kalua pork sliders

I was having one of those days where I wanted to buy a whole pig, dig a pit in my backyard, and just roast the crap out of the damn thing Luau-style. But a couple of things stood in my way: 1) I don’t actually know where to get an entire pig at the drop of a hat. Head? Sure. Feet? No problem. But the whole beast? I think I’d have to order it. Or drive outside the city. Which I don’t like to do on the weekends (Seattle traffic is a bitch).

2) If I came home with a pig carcass my animal-loving 3 year-old would name it, put a leash on it, and try to walk it around the yard. Mommy, why are you burying Puffaluff? Over a bed of hot coals? Oh, Mommy whyyyyyy????!!!!!! I can’t afford the therapy. 3) I live adjacent to the fire department. Quite literally. And with my luck, the boys (and girl–there is one) would be lured over the fence by the smell of roasting swine and write me some sort of citation for, I don’t know, an illegal animal roast.

So I nixed the whole pig idea and settled for a 4-pound roast and this lovely recipe from La Fuji Mama. It has all the flavor of that slow-roasted Hawaiian pork, but you don’t have to locate a whole swine, scar your daughter for life, or burn your house down to get it.

Hawaiian red and black sea salts (available at better grocers or spice markets; I bought mine in bulk for about $1.25 total) lend an earthy flavor, while liquid smoke (usually on the aisle near the BBQ sauce) substitues for the pit and charcoal. I downsized to a 4-pound roast (the recipe calls for 5-6), and it fed six of us with lots of leftovers.

Prick the roast all over with the tip of a sharp knife…

…and rub with the red and black sea salts. It will look super attractive.

Cook on low for 10 hours with a dash of liquid smoke, and that’s it!


Take a picture of Charlie, because she spies the camera and is saying “cheeeeeeeese!”

Take a better picture of Charlie.

For a casual dinner party we piled the pork on soft slider buns with good coleslaw. Everyone went back for seconds. And thirds. And the best part? The pork took no time at all to make, so I could sit back, relax, and plot where to dig my pig-roasting hole.




Kalua Pork Sliders quantities and times adjusted from La Fuji Mama’s fabulous recipe 

Serves 8

  •  4 lb pork shoulder (butt) roast
  • 1 tbsp red hawaiian sea salt
  • 1 tbsp black hawaiian sea salt
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke
  • slider buns (I like King’s Hawaiian)
  • good slaw, for topping
1. Rinse pork roast and pat dry. Prick all over with the tip of a sharp knife. Rub with salts.
2. Place roast in slow cooker , pour liquid smoke over the meat, cover and cook on low for 10 hours (you may be able to cook it longer, depending on how “low” your lowest setting is on your slow cooker).
3. Discard 1/3 to 1/2 the juices and shred the meat with two forks, tossing with the rest of the juices (if you later chill the shredded meat without discarding some of the fat, you’ll find the solidified fat hard to pick around).
4. Pile slider buns high with pork and top with slaw. Enjoy!




  1. My favorite recipe ever!!! Its also tasty as tacos!!!

  2. Yummm!!! But where’s the Kahlua? 😉

  3. Charlie is SO cute.

    Also, I’ve been living under a rock (see: UK then Finland) and I don’t know what liquid smoke is. Is it like aroma? Or like HP woodsmoke?

    Another thing – we have made your pulled pork enchiladas about 27 times. Husband loves it and you’re the only blog I enjoy that he reads. He says it’s well constructed as a site, but I think he enjoys reading about your kids and food, too. =)

  4. We have made the pork sliders 3 times now, yummy and easy. But now, I am making a pineapple cole slaw to serve with it. We may change the bread next time around too. Having never had sliders before, I didn’t realize slider meant everything slides out of the bun on to the plate. But it is all yummy.

    Love your recipes, and your funny mommy stories 🙂

  5. Had to respond. Whole pig? Costco in Tukwilla. That Costco near south center must have a restaurant supply business. Walk in and go to the back wall in the right side of the store and there are whole pigs hanging in the freezer section. I took my baby..(21 and recent college graduate) there, mostly to shock and amaze her…haha…in that corner you will also find shiny displays of half sheet/ whole sheet cookie sheets, bins of ladles, measuring cups, spoons, whisks, warming trays …etc. so next time you get a hankering you know where you can find the pig. Your welcome.

    • rainyd01 says:

      Awe.Some. Thanks! I love going to the Costco Business Center in Lynwood for kitchen supplies. The commercial baking sheets are the BEST.

  6. Brian Lee says:

    looks delicious! Where in Seattle did you find the sea salts? Thanks!

    • rainyd01 says:

      I found them at Central Market (in bulk, so cheap!) but you can also get them at Whole Foods in bulk, and Metropolitan Market in jars. Thanks, Brian!

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