Hawaiian-Style Beef Jerky Recipe (Pipi Kaula) Recipe

Beef jerky on wood
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  • Total: 7 hrs 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 7 hrs
  • Yield: 1 pound jerky (serves 6)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
374 Calories
13g Fat
17g Carbs
47g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 pound jerky (serves 6)
Amount per serving
Calories 374
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 16%
Saturated Fat 5g 26%
Cholesterol 119mg 40%
Sodium 4316mg 188%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Protein 47g
Calcium 89mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Ginger and soy sauce are the secrets to this Hawaiian-style beef jerky, known as pipi kaula. It is made in a drying box in the sun, or in a conventional oven, or an electric dehydrator.

Now a popular snack, jerky was originally a way of preserving meat, fish, and poultry when refrigerators were just a glimmer in the inventor's eye. When live game was scarce or on a long trek, the dried protein was then reconstituted in soups and stews for a tasty, protein-rich meal.

Here are the origins of pipi kaula. 

Recipe reprinted with from Ethnic Foods of Hawaii by Ann Kondo Corum (Bess Press).


  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Hawaiian salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 piece ginger, crushed
  • 1 crushed red chile pepper (optional)

Steps to Make It

  1. Cut 2 pounds flank steak into strips about 1 1/3 inches wide. Combine 3/4 cup soy sauce, 2 tablespoons Hawaiian salt, 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 piece crushed ginger, and 1 crushed red chile pepper, if using, and marinate beef in the sauce overnight.

  2. If you have a drying box, place the meat in hot sun for two days, bringing it in at night.

  3. If drying in the oven, set oven to 175 degrees F. Place meat on a rack such as a cake cooking rack. Place rack on a cookie sheet and dry meat in oven for 7 hours. If drying in an electric dehydrator, follow the manufacturer's directions. Store the jerky in the refrigerator.

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