In some cases salted pork is used.
Makes 8 parcels.
16 ti leaves
250 g/8 oz pork belly, salted or fresh
250 g/8 oz chicken breast fillets
6 spring onions (scallions) including leaves
2 or 3 large bunches taro leaves, spinach or silver beet
salt and pepper to taste
If using dried ti leaves, soak in warm water until pliable. Fresh leaves need only to be washed and dried on paper towels.
Cut pork into small dice and fry in a heavy pan until the fat has melted and the pork is crisp and brown. Cut chicken into dice which are larger than the pork pieces but still fairly small, about 1 cm (1/2 in). Fry the chicken in the same pan until it turns white.
If using taro leaves, they need to have the stems and tough ribs removed and the leaves themselves cooked in 2 cups water, covered, for at least 1 hour or until they no longer sting when tasted. If spinach or silver beet is used, the leaves should be well washed and cooked until limp, then the excess liquid pressed out and the leaves mixed with the cooked meats and the spring onions. Season to taste and divide into 8 portions.
Place 2 ti leaves one on top of the other at right angles and put a portion of the meat and spinach mixture on the top leaf. Fold it over to enclose, then fold the second leaf over in the opposite direction to make the parcel secure. Tie, then place in a steamer and steam for 30 minutes. Serve in the leaf bundles.
Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)