very hot, use less for milder taste)
      1/4 c. sherry
      1 tsp. paprika

      1 set beef or pork casing
      Ball of string

      Cut pork in very small cubes and place in large pan. Sprinkle with salt and prague powder. Wear gloves and mix well with hands. Puree in blender: vinegar, garlic cloves, and chili peppers. Pour over pork and mix well. Add sherry and paprika. Mix again. In 4 hours mix again and again in another 4 hours. Leave covered in a cool place overnight. Sausage preparation usually starts in the late afternoon. Before going to bed, stir by hand, mixing well.

      Next day test by frying a little and taste the fat to see if the mixture is seasoned to your taste. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

      Filling sausage casings:

      1. Flush water through casing. Cut out those parts with holes. Cut into desired lengths, about 24 to 28 inches.

      2. Pack sausage mix in casings. Tie one end with string, leave the other end open to fill. Fill casing only 3/4 full. When filling by hand, slit casing at open end 3 or 4 inches to hold with right hand, and use your left hand to fill. Then secure with string.

      3. Tie both ends to form a ring.

      4. Smoke sausages 6 hours over low heat”

      Reply
      • May 28, 2014 at 6:47 pm
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        Pomai,
        Need a recipe for Local Portugese BLOOD SAUSAGE.
        Nate

        Reply

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