Hula Beans

I have never been to Hawaii and know nothing about Polynesian culture or cuisine. That doesn’t stop me from loving a dish my Aunt Janet taught me. I have no idea whether it is authentically Polynesian or not. All I know is that it is a hit whenever I serve it.

I call the dish “Hula Beans” in deference to the evocative traditional dance of native Hawaiians. They danced the hula with great reverence for centuries before Europeans arrived in 1779.  Missionaries who came in the early 1800s were shocked: “The natives would practice in the hot sun for days on end. Drums pounded, gourds rattled, singers chanted, and hundreds of dancers wearing garlands of green leaves and flowers and dog-tooth anklets moved endlessly to and fro in lines, their brown skin glistening with sweat, with no sign of boredom or tiredness,” (Daws, 1968).

Aunt Janet’s Hula Beans


2 tbs oil (vegetable)
1 # ground beef
1 green bell pepper (chopped)
1 red bell pepper (chopped)
1 large onion (chopped)
1 cup barbecue sauce
1 cup brown sugar
1 can crushed pineapple
1 large can pork & beans (drain juice off)
6 strips bacon


1 tbs pepper (crushed red)


HEAT oil in a large skillet
ADD ground beef (spoon chop into chunks)
COOK until medium well done
ADD seasoning, peppers & onion
MIX & SAUTE lightly
ADD barbecue sauce, sugar, pineapple & beans
MIX well
TRANSFER to baking pan
ARRANGE bacon strips on top
BAKE 1 hour @ 350

NOTE: You can make a vegetarian version by using pinto beans and eliminating the ground beef and bacon. It tastes just as good!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: