It’s been more than a decade since I visited Hawaii, but I’m still thinking about the food.
Fresh seafood served with a view of the ocean, juicy Maui Gold pineapples dusted with plum powder, POG juice at breakfast, a sandwich picnic on the road to Hana, banana bread from a roadside stand and kalua pork served at the Lahaina luau.
I can almost taste all those amazing dishes.
I know we’re return to Hawaii some day on vacation. But in the meantime, I’ve been trying to capture the flavor (and ease) of that memorable vacation at home.
This easy-to-make Hawaiian pork recipe pays tribute to the classic dish without all the work.
Kalua pork, or kalua pig, is traditionally served at Hawaiian luaus. The traditional method calls for cooking a whole pig in an underground oven. The pork is usually wrapped in ti and banana leaves and roasted over a hardwood fire for hours.
This make-at-home Hawaiian pork recipe calls for just three ingredients. The pork is wrapped in parchment and slow roasted in the oven. It produces a tender, flavorful entree that is wonderful served over rice, on a sandwich or even as a taco filling. Unlike many Hawaiian pork recipes, this one trades liquid smoke for Huli-Huli sauce, a gingery teriyaki-style marinade with a flavorful kick.
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You’ll need a 4- or 5-pound pork shoulder roast, Hawaiian Seasoning Salt and Huli-Huli Sauce for this recipe. (I purchased both from World Market, but you can also find the sauce and garlic-herb salt at Amazon.)
Prepare the pork by cutting slashes in it, then coat with the salt and the marinade. (See the recipe below for exact measurements.)
To ensure the meat remains tender and doesn’t dry out, wrap in parchment and roast in the oven for at least four hours.
After the Hawaiian pork has roasted, remove it from the oven and allow to cool slightly before unwrapping the parchment. Shred with a fork and serve.
- 4 pound pork butt or pork shoulder
- 3 Tablespoons Hawaiian salt
- 3 Tablespoons Huli-Huli sauce
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the pork butt on a piece of parchment paper large enough to encase it.
- Make shallow cuts along the surface of the pork to allow the salt and marinade to penetrate.
- Rub the salt all over the surface of the pork. Drizzle the Huli-Huli sauce over the pork and rub it in, coating the meat.
- Wrap the pork in the parchment, then an outer layer of foil.
- Place on a baking sheet or a roasting pan.
- Roast for 1 hour at 350 degrees, then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue cooking for another 3 or 3½ hours, until the pork is tender.
- Remove from oven and allow the meat to cool and rest for 10 to 15 minutes before unwrapping the parchment-foil packet. (Be careful of steam.)
- Use forks to shred the pork.
The last time I made this pork, we had a little backyard luau and served it Hawaiian plate lunch style with white rice and macaroni salad.
For just a moment, I felt like I was back in Maui. But then it was time to clean up, and my vacation fantasies dissipated!
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