Kalua pig is a dish from Hawaii that may be intimidating to make if it’s done traditionally, but modern technology has its benefits.
You don’t have to roast a pig underground, but instead you can use your slower cooker to make it.
How easy is it?
Buy some pork butt at the store and toss it in your slow cooker with some Hawaiian salt and liquid smoke. Cook for 10 hours and you are done!
Add some sautéed cabbage and eat your Kalua pig with rice for a filling dinner perfect for a busy weeknight.
It’s also a great pot luck item!
Ten years ago, a co-worker shared with me how to easily make Kalua pig in a slower cooker. Over time, I came up with my own preferences (more liquid smoke and not so much salt).
Recipes can vary, but most people use Hawaiian salt and liquid smoke, so adjust accordingly to your taste buds! You might actually prefer more salt, but I don’t like it saturated.
I’m not a big left overs or a freezer person, so I try not to make too much of it. It’s a lot of meat! That’s why I add so much cabbage.
- 2.5 lb Pork Butt
- 1 Tbsp. Hawaiian salt
- 2 Tbsp. liquid smoke
- 1/2 medium cabbage, shredded & sautéed (optional)
- Place the 2.5 lb pork butt into a slow cooker
- Add 1 Tbsp. of Hawaiian salt and 2 Tbsp. of liquid smoke
- Massage into the meat
- Cook on low for 10 hours
- Mix in the sautéed cabbage at the very end or right before serving
If you ever visit Hawaii, you might also find Kalua pig nachos or tacos which is a modern twist on it. Give it a try sometime!
Freezer Kalua Pig
Now, if you are really lazy and don’t even want to use a slow cooker, some Asian grocery stores actually carry Kalua pig in the freezer.
Over 50% of the population in Hawaii is made up of people of Asian or mixed-Asian ancestry, so many stores on the mainland will have a section of Hawaiian goods at their markets too.
Although I definitely think it tastes better cooking it at home, sometimes even freezer Kalua pig is better than nothing at all if you are craving it…
Not the prettiest, I know. I’m trying to make my son cute plates of food. Blueberries, Kalua pig, and cabbage on the side with a very imperfect rice panda. But I think he’s still cute …