Kalua pork with cabbage is a Hawaiian dish often served in Luaus. This version is made in the slow cooker and tastes just like the real grated Kalua pork.
What is Kalua pork? If you’ve been to Hawaii or a luau, chances are you’ve tried shredded
with cabbage. This is one of my VERY favorite Hawaiian dishes because it is so juicy and tasty. In Hawaiian, the word “kalua” means “cooking in an underground oven” or imu. The traditional Kaula pig butt is seasoned with Hawaiian sea salt and wrapped in tea leaves, banana leaves or coconut leaves. It is then buried underground for cooking with a special fire that gives the meat a smoky flavor. It’s delicious and tender, but it’s time-consuming and a bit complicated to cook this way.
in the Rolling Cooker
This Kalua pork
recipe tastes a lot like real Hawaiian authentic Kalua pork, but it can be made with MUCH less effort. You literally throw it in the slow cooker and let it do its thing all day. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the true “imu” method, but I can’t pass up the ease of Crockpot when I’m just making Hawaiian shredded pork for my family. If you want to smoke it in an underground well to get the “true” experience, I won’t stop you! But with this recipe, you’ll get the same tender pork fork and great taste with a fraction of the effort.
Alternative cooking methods
If you want to speed things up, you can make this Hawaiian shredded pork in an instant pot or pressure cooker. Just follow the instructions as directed in this recipe, but instead of putting it in a Crockpot, put it all (including cabbage) in the Instant Pot. Set the Instant Pot to high pressure for one hour and let the slow release pressure on its own for about 30 minutes. Once this is done, it is enough to crush and serve. SUPER easy.
favorite way to serve this Kalua pork with cabbage is with a “lunch dish.” A plate lunch usually consists of a protein or two (such as Kalua pork, teriyaki chicken, teriyaki beef, or even spam), rice, Hawaiian macaroni salad, and a side of fresh pineapple. Getting a bite with each of these things at once is really delicious. Savor each bite and eat it slowly. People often ask me what my favorite food is, and I can honestly tell it could be a Hawaiian plate lunch. It’s THAT good.
Of course, you can
serve all this alone or you can add BBQ sauce and make Kalua pork sandwiches, sliders or Kalua pork tacos. We also love to make simple quesadillas or shredded pork nachos and dip them in teriyaki sauce (my kids’ favorite shape). You’ll love any way you decide to serve this pork!
More Hawaiian flavor
Do you have a Luau or are you just in the mood for a more delicious and authentic Hawaiian meal? You have to try these: