On the last evening in Hawaii, I enjoyed this wonderful and traditional dish – Kalua Pig.
It is eaten with cabbage, pineapple and rice as you see on the plate.
Now Kalua Pig is traditionally cooked in an imu or basically a fire pit dug in the ground, and wrapped in Banana leaves and other things.
Most people are not realistically going to be able to do this, but thankfully there are some more kitchen-friendly variations out there. I spent some time searching and comparing and combining recipes, and this boils down to a 4 ingredient, slow-baked version.
In a roasting pan, place a pork shoulder roast that has been aggressively trimmed of all the external fat you can remove.
Now you need some salt. Ideally, you want Pink salt. If you can’t find it, you can use Kosher salt, but pink salt isn’t too hard to find in most places…even up here in Alaska.
Sprinkle 2 Tablespoons of the salt over the top.
Then place 4 or 5 whole bananas on top.
Last, pour in a quarter cup of Liquid Smoke.
Cover your roasting pan very tightly with a layer or two of foil, and stick the lid on.
Bake this at 325 degrees for 45 minutes per pound.
After it has baked, your bananas are going to look very scary.
Discard the bananas, and remove most of the drippings from the pan – but not all, because you still want some moisture.
Then shred the pork with two forks, discarding any remaining chunks of fat and bone.
Serve it with with your choice of sides. I chose to go with the traditional Rice, Pineapple and Cabbage. The cabbage, I simply sautéed in the traditional “Southern” way. I was very pleased with the results of this recipe, and the meat tasted almost identical to what I had in Hawaii.
Oh and by the way…Happy Mother’s Day!!!