Heritage Recipes

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Helen's Pakkai
From Jim

In 1966, we were transferred from Beale Air Force Base to March Air Force Base in Riverside, California and we met a delightful family named Yamaoka. Helen and Henry had been interred in the retention camps during the World War II because their parents were born in Japan.  Helen was a super cook, and she had this delicious recipe for Pakkai, a Hawaiian sweet and sour pork, that she made.  We have always loved this Pakkai recipe because it brings back memories of that wonderful lady and her family. Sadly, Helen passed away a few years ago but she still lives in our memory, and as long as this recipe is used, her influence will always be felt.

Pakkai (Hawaiian Style)

2 lbs boneless pork shoulder or Boston Butt, in 1 inch cubes
2 eggs
4 tsp flour
1/4 tsp pepper
3 green peppers
2 medium onions
6 tbsp fat
1 can bamboo shoots
1 cup pineapple chunks
1 1/2 cup celery

Beat together eggs, flour, salt and pepper.  Thoroughly coat cubes of pork in egg-flour batter.  Brown on all sides in hot fat.  Cover and cook slowly for about 30 minutes.  Drain excess fat.  Cut onions lengthwise and peppers in 1 inch squares.  Add celery (cut diagonally) and pineapple chunks to meat; cover and simmer 5 minutes.  Add onions and peppers and simmer covered for 20 minutes.

5 tbsp cornstarch
5 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
1 cup pineapple juice

Mix together cornstarch, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar and pineapple juice.  Cook, stirring constantly, until clear (about 2 minutes).  Pour over meat mixture and simmer about 5 minutes.  Serve with hot rice.

Serves 6

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