Recipe: Hawaiian Style Kalua Pork - Cook Once, Get 4 Meals

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

  1. Place a large pork roast into your slow cooker, fat layer on top (shoulder or butt work great)
  2. Sprinkle sea salt on top of the roast (about 1.5 - 2 tablespoons for a 5lb roast). I like pink Hawaiian sea salt
  3. Pour 1 tablespoon liquid smoke over the roast
  4. Optional: add some red pepper flakes to taste
  5. Cook on high for about 16 hours (don't worry about cooking too long)
  6. Once roast easily falls apart (stick a fork in it and twist) drain off the fat and reserve 2-3 cups
  7. Using two forks, shred the pork and pull out any bones
  8. Pour enough of the fat back in to make the meat slightly moist.
  9. If you like, chop up a head of cabbage into thin strips and stir into the pork (continue cooking until cabbage is soft.
  10. Eat and enjoy!
  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. Top with homemade coleslaw (Mix a bag of shredded cabbage with Maui Onion dressing Pour on some Hawaiian BBQ sauce.

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.   Photo by: Jeremy Jenum

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