Kalua Pork Tacos with Apple and Mango Salsa


For the last few weeks I have had this idea for some pork tacos in my head and I thought it would be fun to try and imitate the Kalua pork. Kalua Pig is traditional Hawaiian dish where the whole pig is smoked in a sand pit with sea salt, banana leaves and koa wood. This simple crock pot or pressure cooker method mimics the smoked flavor by using natural liquid smoke. I searched for some recipes and found that they are basically the same, simple ingredients, just different quantities. You can use slow cooker (8-10 hours) or pressure cooker (high pressure, 90 minutes, with natural pressure release). I was able to whip out these tacos in under 15 minutes. Served with red cabbage slaw, apple and mango salsa and hoisin sauce. Super easy to make and delicious!

Serves 6-8

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 2 hours – 10 hours


  • 3 pounds pork shoulder (pork butt), all fat removed
  • 1/2 cup water for pressure cooker
  • 1 tablespoon liquid mesquite smoke
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • warm tortillas to serve
  • hoisin sauce to serve
  • red cabbage, thinly sliced to serve


Slow Cooker:

  • Place pork in the slow cooker and stab it all over with the tip of a knife.  Rub sea salt all over pork. Drizzle with liquid smoke all over and set slow cooker to low. Cook about 8-10 hours.

Pressure Cooker:

  • Select Browning and add oil to the cooking pot. When hot, brown pork on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to the platter when browned. Turn pressure cooker off and add water and liquid smoke to the cooking pot. Add browned pork and any accumulated juices to the pot. Sprinkle the salt over the pork. Cook for 90 minutes, use the natural pressure release.
  1. Remove the meat from the cooking pot and shred with two forks (discard excess fat as you shredded).
  2. Assemble the tacos with 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce (or to taste) spread over 1 tortilla, topped with shredded pork, red cabbage and apple mango salsa.


How to heat taco shells and tortillas:

Hard taco shells: Bake 4 minutes at 350 degrees F, or microwave 45 seconds

Soft 6-inch corn or flour tortillas: Heat in a dry skillet or on the grill, 30 seconds per side, or wrap in foil and bake 10 minutes at 400 degrees F. You can also wrap in a damp towel and microwave 1 minute.

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