Kalua Pork Pulled Pork Sandwich is bursting with sweet and tangy flavors. Tender shredded pork topped with crunchy slaw on a soft bun, these sandwiches are hearty and flavorful!
Kalua Pork Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Kalua Pork is a staple in Hawaii and when I lived there I ate it all the time! This recipe tastes just like the luau pork at the Polynesian Cultural Center! But instead of smoking the meat or in a pit, this tender, smoky pork gets cooked to perfection in the Crock Pot. My family loves it piled high on a soft bun with crisp homemade coleslaw. But you could also just serve the meat over rice. It’s so flavorful, feeds a crowd and is really easy to prepare!
Easier than Roasting a Kalua Pig
If you’re in Hawaii, chances are your traditional island Kalua pig is cooked underground, or at the very least, in a pit in the ground, in an oven called in Imu. It takes hours for the coal to work its magic and steam the pig, but if you’ve ever had the chance to taste it, the meat is glorious! Worth all the extra digging and work. However, when I’m craving pulled pork sandwiches on the mainland, I opt for a pork roast in the slow cooker. Call me a cheater, I don’t care. This recipe makes it taste just like the island smoked pork and with just a fraction of the work. All you do is toss the ingredients in the slow cooker and let it simmer and get all juicy and tender. Delicious!
Suggestions and Substitutions for Pulled Pork Sandwiches
- This tender, tangy pork comes together with just a few ingredients! All you need is a good pork roast, salt, liquid smoke, water and Ti leaves.
- Kosher salt is best for this recipe. The larger grains of salt help break down the meat and make it more tender.
- Liquid smoke can be found at any regular grocery store. I got mine at Walmart.
- If you don’t have Ti leaves, that’s okay! This recipe totally works without them; they just bring a cool Hawaiian element to the dish. But it tastes just as delicious without.
- To serve Kalua pork as a main dish, serve it with some soy sauce, coconut rice and a side of coleslaw.
- For pulled pork sandwiches, layer on a hamburger bun with your favorite barbecue sauce and top with crunchy slaw.
- It’s also delicious over nachos, tacos, salads and wraps.
More Hawaiian Recipes
Pair these pulled pork sandwiches with a few of these delicious and authentic Hawaiian recipes and escape with the flavors of the islands anytime you want!
- Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
- How to Make a Hawaiian Plate Lunch
- Grilled Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken
- Hawaiian Style Chicken Long Rice
- Hawaiian Beef Teriyaki
How to make Kalua Pork Pulled Pork Sandwiches
- 3-4 pound pork roast
- 1-2 Tbsp Kosher salt
- 1/3 c. liquid smoke
- 1 c. water
- 4 ti leaves Washed (If ti leaves aren't available or you don't know what they are, no worries-- it is still great without them -they just add a cool local Hawaiian element to the dish.)
- Line bottom of crock pot with 2 ti leaves (if you have them).
- Rub pork generously with salt, pour on liquid smoke then place on ti leaves (or in the crock pot).
- Add water. Fit remaining ti leaves (again, if you have them) around outer edge of crockpot.
- Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until it will easily shred into juices (do not drain).
- Crock Pot Slow Cooker