In this edition of Cook Like a Chamorro, Chef Gary Cruz of Matua’s Bar & Grill shows viewers how to make Gollai Åppan sweet potato and banana. Later in the video Chef Gary gets creative and transforms traditional gollai åppan into a modern dessert.

Gollai åppan is a method of boiling starchy foods such as taro or breadfruit in coconut milk. “Gollai” is the Chamorro for word “vegetable” and “åppan” means “to dry up; to evaporate.” 

To make gollai åppan sweet potato or banana you’ll need:

1-1/2 cups of sweet potato or cooking banana, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces (You can also use regular sweet banana)

1 cup fresh or canned coconut milk

1 tbsp sugar

¼ tsp salt







Simply combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high. Simmer 3 to 5 minutes or until the sweet potato/cooking banana is soft.


Watch our Cook Like a Chamorro video to see how Chef Gary uses traditional gollai åppan to create sweet potato pie and banana turnover.


Matua’s Bar & Grill offers a daily Chamorro lunch buffet and is located in the ITC Building in Tamuning. You can learn more about this new Chamorro restaurant on Facebook (MatuasBarandGrillGUAM) and on Instagram