Plants that feed us presentations

koahp sukusuk
Koahp sukusuk using koahpen Palau. Presented by Tyson, LA, and Dexter. Pounded yam with coconut milk.

Growing large yams requires skill and effort. As a result, yams are a prestige food. A measure of the skills of a man.


Fifi is akin to a soup, but served at room temperature, or, if possible, chilled. Combining starch and protein, fifi resembles a modern energy drink. Fifi is typically served when the men of the outer islands are working on a project together. Fifi is lunch. Being a liquid base, fifi provides both energy and liquids to the work team. There are different variations on the theme. Roxycindlina presented a Ulithian form of Fifi containing boiled green papaya, leaves of the sweet potato, and coconut milk. Mayleen presented a variant without the sweet potato leaves.

fifi fiafi Soup name
chofarrhofer copra meat
babay pwapwaipapaya
kamotikamoticooked leaf of the sweet potato
yaroengarungcoconut milk

Modern substitutions include condensed milk or sugar. The name "fifi" is based on the word "to squeeze"

kehp neir
Kehp neir: Boiled grated yam

Cassandra, Yuleen
Cassandra and Yuleen seen above, along with Norma and MeloJane, presented kehp neir.

Mwahng uter
Mwahng uter presented by Aleen and MaryHellan.

Taro balls are a personal favorite of mine. Hard taro is boiled and grated. Then the taro is loose mixed with copra from a coconut. The balls are formed by hand, usually when the mixture is still warm. Sugar is often added. This is a favorite treat for Kosraens and Pohnpeians alike, especially children. As one student who was tasting taro balls for the first noted, "I really like this!"

Tracy, Tesiann, Krystal
Tracy, Tesiann, Krystal enjoying new foods.

kehp neir, mwahng_uter
Kehp neir and mwahng uter

ush amad
Ush amad

Judy and Joe-ann presented Mortlockese ush amad, ground boiled banana. The consistency was smoother than the uht idihd of Pohnpei and the ap of Kosrae. Ush amad is the same process, but either the variety of banana differs, the grinding process is a finer grind, or the cooking process is different. The Houkese call this urh amaat, while in Chuuk the dish is called fouren uch. In Ulithi this is called mwar. Ush amad was wrapped in banana leaves. A modern adaptation is to wrap the banana in aluminum foil.

kehp piahia
Kehp piahia with chicken

Christopher and Maybeleen presented yams with local chicken and coconut milk (piahia). Local chicken is a special treat.

Christopher, Maybeleen
Christopher, Maybeleen

Marla Ongesel
Marla Ongesel


Billib is a Palauan specialty. Inside the coconut frondlet packet is tapioca (manioc, cassava). The youngest leaf of the coconut tree is used to make this visual delight.


Marla explains
Marla explains the process for making billib.

Tracy Narruhn
Tracy Narruhn shows off cooked tapioca covered in coconut milk.

Redeemer, Tesiann, Tracy, Krystal, and Daniel presented Chuukese mwatunun mwoniok.

mwatunun mwoniok
Mwatunun mwoniok

My thanks to the students for the special day!