Chef Jason Hill of Cooking Sessions shows how to make Kalua Pig, a Hawaiian pulled pork recipe popular at Hawaiian luaus. ...
This recipe for pulled pork is great served with barbecue sauce and coleslaw, or put inside a Kalua Pig quesadilla.
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How to Make Hawaiian Pulled Pork
If there's one food that’s synonymous with Hawaii, it has to be Kalua pig. So tonight, I'm at the Paradise Cove Luau for indulgent evening of tropical drinks, games and traditional Hawaiian cuisine. Paradise Cove is one of the few remaining Luau houses that still cooks there pig in a real imu pit. The traditional Kalua pig recipe is made by steaming the whole hog beneath layers of wet burlup, banana and coconut leaves with mesquite wood and hot lava rocks. Hot rocks are also placed inside the pigs, so it cooks from the inside out. The final result is moist, succulent and incredible.
All right, we’re back in the kitchen and I'm ready to make Kalua pig at home. Our good friend Michelle Pagan who was born on Hawaii’s big island is sharing her father’s favorite Hawaiian Pulled Pork recipe. I know you're going to love it.
Hawaiian Pulled Pork is perfect served with poi or is a Kalua pig quesadilla topped with pineapple salsa and to put with sour cream. Traditionally, Hawaiian's wrap there pork in tea leaves but today we’re going to use a banana leaf because they’re a lot easier to find. After rinsing and patting dry the leaves, I like to lay them over the burner and just kind of start to hear a pop a little bit like that right there. And this is going to help. It’d be a little bit more pliable. We’re starting with the three and a half pound pork butt. And I like to trim off the thicker portions of the fat first. After trimming the fat, we’re going to drizzle two tablespoons of vegetable oil over the pork and work into the meat and you get it coated really well all over.
Now, let’s generously coat the meat in two tablespoons of Hawaiian sea salt. If you can't get Hawaiian sea salt, you can always use kosher salt. And you want to do this up from the heavens that way. It just doesn’t blot down into one spot and I kind of like to pack the salt in there working it into all of the crevices. Hawaiian sea salt takes on a red tint due to the Hawaiian red clay. Since we’re doing this at home and not imu style, the pig is usually cooked over kiawe wood or mesquite, so we’re going to use a miskit flavored liquid smoke. You’d probably use at least two tablespoons to cook this generously.
Once again, you're going to do the top side and then we’ll flip it over. And I like to work it in all the crevices like I said with the salt. Oh, it smells good already. Okay, we’re going to wrap this guy back up, get the banana leaves on it and get it in the oven. I’d have a large roasting pan which I’ve lined with foil and I'm going to lay a couple of pieces of the banana leaf in there followed by the roast and I'm going to put more banana leaves on top and I tuck it under. We’re going to get this, wrap it nice and tight with a foil, he’s going in the oven.
I'm placing it in my pre-heated oven at 400 degrees and it will probably go for about 20- 25 minutes a pound or until the internal temperature is at 160. All right, it’s ready. Who wants to see me open this up? Be sure to save the juices, so you can mix it in with the pulled pork. Now that the pork has rested and it’s cool to the touch, I'm going to go ahead and pull it apart with my fingers. And you just want to work around the fat and pull the meat and just shred it by hand. I’m going to drop at the bowl here. It’s kind of nice, that pulls apart.
Okay, after I pulled the pork apart, I'm going to go ahead and stir in a little bit of the pan drippings into the meat. Okay, I'm just going to drizzle a little bit of this goodness in there, after I add all the pan drippings in here. I'm going to give it a taste. I'm going to add a little bit more salt and a little bit more liquid smoke. I'm going to go with about a teaspoon of each and this depends on your taste on how much more you want to add. One more mix and I think were going to be ready. That works for my taste buds. I hope you enjoy this recipe. Mohalu.