Muffins recipes

National dish of Kiribati

flag of Kiribati

  • Independence: 12. 7. 1979
  • Capital: Tarawa
  • Official language: English, Gilbertese
  • Population: 103 500
  • Area: 811 km2
  • International code: KI
  • Currency: Kiribati dollar
map of Kiribati



  • 1-2 dozen med sized taro leaves
  • 1 medium sized can of corned beef, or substitute
  • small can of coconut milk
  • several roughly sliced tomatoes
  • 1-2 onions
  • garlic and herbs to flavor, as required
Palusami is national food (dish) of Kiribati


First, remove the thickest parts of the taro stalks and put them into a bowl of hot water, while you prepare the main ingredients. This will not only leach out the acid in the leaves, it will make them pliable enough to bend. Mix the corned beef with some of the coconut cream. You want to obtain a mix that still holds together. Add in your crushed garlic cloves, and any herbs/spices that you want to use. A pinch of dried sage and thyme perhaps. Line a medium sized baking dish with foil, enough that you will be able to fold the top over and seal it. Then arrange the taro leaves along the bottom and sides of these. Try to have them overlapping so that there are no gaps. Put half of the corned beef mixture in, and top with a layer of tomatoe slices and onion rings. Then add the rest of the beef, and finish with the last of the tomatoes and onions. You can pour a little coconut milk over this, and finally bend the taro leaves over the top and secure with toothpicks. Cover the top of your Palusami parcel with the foil, and pop into a preheated oven to bake at a moderate heat for 30 minutes. The traditional way to cook this, is in an underground earthern oven, known as a "Lovo". This is great either hot or cold. Nutritious, filling, and so easy to make.


The most important dish in Kiribati is rice which is generally served with most meals. A very simple dish is that prepared with fish of different sizes from the sea. Food in Kiribati also consists of fish and seafood, such as fresh shellfish, crabs, and shrimps. Except these tasty dishes, people from Kiribati use all sorts of sauces and spices. Seafood is very tasty if it is left uncooked in a vinaigrette matrix, grilled, and even stuffed with onions wrapped in banana leaves. In Kiribati exotic dishes are based on coconut and coconut milk that are great in cooking meat and vegetable dishes. More than this, coconuts are used in creating mouth-watering desserts like macapuno or thick dessert jam, bibingka or pudding made of rice, coconut milk, Sugar and eggs.

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