kruizing with kikukat

Monday, June 25, 2012

Almost Boots & Kimo's: Pulehu Short Ribs

Summer vacation for me will be over in three weeks, and I have no plans in sight for a Honolulu trip.  Sigh.  I've spent so much time on the road this summer that I think I could've easily driven to Oahu and back!  Double sigh.

I guess I need to celebrate small victories of the first half of summer:  clearing the dining table (it remained clean for a day), swimming in water colder than 87 degrees, biting the bullet and buying the handheld cordless Dyson.  I would also like to recognize Kennie for protecting our family again and killing that ugly centipede.
Hilo weather has been, well, typical Hilo weather.  We had a few days of solid sunshine, followed by the second coming of winter... not kidding.  I'm going to be positive and hope that more sunny days will be in the forecast before I need to head back to work.  I love sunny days because that means its hibachi time...time to heat those ManGrates and start grilling.  My favorite grilled food (yes, even more favorite than rib eye steak) is pulehu short ribs. 

In 2005, some nice coworkers took me to breakfast at a hole-in-the wall in Kailua, Oahu:  Boots & Kimo's.  I ordered corned beef hash, but they insisted I try the macadamia nut pancakes and pulehu short ribs.  Once again, there I was, wishing I had ordered something else.

I never considered pulehu short ribs to be a breakfast food, but I'm no longer a doubter.  Of course, pulehu short ribs are good for any meal, and my recipe for pulehu short ribs definitely represents.  While it may not taste exactly like Boots & Kimo's, it can definitely hold its own.  Btw, pulehu is a Hawaiian word meaning to roast over a fire.

This recipe uses the same cut of short ribs used for khal bi (korean broiled short ribs), the flanken cut.  For more info on the different short rib cuts, click here.  For this recipe, do not be tempted to buy the boneless variety.  It just won't taste as good without the bones.

The picture on the left is a family pack of short ribs.  If you are worried about cholesterol, it might be a good idea to save this recipe for your periodic splurge because short ribs are a fatty cut.

If anyone out there has a good copycat recipe for the real star of Boots & Kimo's (the macadamia nut pancakes), please post a comment so we can discuss your price!

 click on recipe title for printable recipe
Pulehu Short Ribs

     3-4 lbs short ribs
     2 tbsp sugar
     2 tbsp rock salt
     3 tbsp shoyu
     1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
     1/4 tsp shichimi togarashi powder

Combine all ingredients (except short ribs).  Rub mixture onto both sides of short ribs.  Let stand at 30 minutes to 1 hour.  Grill on both sides.

We celebrated a belated Father's Day with The Rents at Hilo Bay Cafe.  Grampy ordered some wheat beer which he said was unreal sour.  I personally think they played the Jedi Mind Trick on him with the lemon slice on the glass.  Nevertheless, it took two silver bullets to wash the sour taste from his mouth. 
The Ds with their favorite victim.


  1. When you do come to Oahu and if you get a chance to go that side of the island, try Papa Ole's Pulehu Ribs. Tell them "medium rare". Pretty good. -lance

    1. Thanks, Lance. I'm going to the website now to check out their menu!


    1. I have not been back to my second home (HAWAII) since 1999. And I miss all the poly food. This recipe just made me homesick. I’m making it for my kids ASAP. They will never understand until I take them back home to boots and kimos