The Insider’s Guide to Healthy Hawaii: Pastele Stew

Skip the labor-intensive process of homemade pasteles and try this easy stew instead.

Medically reviewed in February 2022

Pasteles are a traditional Puerto Rican dish that are now a local favorite. Although they're especially favored around Christmas, we eat them year-round in Hawaii.

Making pasteles is a labor-intensive project, but making pastele stew is much easier. Here’s a cherished recipe from a local family. 

PASTELE STEW

Ingredients

  • 6 lbs. boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch green onion
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large bunch cilantro
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 2 6-oz. cans pitted black olives, drained
  • 2 (0.17 oz.) packets Sazon Goya coriander and annatto seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp. dried red pepper flakes
  • 5 8-oz. cans tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • Chopped cilantro or sprigs for garnish

Instructions
In a large pot over high heat, brown pork in batches. (No need to use any oil.) Discard fat.

Puree garlic, green onion, onion and cilantro in a food processor. Add mixture to the pot with salt, pepper, oregano, olives, seasoning packets, pepper flakes, tomato sauce and 1 cup of the water. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer 30 minutes or until pork is tender. Garnish with cilantro. Makes 15 servings.

Note: For a soupier stew, add an additional can of tomato sauce and 1 cup water. 

Per serving: Calories 640, protein 43 g, carbohydrates 10 g, total fat 46 g, saturated fat 15 g, cholesterol 170 mg, sodium 1,170 mg, fiber 3 g, total sugar 4 g

This content originally appeared on Island Scene.

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