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Jun 1, 2007 12:45 PM

Hawaiian Grocery Store in East Bay??

I am looking for a grocery store that has Hawaiian goods. Specifically, I am looking for Ti leaves or fresh bannanna leaves. I prefer East Bay, but would travel to the city if that's what I needed. Any advice?

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  1. Try Berkeley Bowl or Mangal's Market in San Leandro. I'd call before schlepping.

    1. Monterey Market on Hopkins St. in Berkeley sells ti leaves; they're located on top of the fresh herb shelf.

      Just wondering, what are you using the leaves for?

      3 Replies
      1. re: Sophia C.

        I found a Hawaiian pork receipe that calls for wrapping the pork in the leaves. It is an oven roasting way of making kalua pork. Thanks!!

        1. re: Becky O

          The kalua pig will turn out just as well without the ti leaves, if you can't find them. For more or less the same texture as the banana leaves, you can use spinach - just put it in about 1/2 way through the cooking period. It's really about getting the liquid smoke in there and making sure you use enough Hawaiian rock salt. And, in my opinion, a crockpot works better for kalua pig than the oven. Sorry - can't help getting involved with the Hawaiian food topics...

          1. re: Becky O

            Lamlex is right, you don't really need ti leaves for your kalua pork unless you're really planning on wrapping it up and placing it in an outdoor pit. When in the oven, banana leaves defrosted from the frozen packages will work just fine. Coincidentally, I made kalua pig this weekend in my oven just roasting with Hawaiian salt and liquid smoke. It's not exactly like how you get it in Hawaii, but still yummy.

        2. I've bought frozen banana and ti leaves at 99 ranch (

          1 Reply
          1. re: kungful

            I have purchased them at FoodMaxx. They are in the produce section and are fresh, not frozen. It was around $0.69 a package and you get 4 or so sections that are 4-5 feet long. Not only are they great for cooking but I'll use them for lining bamboo platters when serving pupus.

          2. I once thought I had made a great find -- fresh banana leaves -- at Berkeley Bowl. Upon inspection, I realized that they were just defrosted packages of the banana leaves imported from the Philippines that are sold in the freezer section of almost every Asian store in the Bay Area. Defrost and store in the fridge -- after defrosting, they only last a few days. Those packages would most likely be your best bet, unless you can find a farmer's market that might sell them fresh, or a neighbor with a tree.

            As for ti leaves, I'm waiting until my plant grows!

            1. There's a big pacific rim grocery store at Dyer and Alvarado in the Union City area. Should have what you need. Can't remember the name offhand, but it's on the SE corner of the intersection.