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Kala Kokua Pau Hana Pack, Smoked Meat & Poi

Kala Kokua Pau Hana Pack, Smoked Pork and Poi

Recently I mentioned Kala Kokua Fundraising being a sponsor for my cousin Chelsea (Von Arnswaldt) Slayter’s bid for Miss Hawaii USA 2015, with the big pageant being held November 22 & 23, 2014 at the Ihilani Ko’olina Resort.

Click image to enlarge

Today we’re going to sample Kala Kokua’s best selling Pau Hana Pack, a.k.a. “After Work Pack”, which includes Pork & Butterfish Laulau, Kalua Pork and Portuguese Sausage. While also sampling their Smoked Meat (pork) and Taro Brand Premium Frozen Poi. Sounds like a solid combo’!

It must be noted that the Laulau, Kalua Pig and Smoked Meat are made exclusively for Kala Kokua Fundraising by Hawaii Food Products, and are not available in stores. So exclusivity is key here.

Here’s how the Pau Hana Pack looks thawed out in the package, which you must do before heating it up….

And here’s the Pau Hana Pack, well, unpacked….

I heated it up the preferred method by steaming the Laulau and Kalua Pig in a bowl, placed in a large, deep, covered pan with some water in it…

The uncooked Portuguese Sausage was placed on the side for pan-frying.

While that’s heating up, let’s check out the Smoked Meat…

Unwrapped, with some of it sliced into bite-size pieces…

I cooked the Smoked Meat my favorite way by frying it in a pan until nice ‘n “papa’a” crispy…

I also fried the Portuguese Sausage in the same pan, using the same oil from the Smoked Pork for that extra smokey flavah!

Last but not least, let’s check out Taro Brand’s Premium Frozen Poi….


OK, now that is downright CRAZY looking! I bet you’d never know this was Poi if you seen this in a “Google’d” photo with no description.

Check it out from this angle…

Keep in mind, this is in thawed-out state, so it feels sort of like a rubber mat.

I’m thinking of tiling my floors with this stuff. “Hey man, love your new floor tile! What’s it called?” Pomai laughingly replies, “Poi. No really, dude. That’s not just the color or style. It’s literally made of Poi.” LOL!

The instructions say to break the thawed out poi into chunks and microwave it in a bowl with 1/2 cup water for 4 minutes. I reduced the time to 3 minutes because I have a powerful microwave….

After microwaving and mixing thoroughly, then refrigerating to let it cool down, well waddaya’ know? Looks, smells and feels like fresh Poi!…

That may look fresh, yet let me taste this poi…

And? Frickin’ winnahz!  For real ‘kine, its taste and texture is about 95% as good as the fresh Taro Brand Poi you buy here locally in the store! I must note there’s this ever-so-slight sweetness to it, in a good way. It truly taste as advertised as “Premium”. Taro Brand should so sell this Premium Frozen Poi in bulk 3-packs to Costco and Sam’s Club locations all over the mainland west coast. Guaranz’ sell out!

Let’s now try the whole spread…

First let’s try the Laulau…

We have another winnah! Wow, Laulau! This Laulau is MONEY! The Luau leaves are super tender and totally permeated with the flavor of the pork, butterfish and “Hawaiian essence” from the Ti Leaves it was wrapped and steamed in.

Which is especially commendable that they use actual Ti Leaves for such a mass-produced product with minimal profit margin. Maika’i!

The generous chunk of pork + small amount of butterfish is super tender and had just enough fat to keep everything tasty and moist. Best of all, like the Poi, the Laulau doesn’t taste like it was frozen at all. As if it were made fresh that day!

I can honestly say, this is one of the best Laulau I’ve ever had, and up there with my favorite from Highway Inn.

Next let’s try the Kalua Pig…

Yet another winnah! I swear this Kalua Pig tastes like real Imu style, not liquid smoke in the oven type, which I’m guessing it is. It really has a natural smoke flavor from real Kiawe, while it’s salted perfectly, with plenty of moisture thanks to fatty pieces in the mix. Like the Laulau, Kala Kokua’s Kalua Pig is some of the best I’ve ever had, and again, defies the fact that it was previously frozen, tasting as good as just out of the Imu. Ono to da’ max!

Let’s try the Smoked Meat…

Another winnah! While the label calls it “Flame Broiled Seasoned  Pork with Smoke Flavor Added”, it’s right up there with smoked meat done with real wood in a smoker. If there’s anything I’d criticize it for is one: the pieces are too lean, and two: the marinade could use more garlic and ginger. Otherwise, the shoyu-based Marinade they prepared this will is right on point. Whack Kala Kokua’s Smoked Meat with the Poi and it’s all “G”!

Finally, let’s try this whole spread with of all things, Portuguese Sausage?…

The Portuguese Sausage is Redondo’s brand, who also makes several other sausages for Kala Kokua. And how does it work with the “Luau” Grindz? It kinda’ works. I mean it’s very good Portuguese Sausage in and of itself, however I would prefer Kala Kokua include the Pipikaula sold in their “Pupu Pack” instead of the Portuguese Sausage. That would keep the theme of the Pau Hana Pack totally Hawaiian, as the Portuguese Sausage is kinda’ like that Sesame Street segment “One of these kids are doing their own thing. Come on can  you tell which one?”.

Overall, other than the Portuguese Sausage oddball here, the Pauhana Pack, Smoked Meat and Poi are all in it to win it as some of the best Hawaiian food you can find ANYWHERE. I’m talking including in comparison to well respected places such as Helena’s and Highway Inn.

If someone in your circle are selling the Kala Kokua Pau Hana Pack, Smoked Meat and Poi for a fundraiser, I highly, highly recommend it. Along with the support for the cause, you will be very, very pleased with it, craving more ‘n more. I sure do!

Kala Kokua Program Information (1 page PDF)
Kala Kokua Sample Order form (1 page PDF)

The Tasty Island rating:

(5) Superb. Worthy of repeat visits or purchases. (Broke Da’ Mout’!)


Chelsea Slayter for Miss Hawaii USA 2015!



9 thoughts on “Kala Kokua Pau Hana Pack, Smoked Meat & Poi

  • November 11, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Oh, wow — those are some fundraising goods I could get behind.  I’d take these over wrapping paper, knick-knacks and decorative tins with stale cookies, any day (and I wouldn’t have to try to discreetly avoid catalog-bearing parents in the workplace)!

    And good luck to your cousin!

  • November 12, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    Aloha Pomai,

    We truly appreciate your sincere support for our Kala Kokua fundraising program and for featuring our Kala Kokua Pau Hana Pack, Smoke Meat and Premium Frozen Taro Brand Poi with awesome pictures and your descriptive and honest review of our products!!!

    We will share your Tasty Island review with our manufacturers Hawaii Food Products/Ono Ono Brand (Pau Hana Pack and Smoke Meat) and HPC Foods Ltd. (Taro Brand) to ensure they know you enjoyed their quality products and have them as new followers of Tasty Island Honolulu Food Blog!!!

    We appreciate your recommendation on replacing our Ono Ono Brand Portuguese Sausage with Pipikaula in our Pau Hana Pack. We had first had selected Pipikaula for our Pau Hana Pack, since it was the most obvious Hawaiian Plate combination, but as you know Pipikaula is a very expensive item and the increased cost for the Pau Hana Pack with Pipikalua would have increased the sale price of our Pau Hana Pack to $11.00 to $12.00 or reduce the $3.50 profit for the teams, schools and organizations.

    Our goal is to keep our products at a sale price of $10.00 to eliminate the organizations from having to give change and hoping the buyer will say “I will take 2 for $20.00” to increase sales. We also try our best to provide a $3.50 profit, but as prices for pork, taro leaves and taro continue to increase, we try our best to find combinations of various food products and sizes to be able to sustain our Kala Kokua fundraising program.

    We also strive to support our local small businesses to move their products and keep their workers employed with no additional labor or marketing costs for the companies, which Kala Kokua absorbs and supporters like you help to sustain small businesses in Hawaii….thank you Pomai!!!

    Kala Kokua is proud to support Chelsea and we are confident that she will be our new Miss Hawaii USA 2015!!!


    Rod Suzumoto (Kala Kokua, LLC)

    • November 12, 2014 at 9:49 pm

      Aloha Rod,

      Glad to hear you enjoyed the review. :-)

      I knew you were aware of the Portuguese Sausage being an oddball in the Pau Hana Pack, all the while, I totally understand the math in profit margins and marketing price points. Believe me, our office — like any other — is constantly hit upon with fundraising, and I can totally relate to the considerations you’ve presented.

      And yes, that magical $10 price point is VERY important. Once you pass that, most folks are like, “Umm….”.

      As for the cost consideration of Pipikaula (Hawaiian style cured beef), if that’s the case, I’d rather leave out the Portuguese Sausage, and place more quality into the Laulau; meaning just a bit more butterfish and fatty, onolicious belly pork placed in each one. Quality vs. quantity, the Japanese-Hawaiian way!

    • November 17, 2014 at 6:11 am

      Can we use this fundraiser for our halau in the Mainland?

    • November 17, 2014 at 6:21 am

      Aloha Rod,

      Can we use this fundraiser in the Mainland for our halau which I would love to present to our events committee and our Hawaiian Civic  club events like our annual Holoku ball we want to have fundraiser throughout the year for that which is usually sponsored by our Hawaiian Civic club, but we are interested in trying to raise more money so that we are not solely dependent on funds just provided from our annual luau which is for scholarship?



      • November 17, 2014 at 7:07 pm

        Aloha Brie,

        Thank you for your interest in our Kala Kokua fundraising program!!!

        We started Kala Kokua Los Angeles last October 2013 and we recently ended our LA fundraising program due to the lack of interest. We did a few Hula Halau events, and assumed we would have more interest with our made in Hawaii products. We emailed the many Los Angeles canoe clubs, LA area University’s Hawaii Clubs and we were very fortunate to be invited by the Hawaiian Inter-Club Council of Southern California, but did not get any calls for a fundraising event.

        Due to the cost of shipping frozen food products to the west coast, the sell cost would be higher or the profit will be much less than our Hawaii fundraising program.

        Please feel free to email me additional information at rod@kalakokua.com to see how we can make it work!!!



        • November 17, 2014 at 7:45 pm

          Okay, we have both meetings this weekend so I will be in touch if there is aN interest of possibilities.


          Mahalo for your response!



  • January 23, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Aloha Pomai!

    Mahalo for this blog! I stumbled upon it when trying to find an online pic of the Taro Brand Premium Frozen Poi so my friends in Hawaii could find it in the stores here in Hawaii. I totally love your assessment of the poi “Frickin’ winnahz!” LOL I’ve been trying to tell all my friends and family that!! Yes, it doesn’t look so appealing in the bag but 4 minutes in the micro (I go the full 4 minutes and it comes out bubbly; when you stir it, it gets SUPER smooth) and it’s almost straight-from-the-lo`i `ONO!! I don’t put any water in it because I like it thick, like pa`i`ai style. I’ve also gotten hooked on eating iit warm…yums!! Just wanted to drop some aloha on your blog and say mahalo for sharing this great info!! I love me some good grindz!! Have a blessed day…Lina Girl

    • January 24, 2015 at 1:13 pm

      Howzit Lina Girl,

      Yep, the Taro Brand Premium Frozen Poi is a great product indeed. Interesting how you let it get all bubbly, but whatevahz, as long as “she go”, right? Oh yeah!

      Now that you’re talking about Poi, we have a friend from Ni’ihau who is pure Hawaiian, whom I’ll try to get to showcase how he pounds and prepares the most awesome’est ‘est ‘est Poi from “scratch”!


      P.S. Totally LOVED your ‘Ono Kine Grindz” show with Braddah Sam!


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