Maui Newsletter: February 2024

How It All Fits Together

How It All Fits Together

How It All Fits Together

Aloha Family & Friends
Over the past five months, we’ve written about various aspects of how West Maui is regrouping after the fires. We thought you might also be interested in hearing whether it’s affected our small business, Ka’anapali Luxury Living. Like all other residents and businesses on Maui, there is no part of our lives that hasn’t been touched…here’s how it all fits together.

There are two parts of the answer to that question.

First of all – yes, we have been able to maintain a steady stream of commerce within our luxury market for our clients. That aspect of our business continues to thrive and will remain unchanged.

But we’ve also experienced an interesting twist. As you can imagine, rentals on Maui are few and far between right now. Most homeowners know that the rebuilding process will take some time, so while they await this process a number of residents have decided to purchase a home. As inventory remains limited in west Maui, some have been able to find options here while others have found south or central Maui to be a better fit right now. Of course nothing can replace Lahaina, but if they’re still on Maui, they are still connected to our community.

As mentioned, there is no change to the work we do within our regular market but it’s interesting to watch how it all fits together. Being an established member of the real estate industry makes it easier to get a leg up in the residential market. So, we have been able to help several of our fellow Lahainans get into a new homes. And for that, we are grateful. We are simply keeping a focus on our community and doing our best to help when and where we can.

And here’s the thing …
If every Realtor on Maui helped just two families, we could make a huge difference.

Aloha, Greg & Leah

Kaanapali Luxury Living Maui Newsletter February Market 2024
Kaanapali Luxury Living Maui Newsletter February Market 2024

Char siu bao, or steamed BBQ pork buns, is a Chinese Dim-Sum staple and perfect for celebrating Lunar New Year! And a quick tip if you’re short on time to prepare the dough; many grocery stores carry premade bao buns in the frozen section. Just steam and they’re ready to go!

Char Siu Bao (Steamed BBQ Pork Buns)



  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 3 tablespoons shaoxing or mirin rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 2 ½ pounds boneless pork butt trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water

For the Buns:

  • 1 envelope 1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup warm tap water plus additional as needed
  • 2 tablespoons plus a pinch sugar divided
  • 2 tablespoons neutral flavored oil such as grapeseed sunflower seed, or safflower, plus more for oiling the bowl
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 ½ cups 12 ½ ounces all-purpose flour

Garnishes (optional):

  • 4 scallions thinly sliced
  • Hot chili oil
Char Siu Bao (Steamed BBQ Pork Buns)
  1. To make the filling, combine the honey, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice wine, sesame oil garlic, and five-spice powder in a large bowl and stir to combine well. Add the meat and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  2. Transfer the meat to a slow cooker and cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours, or to a pressure cooker and cook for 90 minutes on high pressure and let the pressure release naturally.
  3. When the meat is cooked, transfer it to a bowl using a slotted spoon. Spoon off excess oil from the sauce in the slow cooker or Instant Pot. If you have time, transfer the sauce to a glass container and chill it in the refrigerator or freezer to help the fat separate out of the sauce (cover and refrigerate the meat as well if it won’t be served for more than 30 minutes.) Spoon off and discard the layer of fat that solidifies on the top.
  4. Transfer the sauce to a saucepan or turn the Instant Pot on to saute. Bring to a boil. Let simmer for several minutes to reduce the sauce a bit. A few minutes before serving, add the cornstarch and water mixture to the boiling sauce and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Add the reserved meat to the sauce and cook, stirring, until heated through.
  5. To make the buns, in a glass measuring cup with a spout, combine the ¾ cup warm water, yeast, and pinch of sugar. Stir to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes or so, until the mixture is frothy. Stir in 2 tablespoons oil.
  6. Combine the flour, baking powder, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, Cuisinart, or a large bowl and mix to combine. With the mixer running (or while stirring by hand) add the yeast mixture in a slow, steady stream, mixing until the dough comes together in a ragged ball. The dough should hold together and be a bit sticky to the touch. If needed, add an additional 1 to 4 teaspoons of warm water while mixing. Turn the dough out onto a board and knead by hand 3 or 4 times to form a nice, smooth ball.
  7. Oil a large bowl and place the dough in it, turning once to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly onto the dough. Set in a warm place, such as on your kitchen countertop, and let rise for 1 hour, during which time it should at least double in size.
  8. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and split it into to 2 roughly equal-sized pieces. Roll each piece into a log and, using a knife, cut each log into 8 roughly equal-sized pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and then, using a rolling pin, roll each into an oval about 3 inches wide by 4 ½ inches long and ¼-inch thick. Fold each oval in half to make a semi-circle. Set each bun on a small square of parchment paper.
  9. To cook the buns, place them in a steamer basket (Don’t crowd the basket as the buns will puff up as they cook and will stick together if they are too close. You may need to cook them in several batches. If you have stacking bamboo baskets, you can stack 3 baskets at a time.) Set the steamer over boiling water and cook for about 10 minutes.
    Serve the buns with the meat and allow diners to fill their own. If desired, offer sliced scallions and/or hot chili oil to garnish.
  10. Note: The meat can be made a day or two ahead and kept in the refrigerator, or it can be frozen for up to 3 months. Heat up on the stovetop before serving.
  11. The buns can also be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 3 months. To serve, steam them until the are soft and hot throughout. Microwaving is not ideal, but if you wish to heat up one or two buns quickly, it will do. Wet the buns slightly, wrap in a paper towel, and microwave on high for about 30 seconds.


Char Siu Bao Recipe from All Ways Delicious