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INCINEROAR - Laulau-inspired Tuna with Spicy Teriyaki Pineapple Sauce & Coconut Rice

Updated: Jul 19, 2021


Complexity: ★★★☆☆


Incineroar, a fire/dark type pokémon, is a starter pokémon found in the Alola Region of Pokémon Sun & Moon. Alola is based on the real-world location of Hawaii, so I was excited to use this opportunity to cook a dish inspired by Hawaiian cuisine! I wanted to cook a dish that would represent Incineroar’s fiery powers, which lead me to laulau – a method of cooking where chopped up pieces of meat are wrapped up in leaves and cooked, surrounded by hot embers and coals in an underground oven called an imu. Laulau is traditionally made with pork or chicken, but Incineroar is a cat, so I thought tuna would be a good choice of protein!


Keeping with the Hawaiian theme, this dish is served with pineapple sauce and coconut-infused rice. The pineapple is cooked in teriyaki sauce to give it some Japanese flair; after all, the Pokémon series as a whole often draws from Japanese culture (not to mention, Japanese food is quite popular in Hawaii). I made sure to give the teriyaki pineapple sauce a bit of a kick with sriracha hot sauce and jalapeno peppers, to further convey Incineroar’s Fire type.



 

INGREDIENTS

Teriyaki Pineapple:

  • ½ cup soy sauce

  • ½ cup water

  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

  • ¼ cup brown sugar

  • 1 tbsp honey

  • 1 tsp sriracha

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced

  • ¼ cup water mixed with 1 tbsp cornstarch

  • ½ red onion, chopped

  • 2 cups chopped pineapple

  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and finely chopped (optional)

Tuna Laulau:

  • 4-5 tuna fillets, chopped into small pieces

  • ½ tsp Hawaiian salt

  • 1 orange, sliced

  • Taro leaves or banana leaves, for wrapping

Coconut Rice:

  • 2 cups white rice

  • 1 ½ cups water

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1 tsp salt

Toppings:

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

  • 1 green onion, sliced

  • Fresh cilantro, finely chopped

  • Sesame seeds

  • Red pepper flakes

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.

  2. Mix soy sauce, water, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, honey, sriracha, garlic, and ginger in a medium bowl. Add half the mixture to a medium saucepan.

  3. Add the chopped tuna and salt into the bowl to marinate in the remaining sauce. Set aside.

  4. Heat the sauce in the pan over medium heat, slowly streaming in the water and cornstarch mixture until thick. Add red onion, pineapple, and jalapeno and stir to coat with sauce. Cook until onions, pineapple, and peppers soften, about 5 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, rinse rice with cold water several times until water runs clear. Add rice to a large pot with 1 ½ cups of water, the coconut milk, the sugar and the salt. Bring to boil, then cover and let simmer over low heat until fluffy, 20-30 minutes.

  6. Cut taro or banana leaves into a rough square or rectangle shape large enough to wrap fish into a small bundle. Place about 1/2 a cup of the fish mixture in the centre of the leaf and place a slice of orange on top. Fold into a pouch, laying on a baking sheet fold-side down. Continue until all fish is used up. Cook in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until a cooking thermometer registers 145°.

  7. Unwrap the fish and serve over rice with pineapple sauce, topped with sesame oil, a squeeze of lime juice, green onions, cilantro, sesame seeds, or red pepper flakes if desired.


 

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