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Kalua Pork Sliders with Spicy Slaw

Serves: Makes 4 servings


  • For the pork:
  • 3 pounds pork shoulder, fat trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons red Hawaiian salt or flaky smoked salt, plus more to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into slivers
  • 3 slices thick-cut smoked bacon
  • ¾ cup water (Refer to your manufacturers’ manual to see what the minimum amount of liquid is for your particular model and adjust accordingly.)

  • For the slaw:
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon garlic-chile sauce, like Sriracha, more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • ½ small green or red cabbage (about 4 cups), cored and thinly sliced in a mandolin
  • 1 medium carrot, julienned
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Warm sweet Hawaiian rolls, split for serving


Contrary to its name, Kahlua pork has no coffee liqueur added; it refers to long slow cooked pig. Kalua pua’a, or roast pork, is prepared in a Hawaiian imu or underground steam oven. Kalua pork is usually seasoned with sea salt, with smokiness coming from the beach fire used to build the heat in the oven. We have created that same texture and flavor with a pressure cooker and a few slices of smoky bacon. For the most authentic flavor we recommend red Hawaiian salt, but good flaky salt works well too. The ratio of salt to pork is 1 tablespoon per pound as the pressure cooker intensifies the salty flavor.

For the pork: Evenly sprinkle the pork with salt, make several slits in the pork and stuff with the slivered garlic. Heat a pressure cooker to medium-high; when heated add the bacon and cook until crispy, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside, reserving the fat. Keeping the temperature at medium-high add the pork to the reserved bacon fat and sear the pork on all sides until golden brown. Add the water and cooked bacon, cover, lock the lid and heat until pressure is reached. Maintain high pressure according to manufacturers’ instructions, and cook under pressure for 75 minutes.

Remove from heat or turn off, release pressure naturally and remove lid. Transfer the pork to a medium bowl and, using two forks, shred the pork, adding enough of the cooking liquid to keep it juicy. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt.

For the slaw: In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, soy, sugar, lime juice, mayonnaise, chile sauce and sesame oil until well combined. In a large bowl, combine cabbage, carrots, green onion and sesame seeds. Add dressing and toss to coat; taste and adjust seasoning with additional lime and salt. Slaw will stay crispy 1 to 2 hours refrigerated.

To serve: Assemble the sliders by topping sweet rolls with kalua pork and spicy slaw. Transfer sliders to a large platter and serve.

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