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
  • Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
374 Calories
13g Fat
17g Carbs
47g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 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 (beef rope). It is made in a drying box in the sun, or in a conventional oven, or an electric dehydrator. There's no harm in using your oven; it's certainly the most accessible tool and easiest if you're brand new to the process. This recipe is reprinted with permission from Ethnic Foods of Hawaii by Ann Kondo Corum (Bess Press).

Jerky's origins are, as you might expect, borne of practicality, despite the fact that it's now an incredibly popular snack whose offerings have diversified considerably. (You can make jerky out of almost any kind of meat imaginable.) 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 if someone was out on a long trek and needed sustenance, jerky came in handy. You could reconstitute the dried protein in soups and stews for a tasty, protein-rich meal.

These days, for many people, jerky is as likely to provide sustenance on long hikes or camping trips as it is to be eaten in much different environs: as a straight-up snack for those who are following a protein-rich diet.


  • 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 the flank steak into strips about 1 1/3 inches wide. In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, Hawaiian salt, sugar, minced garlic, crushed ginger, and crushed red chile pepper, if using, to create the marinade. Put the beef in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap, or place the steak in a resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate and marinate 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, heat oven to 175 degrees F. Place meat on a rack such as a dessert cooling rack. Place rack on a cookie sheet and dry meat in the 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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