Taco Tuesday (Hawaiian Fusion): Kalua Pork with Roasted Pineapple Salsa
Hawaiian Taco’s? Heck yeah!
Mom used to make some delicious Kalua Pork growing up. She would smother the pork in rock salt and add some liquid smoke and cook on low all day. The smell coming from the oven was divine!
When it was done, falling off the bone, she would shred it and drizzle with soy sauce. I would steal bites while she was doing this. Kalua Pork is one of those things that you could just stand in the kitchen and pick with your fingers. I’m sure she had to slap my little hands away to get it to the table.
Once it got to the table she would serve it with plain steamed rice and salad or coleslaw. Yum!
In this recipe, I used Hawaiian pink salt along with the liquid smoke and wrapped the pork in Ti leaves before sealing it into a tight foil package.
The Ti leaves add a nice floral note to the pork. If you can’t find Ti leaves, banana leaves can be used. You can find them at your local Asian grocery.
I decided that I would go non-traditional and make taco’s with my Kalua Pork. And to keep with the Hawaiian theme I made a roasted pineapple salsa to go with it.
The warm succulent pork doused with a bit of soy sauce, topped with the roasted pineapple salsa and then wrapped in a warm corn tortilla was a delicious alternative to the traditional pork carnitas tacos. Add a bit of cheese and shredded cabbage for extra yumminess!
To make the Kalua Pork:
- Pork shoulder blade roast bone-in about 4 lbs
- Hawaiian Alaea salt 2-3 tablespoons
- liquid smoke 1/2 teaspoon
- Ti leaves about 3
- 2 cups water
- Soy sauce
Lay out foil on counter. wash Ti leaves and pat dry. Cut out the hard stem and and discard then lay leaves out on top of foil.
Rinse pork and pat dry. cut little slits in pork with knife. Rub pork with the salt all over and into the slits. Rub liquid smoke into pork. Place on top of Ti leaves fat side up. Wrap Ti leaves around pork. Hold leaves into place and wrap tightly with the foil.
Place in a roasting pan with the 2 cups water. Place in a 300 degree oven and cook for about 8 hours. Remove from over and let stand for about 15 minutes. Open package and remove pork to a large platter. Shred pork with 2 forks. Pour juices from inside foil over pork for extra flavor and juiciness. Then drizzle with a bit of soy sauce. Yum!
Serve pork in warm tortillas with roasted pineapple salsa, cheese and finely shredded cabbage.
For the Roasted Pineapple Salsa:
- 1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
- 1 small tomato, chopped
- 1/4 red onion, chopped
- 1 fresno chili pepper, stem and seeds removed, chopped ( or red jalapeno)
- 2 cloves fresh garlic
- olive oil
- Kosher salt and pepper
Place all ingredients except oil salt and pepper on a sheet pan. toss with a bit of olive oil to coat and then season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place in 425 degree over 20-25 minutes. Stirring halfway through. Cool. Place in food processor and pulse just until pureed.
Place in a bowl and add:
- 1 small tomato, finely chopped
- 1/8 red onion, finely mined
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
Stir to combine, adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to taste. Serve on tacos and with warm crispy tortilla chips. Yum!