Pulehu is a Hawaiian cooking method, which translates to “roast over hot embers”. This method was traditionally used for items like breadfruit, but today it’s most associated with steak, typically seasoned simply with ginger, garlic, salt, pepper, and a bit of sugar.
If you haven’t already, I encourage you to read my short history on beef in Hawaii, at the start of my recent Pipikaula recipe post. If you’ve already read it, cool, let’s pulehu some steaks.
For this recipe I used sirloin steak tips from my friends at Butcher Box, who deliver curated boxes of high-quality meats to your doorstep, complete with recipe cards for the meats they provide (including recipes from yours truly). In addition to sirloin, this recipe will work well with ribeye or strip steaks.
Pulehu Steak (Paleo, Primal, Gluten-free, Perfect Health Diet, Whole30-adaptable)
- Servings: 4
- Time: 35 minutes
- Difficulty: Easy
4 (6-12oz) steaks (sirloin, ribeye, or strip)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2″ ginger, minced (or 1/2 tsp ground ginger)
1 tsp coconut palm sugar (omit for Whole30)
course-ground sea salt to taste
black pepper to taste
sliced chile peppers
1. Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel. Combine the garlic, ginger, and sugar into a paste; rub over each steak. Liberally add salt and pepper, then set aside as you heat your grill.
2. For best results, use a charcoal grill. Light the charcoal using twists of newspaper or a chimney starter; once the charcoal is hot and ashy, bank the coals to one side. Grill the steaks over direct heat until slightly charred, about 4 minutes per side. Depending on the thickness of the steak, set the steaks to the cool side of the grill to finish cooking them to your desired doneness. Cook to an internal temperature of 125F for Rare, 130F for Medium Rare, or 135F for Medium; test for doneness with an instant-read thermometer or the finger test.
3. If using a gas grill, light the burners on one side of the grill. Once they’ve reached high heat, add the steaks and grill over direct heat until a bit charred on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Depending on the thickness of the steak, set the steaks to the cool side of the grill to finish cooking them to your desired doneness. Cook to an internal temperature of 125F for Rare, 130F for Medium Rare, or 135F for Medium; test for doneness with an instant-read thermometer or the finger test.
4. Transfer to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with lime, cilantro, and chile peppers.