Hey, How Do You Do That?
My crew likes to travel and when we travel we like to eat local. Whether it’s a food truck, strip mall, end of the dock or alley, we don’t care – we want to go where the locals go. That’s where you find the good stuff. We’ve had Dorado fish tacos in Cabo, oysters on the Cape, pizza in New Haven on Wooster Street. We can have mac n’ cheese and chicken at home – we want to try the indigenous, treasured dishes.
We were in Kauai a few weeks ago and sampled the local fare – tons of ono, poke, local beef and Kalua pig. There was this awesome food truck that made Kalua pork. I asked them “ Hey, how do you do that?” We got SO much info! Kalua is the method by which the pig is cooked in an imu or underground oven - a whole dug in the ground, lined with mesquite wood and banana leaves, covered with hot rocks and dirt. This is what you are served at a traditional luau. SO glad I asked!
Lucky for us on the mainland, Sam Choy has developed a Kalua pork recipe using the Hawaiian Alaea red salt and bacon to mimic the smoky, salty flavor of the imu. But, we can use our slowcooker! We had a feast of Kalua pork, pineapple, rice and bok choy – just the way we had it on Kauai – ok, minus the macaroni salad and the balmy breeze and mai tais and the slack guitar jams – c’mon it was a Tuesday night!
I hope you will give this one a whirl – it will bring you right to Hawaii. A head’s up – the pork cooks on LOW for 13-14 hours so plan accordingly. Aloha.