Samoan Palusami

by Alison Moore Smith on March 8, 2011

Samoan PalusamiMy husband lived in Samoa for five years — once when he was 8–11 years old and again when he was 19–21. He loves coconut, he loves everything Polynesian, and he loves palusami.

This is an Americanized version that is very simple (with common ingredients), but super tasty. The older kids gobbled it up, the little boys looked at it askance. When they finally tasted it, it was true love.


  • 20 oz fresh spinach
  • 1 can corned beef (pisupo), crumbled
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 20 oz coconut milk


  1. Heat oven to 350°.
  2. Layer spinach on the bottom of a 13×9 pan. Add some onion and garlic. Sprinkle with corned beef.
  3. Continue repeating layers until first four ingredients are gone.
  4. Pour coconut milk evenly over dish. Cover tightly with foil.
  5. Bake 45–55 minutes, until spinach is wilted.
  6. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Note: In Samoan, canned corned beef is called pisupo. The story says that missionaries brought canned pea soup to Samoa and, having no word for the new dish, they “Samoanized” it into pisupo (pronounced pee-soo-poh). Soon all canned foods were called pisupo and, eventually, the term came to mean canned corned beef.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: