Two years ago I moved to Hawaii and tasted the Hawaiian specialty Kalua Pork for the first time. This dish is usually reserved for parties and special occasions since it usually involves cooking the whole pig in a pit for 24 hours or more.
Then I discovered how easy it is it make in a slow cooker. Now, this is my go to recipe when I want to cook once and be able to get at least three different meals. I even have long-time Hawaiian residents ask me for my recipe… it’s that good.
Kalua Pork Recipe
- 5-9 pound pork roast (shoulder or butt)
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke (make sure there is no HFCS in it)
- 2 tablespoons sea salt (I like pink Hawaiian sea salt)
- Place a large pork roast into your slow cooker, fat layer facing up, sprinkle with the salt and pour the liquid smoke on top
- Optional: add some red pepper flakes to taste
- Cook on high for about 16 hours (don’t worry about cooking too long)
- Once roast easily falls apart (stick a fork in it and twist) drain off the fat and reserve 2-3 cups
- Using two forks, shred the pork and pull out any bones
- Pour enough of the fat back in to make the meat slightly moist.
- Eat and enjoy!
If you like, chop up a head of cabbage into thin strips and stir into the pork (continue cooking until cabbage is soft.)
Use your batch of Kalua Pork to make any of the following dishes (these are my favorites, but I’m sure there are many more!)….
Kalua Pork sliders:
Place pork on a soft dinner roll.
Pour on some Hawaiian BBQ sauce.
Top with homemade coleslaw
Kalua Pork tacos:
Place pork on corn tortilla or a leaf of lettuce
Top with mango salsa or a spicy Pico de Gallo salsa.
Hawaiian style plate lunch:
Serve pork with Pico de Gallo salsa, macaroni salad, rice, and roasted/sliced purple sweet potatoes.
Shredded Pork and Mashed Cauliflower
Mix some shredded pork into mashed cauliflower. This is a great dish if you bring your own lunch to work. It freezes and microwaves well.
Mexican Style Tacos
Put a bit of the shredded pork on corn tortillas and top with chopped red onion and cilantro with a squeeze of lime.
Photo by: Jeremy Jenum
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