Saturday, August 2, 2014

for the Love of Lilikoi: recipes with my favorite tropical fruit of Hawaii

Oh my GOODNESS. Lilikoi (Lily-koy) aka Passionfruit is SO DELICIOUS! As I shared with you earlier, my hub and I spent a little over a week recently in Hawaii. We were reminded daily of just how much we LOVE the local fruit. To be able to walk outside and pick your breakfast fruit right off a tree or vine is incredible. After trying many of the Hawaiian native fruits I can tell you that Lilikoi is #1 on my list of top ten.

Not only that - but it has a pretty nifty historical story to go with it.  The Lilikoi flower, or Passion Fruit, had religious connotations attached to it in the 16th century. Some Catholic missionaries were reminded of the Passion of Christ through the parts of the flower. The three stigmas represented the Trinity to them, and the stamens reminded them of the hammers used to drive nails into Christ’s hands. 

While visiting the local farmers markets in Hawi on the the Big Island, I was able to wrap my fingers around a scrumptious glass of freshly squeezed lilikoi & guava juice. YUM-O! 

This was our breakfast of choice. Most mornings you would find us with a plate of Portuguese Sausage, which we picked up at Takata's, the local grocery store in the city of Hawi, scrambled eggs and a side of freshly picked lilikoi. It is so refreshing and flavorful. Remember the scratch n' sniff books of days gone by? I wish I could post a "catch-a-whiff" for you to experience the smell of fresh lilikoi. 

Our resident Auntie made up batches of this DELICIOUS Lilikoi Dressing. It was a few simple ingredients whipped together leaving our taste buds exploding with flavor. Lilikoi, honey and oil, she may have a little rice vinegar in there or lemon/lime juice to give it a bit of a bite. It was SO YUMACIOUS! I had it on salad every chance I could get. As the locals would say "ONO" slang for DELICIOUS! 

We also stopped at our favorite little coffee shop in Hawi - Kohana Coffee Mill. It is a charming little coffee shop, gift shop and it has local baked goods. One morning we were lucky enough to spot the last slice of Lilkoi Lime Pound Cake sitting there waiting to be devoured. Devoured it was!!! The three of us had gulped it down within minutes. I am bound and determined to recreate this recipe. Don't you worry, I know it will be post worthy. 

Here are a few other Lilikoi recipes I am excited to try - Lilikoi Barbecue Sauce & Ribs &  Chicken Breast with Lilikoi Sauce.  I know the savory Lilikoi can in no way disappoint. I am known to alter a recipe as I go - so I will let you know if these get tweaked for improvement.

Chicken Breast with Lilikoi Sauce 

2     Chicken Breasts
1 T  Olive Oil 
2 T  butter 
1 t.  Honey 
2 T  lime juice 
1/4 C Lilikoi Juice
Salt and pepper to taste 

  • Pound the chicken to  ½”
  • melt butter/oil in saute pan - add chicken saute until browned 
  • add sugar,  lime juice, salt. pepper to the pan and stir over low heat to dissolve browned bits. 
  • Stir in lilikoi and barely heat through. 
  • Serve

One of our favorite nights on the Big Island was a dinner gathering we were invited to with our local family friends. The dessert was.... get ready for it..... Lilikoi Bars. Just wait until I whip up a batch and post the pics. I was bestowed a precious gift of the recipe a few years ago on my last visit. Once you read the recipe you will be on the hunt for fresh lilikoi, trust me! (The recipe is up - just click on the link above)

I do have Lilikoi pulp that I freshly removed from the fruit the other day, just waiting for me to whip up something delicious with. Be on the lookout! A new post is on it's way. ALL THINGS LILIKOI! Perhaps I shall change my name to Lilikim.

-Simply Sublime

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