Palusami is a beloved dish all over Oceania. It is typically made with canned corned beef aka Spam. It seems like an odd dish for island nations but when you think about it, they eat fish all the time so a little canned beef is a welcome ingredient. This dish is also typically made with taro root leaves however they can be a bit tricky to find here in the states. You may find them at your Asian grocer however if you can’t find them, spinach is a lovely substitute. Honestly, I was totally skeptical about this dish but it turned out delicious. You really should try it!
Okay, I realize that this is not the most appetizing dish I have made but it truly has lovely flavor. It is easy to make and if you know anyone from remote nations like Tuvalu or Solomon Islands or other Oceania nations, they will flip if you make this for them.
Did you know that many of these remote island nations have to import nearly all of their food. On Tuvalu for example they only have coral atolls so things are very hard to grow in that saline environment. They of course have an abundance of fish and seafood. I remember when we were in Christmas Island, we thought we were doing the people a favor by giving them all the fish we caught on the only deep sea vessel they had on the island. When we left we noticed a bunch of ice chests lined up to go on the plane. It turns out they wanted to sell the fish to the market in Hawaii and get the cash to buy some meat, lol!
If you would like to learn more about the remote island nations, be sure to check out “Our Journey to Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. There, you will also find more authentic recipes to go with your Palusami, like taro root chips, tuna coconut curry and coconut pudding.
Craving even more? Be sure to join the culinary and cultural journey around the world so you don’t miss a thing, it’s free, You can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook , Pinterest and youtube to follow along our journey.
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Palusami (A corned beef, taro root leaves and coconut dish )
- 1 12 oz (0.45 kg) can Corned beef
- 1/2 bunch Taro leaves or spinach chopped
- 1 small Yellow onion chopped finely
- 2 cloves Garlic minced
- 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 3/4 cup Coconut Milk divided
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté your onions, stirring constantly until translucent.
- Add the minced garlic to the onions and stir for another minute.
- Turn the heat up to medium high and add the corned beef and soy sauce. Use a fork to shred the corned beef. Cook stirring occasionally until a bit browned but not burnt.
- Add in the half of the coconut milk and bring to a simmer.
- Grease a casserole dish and put down half of the chopped spinach, spoon in the corned beef mixture and then add the rest of the chopped spinach on top. Pour over the remaining coconut milk, add a little salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover the casserole dish tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
- Serve with rice.