Aunty Bea Keeps It Traditional

Aunty Bea Rodrigues visited the kitchen with some green bananas and a spunky personality. The former Miss Puerto Rico, born and raised in Hawaii, knows her Puerto Rican foods, and she educated me on the right way to make traditional pastele stew.

When you cook this one, make sure to call me — I’m coming over!


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Aunty Bea Rodrigues chops away as Lanai explains the cooking process . PHOTOS FROM COOKING HAWAIIAN STYLE


* 3-4 pounds pork butt, cut in cubes

* salt and pepper, to taste

* 1 tablespoon cumin

* 1 tablespoon oregano

* 2 onions, chopped

* 2 bell peppers, chopped

* 2 bundles cilantro, chopped

* 1 clove garlic, crushed

* 4-6 Hawaiian chili peppers

* 3 cups water

* 1 small can tomato paste

* 1 can pitted whole olives

* 8 green bananas

* Achiote oil

* 1 cup vegetable oil

* achiote seeds

For Masa: First, slice the skin of the green bananas all the way down on each side lengthwise, then soak green bananas in really hot water for five to 10 minutes. This makes removing the skin very easy. Peel bananas and grate (using fine grater) into a bowl. Set aside.

For Achiote Oil: Heat vegetable oil in an old pot and add achiote seeds. Cook for 5-10 minutes and remove from heat. Keep oil in pot and allow to cool. You can store oil for later use in a glass jar. Use extreme caution when working with achiote oil, as it will stain.

For Stew: Cut meat into cubes and chop onions, bell peppers, cilantro, chili peppers and garlic. Cook pork with oil in a large pot, adding salt and pepper. Add cumin and oregano. Add onions, bell peppers, garlic, chili peppers and cilantro to pot and cook for 30 minutes. Add 3 cups water and cook another 45 minutes.

Taste and add additional salt, pepper and seasonings, if necessary. Add tomato paste and cook another 30 minutes. Add half of the achiote oil to the stew, stir well, then add remaining oil. Add olives and green banana (masa) one large spoon at a time, slowly, until desired thickness is achieved.

Watch episodes with Aunty Bea and other guests on Cooking Hawaiian Style on OC16 On Demand channels 15 and 1015 or on Channels 12 and 1012 at the following times: Monday: 2 a.m. and 7 p.m.; Tuesday: 1:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday: 4:30 a.m.; Thursday: 9:30 a.m.; Friday: noon; Saturday: 5 p.m.; Sunday: 2:30 and 8 p.m. Visit for more of Aunty Bea’s recipes.