Friday, July 29, 2011

food (food) | kalua pork with cabbage

In many cultures, roasted pig is a luxurious dish that is only served during big gatherings or celebrations.  In the Filipino culture this dish is called Lechon and making it for a small family is very rare.  Same goes for the Hawaiian culture, the roasted pig dish called kalua pork with cabbage is served at many luaus, but is also known as a common hot plate lunch available at local restaurants.

Since Matt grew up in Hawaii he is very familiar with a lot of Filipino and rice based dishes.  A few years ago when we lived in LA and Seattle it was a lot easier to satisfy our craving for kalua pork with cabbage. There is a larger population of Hawaiians who have migrated over to the west coast, so places like  L & L Hawaiian BBQ were easier to get to since they opened a lot of locations on the mainland.  However, when we moved to Chicago we found it difficult to find a good Hawaiian restaurant.  This is where we had to get crafty and McGyver our own recipe for kalua pork with cabbage - which we've perfected.


Unless you have a pit to roast the pig, you'll need a slow cooker...along with the following ingredients:
  • 3 - 4 lbs of pork shoulder (you can do bone in or boneless)
  • Sea salt
  • 1 tbsp Liquid smoke
  • 1 head of cabbage (shredded)
  • 1/2 yellow onion (chopped)
  • 1 tsp of crushed garlic
  • 2 links of fully cooked Portuguese, Chinese or chorizo sausage (chopped)

    Directions for pork:
    1. Trim fat off of the pork shoulder.
    2. Rub sea salt evenly on meat and place in slow cooker.
    3. Add liquid smoke into slow cooker and cover.  Cook on high for 6 - 7 hours. (You can also prepare this the night before you want to eat it and cook on low overnight)
    4. Once meat is cooked it will be tender enough to shred with a fork.  Shred until meat is broken down.

      Directions for cabbage:
      1. Take a tbsp of oil from the slow cooker and heat in a large pan on medium heat.
      2. Add chopped sausage and heat for 2 - 3 minutes.
      3. Add chopped onions and garlic.  Saute until onions become translucent.
      4. Add shredded cabbage and mix until combined with the sausage and onion combo.
      5. Season with salt.
      6. Cook until cabbage is tender.

        It's common to find this meal served with rice and mac salad (Hawaiian style macaroni salad) which is a staple in Hawaii, but we opt to leave both of them out.  If you've never had Hawaiian dishes I definitely recommend trying this one.  It's so good and no celebration is necessary to enjoy it.



        sharon lei said...

        OH YUM!! I haven't had kalua pig is ages.. it's been a really long time. It strange too, because I have access to it, whenever I want it. Ha!

        Yours came out great, Tab. Here's to a fab weekend, you gorgeous lady, you!

        xx Love & Aloha

        laura said...

        I love you, Tabitha. Thanks for posting this. I have been wanting to make this kind of pork for a very long time now, but just didn't want to have to ask my mom how to. Pride issues, much? This recipe is definitely bookmarked. ♥ laura
        the blog of worldly delights

        Blicious said...

        looks delicious! yum!!!!!


        Kaitlin said...

        Looks fantastic thanks for sharing!

        Kaitlin said...

        Looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing! I'm new to your blog--love it!

        The Thriftaholic (Leilani) said...

        Yummy, I miss kalua pork, thank you for the recipe! I used to love going to L & L in L.A. and also The Loft in Torrance for more of a sitdown restaurant atmosphere.

        Chicago only has 1 Hawaiian restaurant, Aloha Eats on Clark in Lincoln Park. They're decent but I've only tried their teriyaki beef/chicken katsu mixed plate.

        Fashion and Number said...

        This looks so yummmy! You make me want to cook now.

        Kristen said...

        That looks amazing; you got me to price pork shoulder this weekend at the grocery store. It's too high right now but as soon as there is a sale I will snap one up. Cabbage and slow-cooked meat is a favorite dish for Polish people too. :)

        MizzJ said...

        That looks so yum and healthy with the cabbage! Makes me wish I had a slow cooker now.

        Regan said...

        Last time I had Kalua pork my friend's mom made it for me when I was in Hawaii visiting. It's been quite some time since I've been to Hawaii.Thanks for sharing this recipe. I can't wait to try it!