Tuia Moa (Malia And The White Rabbit)…The Recipe

Spicey South Pacific Chicken with guava dipping sauce and sticky rice balls

Love is at its’ best when it’s naturaly spicey. Nature shows her love and joy best in her tropical fruits. Could there be a better idea than combining these joys with rum? Repeat after me “No”.

Malia, the inspiration for this dish, thought the tastes were exactly like life in Paradise; a little effort, a little spice, and as much sweet as your want. I think it sort of plays off of a chicken satay idea with a decidedly more Pacific groove.  I used this as the centerpiece for a great picnic, but a casual dinner would fit perfectly with the vibe. 

On the listening side, hearing Grace Slick being alternately echoed and muffled by waves as our captain’s boom box broadcast her songs to the Sea will forever live in my memory. Take a voyage back and give it a listen. 

          Feed your head.     


1⁄2 cup pineapple juice

1⁄2 cup passion fruit nectar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

3 minced garlic cloves 1 inch piece minced fresh ginger

1⁄2 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

1 1⁄2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts



1 Cup guava nectar

1⁄4 cup pineapple juice

1⁄4 ounce dark rum (Plus a certain amount for sampling)

2 minced garlic cloves

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

1 pinch cinnamon (Be careful not to leave a bruise)

2 minced green onions

3 tablespoons butter

Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste                   

1 finley minced green onion                                                                     

Fresh pineapple slices for garnish & dipping sauce


3/4 cup brown or white glutinous rice 

(also called sweet or sticky rice)

1 large minced green onion

2 minced water chestnuts

1 large egg white (I wonder where the yellow went)

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp dry sherry

1 tsp salt

Black pepper to taste

Sweet Potato Fries

2 lbs sweet potatoes  

oil for frying

salt to season

1/4 cup cornstarch 

2 tablespoons water 

Traditionally the chicken in this dish is skewered ( Tuia in Samoan ) The skewers do make it easier to turn the chicken when it’s cooking, but you can choose to remove them before serving. Presentation counts, so I usually leave the chicken pierced for a more authentic look. At any rate, soak the wooden skewers in hot water for about an hour before you use them.


Cut breasts into 1 1/2-inch long strips or cheat and use 1 1/2 lbs chicken tenders

Add pineapple juice, passion fruit nectar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, allspice, salt, pepper, and rum to a nonreactive baking dish large enough to hold all the chicken and mix well. 

Add chicken strips and turn to coat then cover and marinate for I hour

Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade with a cavalier attitude, and skewer each chicken strip with flair. 

Place skewers on a baking sheet. 

Broil in the oven at about 6 inches from the heat                  

Broil for 7 – 8 minutes, turning once. Did you think “Huli” there?


Add guava nectar, pineapple juice, garlic, ginger, and green onions to a small saucepan over medium-high heat and reduce by half. 

Remove from heat and add butter, stirring until melted. 

Season to taste with salt and pepper and more green onions.


Soak the glutinous rice in water for at least 6 to 8 hours (preferably overnight). 

Drain well in a sieve or colander. Spread out the rice on a baking sheet. 

Drain and spread out the rice just before making the pearl balls, so that the rice doesn’t dry out too much.

In a large bowl, combine soy sauce, sherry, green onion, water chestnuts, salt, pepper, egg white, and cornstarch.

Prepare the steamer for steaming.

Roll the rice into small balls and place on a heatproof plate. Place the balls 1/2-inch apart. 

Place the plates in a steamer container or on a bamboo basket in a wok. Cover and steam the balls over boiling water for between 25 to 35 minutes, until they are cooked through. Steam in two batches if needed. Serve the rice balls hot with soy sauce.

To read the Inspiration for this dish click here !

When you make this send me a picture of the finished meal.

Malia and the White rabbit. copyright 2018

Read Malia’s story that inspired this dish:

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