Malia’s Pasteles

Guys, are you sick of me reliving Hawaii yet?  I can’t believe what an impression Hawaii had on me.  I am thinking of every possible way to get back there as soon as possible.  Could I sell a kidney?  Could I sell a car?
To live there would be so nice.  Anyone want to bankroll my family for a year there?  Hey, we’ll live on the North Shore in a tent if we have to.  But I’d need to find a way to take the H-1 to Farrington Highway so I could stop by and visit Malia every week.

So, we heard all about pasteles, which the local-locals don’t pronounce as pah-stehl-ehs.  They leave out the “s” and it becomes pateles.  And I was like, “Yeah.  I know what those are.  What’s the big deal?  I want one.”  They’re like tamales.  And me and tamales–we’re like extra BFFs.

Come closer.  You want to try one of Malia’s pasteles.  No.  Scratch that.  You want to try about a dozen of them.

This is Malia.  And I love her.  She probably won’t even remember me.  (Malia, if you ever happen to stumble upon this post, I just want you to know that I was really grumpy and didn’t want to get out of the car to take pictures of your truck.  I had a scowl on my face the entire time–even though you are as darling as can be.  I was mad at my husband.  What can I say?  I was.  But you know what changed that?  Your pasteles.  That’s what.  They made me and my tummy very happy.  I’m coming back to see you.)

This sign?  It should read instead:  Bet you can’t eat just one.

Malia!  You gorgeous lady!  I want to spend an afternoon with you while you show me how to make pasteles.

This is a popular place to stop.  There were other BBQ trucks in the same area.  Never (since NYC) have I seen a place so chock full of food trucks like I saw on Oahu.  And there ain’t nuttin’ wrong with that.  I’m telling you.  I approve.  Except when they move and I’m only in town for a few days.  On the next trip, we’re making sure we stop by a Leonard’s Malasadas truck.

Another thing I loved about Hawaii–free range chickens. :)

So, here’s the low-down on pasteles/pateles.  They are sort of like tamales, only instead of corn masa, the dough is made from green bananas (plantains).  They are incredible.  I don’t know exactly what the filling was other than awesome.

Oh, Hawaii.  You are the perfect mix of cultures, foods and wonderful people.  I can’t quit you.  My first time and I was hooked.

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  1. When I read the title of the post I thought you referred to the spanish word “Pasteles” which is just little cakes (sweets). Did not know that that word had other meaning for something like tamales. I can’t wait to try them. Thanks for your blog!

  2. Pasteles…or pateles…however you spell it, they are delicious! I’ve been in Hilo for 2 wks trying out all the local food while I work here. I never would’ve believed that these are made from banana! We got some at Makuu Market…bought enough to freeze and “nuke” later. They came with some delicious rice and a salad I wouldn’t have thought would be good if I hadn’t tried it: onions, tomatoes and dried cod! Also tried Malay (or mountain) apples today. Yum!

  3. Hello I am boriqua and just want to clear something up in case you ever want to try and make them yourself. Green bananas are not plantains. Plantains are bigger, more fibrous, and pasteles made with more plantain than green banana tend to be really tough. pasteles should be tender.

  4. Hello, Just wanted to point out from a boriqua who makes pasteles, that green bananas are not green plantains. The latter has a thicker skin, is longer and they are not recommended eaten raw even if they are ripe.

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