The stars aligned. I had a potluck meeting recently and was wondering what to make. The host was making okonomiyaki so guests helped by bringing pupu dishes. A day before the meeting, I was gifted three beautiful mature ‘ulu. I finally learned the difference between mature and ripe. I didn’t know there was a difference. A mature ‘ulu is green and pretty hard so I never realized that it was ready at that point to steam or bake. A ripe ‘ulu is one that is softer and not quite ideal for frying up crispy with garlic and butter, my favorite way to eat it.
Anyway, for this potluck evening, I decided to try and make ‘ulu poke. It was so easy. All I did was cut (core and slice) the mature ‘ulu. It seems like it will be hard to cut but it is easier to cut than a kabocha. I steamed the slices of ‘ulu for about 20-30 minutes until you can easily poke the slices with a chopstick or fork. I then sliced off the skin of the ‘ulu and then cut it into bite-sized chunks. All you have to do after that is add your favorite poke seasonings! For mine, I added salt, sesame oil, shoyu, chili pepper water, inamona, limu kohu, green onions, and thinly sliced sweet onions. Just mix it up and let it sit so the ‘ulu pieces soak up the flavors and that is it! Living Hilo Style.