Last weekend, as part of our weekly date night, my wife and I attended the Gateway Buffet at the Polynesian Cultural Center. The buffet is located in a large and beautiful dining hall, decorated with beautiful dark woods and a huge mural of the native Hawaiian people graciously welcoming visitors from nations from around the world.


While the the interior of the buffet is beautiful, however, let’s get to the important part of the evening: the food! I’ve lived in Hawaii for a while now, long  enough to have experienced a good portion of the foods offered at the buffet, but something I was able to try for the first time was a dish called Fa’alifu Fa’i: translated into English, “Banana and Coconut Milk.”


Fa’alifu Fa’i is a fairly common dish in the islands of Samoa. It requires only a few ingredients, takes very little time to prepare, is delicious, and can be quite filling.

Given the fact that Samoans have a reputation of a loose adherence to the western idea of eating three main meals a day, choosing instead to eat whenever they’re hungry, these characteristics make the dish a convenient way of satisfying the rumbling stomach of just about anyone.

greenripebananaWant to know how to make it?

Like I said, it’s simple!

To make enough to serve two people, you’ll need the following ingredients:

4 to 5 Green or only slightly ripened bananas

1 Cup of coconut milk (Coconut cream mixed with a a little water works too.)

1 Small onion

Some salt for taste

Now the directions:

1. You’ll start by peeling the bananas. They’ll be green, so soaking them for about 5 minutes in hot water before you try this will make peeling them easier.

2. Once the bananas are peeled, put them in a sauce pan, cover them with water, cover the pan with a lid, and let them boil for about 10 minutes.

3. While the bananas are boiling, mix the coconut milk, salt, and the chopped onion in a medium sized bowl. (If you crush the onions against the side of the bowl while you mix, it will help release their flavor better.)

4. Once the bananas are done boiling, drain the water from the pan and add your newly made coconut milk solution to the pan instead.

5. Put the pan with the bananas and milk back on the stove top and bring it to a boil.

6. After 3 to 5 minutes, remove the pan from the heat, stir a few times, and serve! (Be careful. It’ll be hot!)

All together, the whole process should take about 20-25 minutes, and if you’re feeling adventurous, you can spice up the taste by adding whatever you’d like the coconut sauce prior to adding it to the bananas. Some curry powder, for example, would give it a little extra kick, and a little pineapple juice could add a nice tangy flavor.

Have a great day, and happy eating!

Peter Gregory


Author Bio

I’m Peter. I grew up in Seattle, but have been living in Hawaii and Japan for the last 4 years.

I love traveling; I love learning about different cultures; I love food, and I love my wife.

We’re hoping to go to Korea next year, and graduate school the year after that.

My life’s the best kind of dream, the one you don’t have to wake up from.