A Gift of the Peliades -Makahiki Roasted pork ribs with sweet chili rum sauce, island yams, and Asian cabbage salad

gift plated
Makahiki is the celebration of the end of one year, beginning of a new one, and the return of Lono who brings the life giving rains. His symbol, a pole draped with white cloth, was carried from village to village and islanders would offer up their very best to honor him. The festivals coincide with the arrival of the constellation The Peliades on the Eastern horizon.
My friend Maia took the spirit of renewal and the holiday so indicative of Pacific Islanders to heart, then added mainland overtones when she created this melange of cultures and flavors that bring out the best Paradise has to offer. The creamy sensation of the yams blends the flavors sweetly, while the sharper, more exotic tastes of the cabbage salad tell your mouth something new is coming. The rum in this dish is very subtle and imparts a richness of flavor that explodes like fireworks and lingers like a perfect magical evening in Paradise. But then every evening in Paradise with Maia was magical.



     Ribs and Sauce

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 14 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
  • 14 cup  dark rum
  • 12 cup  sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
  • 14 cup minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon  mustard powder
  • 14 teaspoon  cayenne pepper
  • 4 lbs pork spareribs  (cut into serving-size pieces)

Island Yams

  • 2 1/2 pounds yams, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup pineapple and orange juice blend
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts 

Asian Cabbage Salad

  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 2 cups shreded red cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh chives
  • Handful of chopped fresh cilantro


  • 1/4 cup  fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbs diced shallots
  • 2 Tbs raw honey
  • 1 tsp raw apple cider
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan pink sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp toasted seasame oil




Ribs and Sauce

  • Cut ribs into serving size pieces
  • Wrap the ribs in heavy-duty foil and place in a roasting pan Place in the oven and bake for about 1-1/2 hours at 350 degrees.
  • Discard the foil and place the ribs back in the roasting pan and cool to almost room temperature (or cool enough to place in the refrigerator)
  • In a large bowl whisk together brown sugar,  ketchup, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, rum,  chili sauce, fresh garlic, minced onion and cayenne pepper.
  • Pour the sauce over the ribs, tossing to coat the ribs with the sauce.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 8-24 hours.
  • Preheat the broiler
  • Broil for about 30-35 minutes, basting with marinade for the last 10-15 minutes of cooking time.

Island Yams

  • Place yams into a large pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil
  • Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender (about 20 minutes)
  • Drain and allow to steam dry for a minute or two.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  • Return yams to the cooking pot, and mash with juice until smooth.
  • Pack mashed yams into a 3 quart casserole dish, dot with butter, then sprinkle with brown sugar and nuts. 
  • Loosely cover with aluminum foil.
  • Bake in preheated oven 35 to 40 minutes until hot and bubbly.


Asian Cabbage Salad

  • Combine all of the dressing ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth.
  • Adjust flavors to taste. Remember that a very little sesame oil goes a long way. 
  • Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes in the fridge before serving. 
  • Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl, and toss well with the prepared dressing


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