Eat Local Spotlight: Smoked Ahi Spread

Pupu Perfection


The Perfect Pupu

In search of the perfect pupu for your next party? Try the amazing, incomparable Smoked Ahi Spread from KokoHead Foods! A favorite of all of us at Foodland and many of our customers, this locally made dip is so delicious that you’ll keep wanting more.

Developed nearly 20 years ago by Chef Kevin Hanney, owner of Kaimuki’s popular 12th Ave Grill and Koko Head Café, this island inspired pupufeatures Pacific-caught ahi brined with a secret recipe, then hot smoked and mixed with mayonnaise, lemon, and spices. 12th Ave Grill’s Chef Ryan Durham says the restaurant has incorporated the spread into such diverse items as Nicoise salad, sushi, and ravioli.

Here are some of our favorite ways to use this great local product to create delicious pupu your friends and family will love.

• Spread the Love – Serve it with your favorite lavosh or crackers.

• Stuff it – Put it into your favorite local tomatoes and garnish with chopped cilantro or sliced green onions.

• Melt Away – Warm and comforting, Chef Ryan’s recipe for Smoked Ahi Bruschetta topped with Hearts of Palm Relish (featured below) is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

 Get Rolling – Layer rice on nori, add a layer of smoked ahi spread, cucumbers, avocadoes, a little furikake, then roll and slice.

 Double Dip – serve as a dip with carrots, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes and more.

ahi spread with lavosh

Did You Know?
Pupu Warning

Pupu Warning

Those of us who live in Hawaii know that “pupu” (pronounced poo-poo) is a bite-sized appetizer, but when others from around the world hear us say “pupu,” the word may conjure up an entirely different picture! So before you ask visitors from out-of-town if they would like to try a local pupu, you just might want to explain what you mean!


smoked ahi bruschetta

Local Smoked Ahi Bruschetta
with Big Island Hearts of Palm Relish

Chef Ryan Durham, 12th Ave Grill / KokoHead Foods
  • 1/4 cup diced Ho Farms Japanese cucumbers
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup diced yellow bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup diced Big Island hearts of palm
  • 2 tablespoons of your favorite vinaigrette, such as Italian
  • 1 baguette, sliced into 16 half-inch thick pieces
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) olive oil
  • 1 8-ounce container KokoHead Foods Smoked Ahi Spread
  • 16 1/2-ounce slices Swiss cheese or favorite melting cheese
  • 8 sundried tomatoes in olive oil, halved
  • Chopped chives or parsley to garnish (optional)
  1. To make the Hearts of Palm Relish: In a mixing bowl, combine cucumbers, bell peppers, onion and hearts of palm. Toss with vinaigrette. Relish can be made up to two hours in advance.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly brush baguette slices with olive oil.
  3. Bake bread slices on a sheet pan for 5 to 7 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.
  4. Remove from oven and spread 1 tablespoon of Smoked Ahi Spread on each slice.
  5. Turn on your broiler setting on your oven. Top each piece with a slice of cheese. Broil until cheese is melted, about 1 minute. Remove from oven and place on serving platter.
  6. Spoon a little Hearts of Palm Relish over melted cheese, and top with a slice of tomato. Garnish with chives and serve.

Did you make this recipe?
Let us know how it turned out for you! Share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #FoodlandEatLocal

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to find locally grown and locally made items throughout our stores.