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Duck rumaki.jpg
Duck rumaki
Course Hors d'oeuvre
Creator unknown
Main ingredients Water chestnuts, liver (duck or chicken), bacon, soy sauce, ginger or brown sugar
Cookbook: Rumaki  Media: Rumaki

Rumaki or rumake is an hors d'oeuvre of mock-Polynesian origin. It was popularly served at Trader Vic's and other Polynesian restaurants in the 1950s and 1960s.[1][2] Its ingredients and method of preparation vary, but usually it consists of water chestnuts and pieces of chicken liver wrapped in bacon and marinated in soy sauce and either ginger or brown sugar.[3]

The earliest known reference to it is on the 1941 menu of the Don the Beachcomber restaurant (Palm Springs).[4]

In culture[edit]


  • In Revenge of the Nerds (1984), Lamar Latrelle suggests attendees "can pass the rumaki and the cheese puffs" as appetizers at a Tri-Lamb probationary membership party. This leads to Takashi Toshiro suggesting they also include "robster craws", and ultimately to Dudley "Booger" Dawson's famous line, "What the fuck are robster craws?".[5]
  • In City Slickers (1991), When Nancy crashes a party to announce that she is pregnant with Phil's child, Mitch tries to break the ensuing tension by offering rumaki.
  • In "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead" (1991), Kristen Corbett enters the kitchen during the fashion show and says "Kenny, I’m out of rumaki."[6]


  • 3rd Rock from the Sun, S04E04: Judith mentions how she enjoyed the rumaki at Dick's fashion show fundraiser.
  • Archer: S07E04 "Motherless Child": A drunk Archer belches in a taxi after exiting a 'Polynesian' restaurant, and blames it on rumaki.
  • Cheers, S04E02 "Woody Goes Belly Up": Frasier mentions rumaki served at a party held by Sam.
  • Family Ties, the pilot: Mr. Keaton is handed rumaki by a server at a country club and asks if he could get one without liver.
  • Mad Men: Betty serves rumaki for a dinner party she hosts at their home in Ossining, for Don's colleagues and clients in "A Night to Remember" (season 2),[7] and later for a political gathering she hosts at their home in Rye, for Henry in "The Runaways" (season 7).[8]
  • Murder She Wrote, S06E15 "Fixer Upper": Winifred is throwing a party and some rumaki goes by on a tray and Winifred says, "Oh, just...just one moment please. These rumaki are supposed to be cooked. Its raw bacon here." After that, Seth says "Ferrari?" [related to another comment] and Jessica says "Rumaki."
  • Night Court, S0801 "A Family Affair: Part 1": Bull emerges from Dan's sister's hotel room at the end of the episode and asks "Say, do we have any more of that Rumaki stuff?"
  • The Bob Newhart Show, S02E07 "Old Man Rivers": Emily says, "You know Bob hates liver, bacon, and water chestnuts, but when I call it rumaki he thinks it's delicious."
  • The Golden Girls, "Son-in-Dearest" (1987): Blanche serves rumaki as a snack for an all night I Love Lucy marathon.[citation needed]
  • The Odd Couple, S01E01 "The Laundry Orgy": Felix asks whether Oscar, Murray, Speed, Vinnie, and Roy would like "coconut flakes on their rumaki".
  • The Simpsons, S10E11 "Wild Barts Can't be Broken": Moe notes that nobody in his bar that is unusually crowded due to a rare Isotopes playoff game, touches his rumaki, only for Homer to exclaim, "Woo! Rumaki!" then throw it on the floor.
  • Two And A Half Men, S02E07 "A Kosher Slaughterhouse Out in Fontana": Rumaki was served at Evelyn's party.
  • Walker, Texas Ranger, S01E05 "Storm Warning": CD tells a story to the titular character in which a lightning strike felled a tree which crashed into a house, causing one of the inhabitants to eat an entire rumaki.
  • Weeds, S03E06 "Grasshopper": Andy asks Shane to try his rumaki appetizers — one of several types he considers making for a party the town of Majestic is throwing for the Agrestic City Council members.
  • Maude, S04E08 "The Fling": Maude, hosting a dinner party, announces to the guests that the rumaki is ready. A guest asks, "What's in rumaki?" to which Maude replies, "Oh, you'll love it. Little hunks of liver with chestnuts and stuff."
  • From the Earth to the Moon (miniseries), 1998, Part 11, "The Original Wives Club", wives reunion in Lovell's home: "Rumaki?"
  • The Drew Carey Show, 2002, S08EP10 "Drew's Girl Friday": Steve moves in with Lewis and Oswald, and makes rumaki for dinner, crying when it's deemed a bit too spicy.


  • In Mart Crowley's play, The Men From The Boys (2002), Emory is serving canapés and says to the group: "Cheese puffs? Meatballs? Rumaki? If that dates me, how about: cellulars, nicotine patches, sex toys?"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Vanderbilt, Amy (8 April 1970). "...And If You Don't Know What Rumaki Is". Palm Beach Post. p. 20. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  2. ^ Paddleford, Clementine (6 December 1958). "Have A Polynesian Party!". Spokane Spokesman-Review. pp. 41–42. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  3. ^ Heyhoe, Kate (2007). Great Bar Food at Home. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-471-78183-7. 
  4. ^ "Don the Beachcomber," Palm Springs, Calif., menu copyrighted 1941: "RUMAKI - Spiced Chicken Liver, Water Chestnuts wrapped in crisp Bacon ... 1.35."
  5. ^ Revenge of the Nerds (Film). USA: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Interscope Communications. 1984. YouTube title: Robster Craws 
  6. ^ Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead (Film). 1991. 
  7. ^ "Retro Recipes: Betty Draper's Rumaki, 1967". Eat Me Daily. August 18, 2009. 
  8. ^ Raczka, Rachel ( Staff) (May 12, 2014). "Recap: Mad Men, Season 7, Episode 5, 'The Runaways'". Boston Globe.