Manapua, the Hawaiian version of cha siu bao (Chinese barbecue pork buns), can be filled with more than just pork. So much more. Epic Kaukau Time, a Hawaiian tribute to Canada's Epic Meal Time, tests the limits of manapua by stuffing one with a mix of bacon, lap cheong, ground pork, cha siu, onions, mushrooms, and dried orange peels cooked in soju, along with fried noodles, pork dumplings, Spam musubi, steamed rice cakes, Funyuns, and a final special ingredient. The dough-wrapped meat pile is coated in a haw flake and Jones Soda glaze. To accompany the manapua they serve blue food coloring-enhanced soju and Jones cream soda in glasses rimmed with crushed haw flakes. There's also a ukulele/guitar interlude in there. Epic, indeed.
Epic Kaukau Time: Manapua Man Manapua
Note: For a great book about the history of Hawaiian food, check out Kau Kau: Cuisine & Culture in the Hawaiian Islands.
This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Serious Eats. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.