Firehouse Pastele Stew

Featured in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on August 19, 2015.
Recipe compliments of the Honolulu firefighters.



Firehouse Pastele Stew

  • 4 pounds pork butt, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 (1/3 ounce packages) achuete (annatto powder; available in Asian section)
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) low-sodium diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (6 ounces) no-salt tomato paste
  • 2 cans (6 ounces each) black whole pitted olives, drained
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 medium bell peppers, diced
  • 2 bunches cilantro, chopped
  • 1 bunches green onions, chopped

Banana dumplings:

  • Salt for boiling
  • 1 large very green banana (plantain banana), peeled and finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili oil or to taste (available in Asian section)


In a large pot, add pork butt and simmer over medium heat. Add garlic and onions; stir until all natural juices come out. Season with salt, pepper, and achuete. Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato paste, olives, bay leaves, and bell peppers; simmer for 45 minutes or until pork is soft. Add cilantro and green onions: simmer for another 15 minutes.

Banana dumplings:
In a large pot of water, add salt to taste and boil. In a large bowl, mix banana with oils. Press banana mixture into olive-size balls then drop into boiling water until dumplings float. Remove from water and drain. Cool for 20 minutes; fold into stew to serve. Makes 10 servings.

Approximate Nutrient Analysis per serving (not including salt in dumpling water):
430 calories, 23 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 110 mg cholesterol, 500 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 11 g sugar, 36 g protein


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