Recipe For Hawaiian Luau Pork

When I decided to visit Hawaii on my honeymoon vacation, I remember that I tried a Hawaiian Luau Pork recipe that was just out of this world. The locals told me that it was an authentic Luau Pork recipe that has been passed down for generations. The pork was moist and juicy and had delicious smokey flavor. It was served with sticky rice and vegetables. The flavor of the pork was perfect with the sticky rice and it was just plain addicting. After begging, I finally got an abbreviated version of the recipe that I was able to take home with me and experiment with. Of course, my recipe didn't involve an Imu, I was able to make the Luau Pork in my oven without losing any of the delicious flavors. The alternative was to have my husband dig an Imu in our backyard, but fortunately, it wasn't necessary.

In Hawaii, they have an Imu, which is a large stone-lined hole in the ground that is used to roast the pig. The pig is seasoned and wrapped in tea leaves before it is buried in the Imu. It is allowed to roast for several hours before it is removed and served. I was thrilled to find that there is another version of this recipe that will allow you to enjoy the authentic flavor of Luau pork without all of the hassle.

Ingredients For Luau Pork Recipe

You'll need a regular oven to cook the pork, which most people already have available in their homes. I'm sure this recipe could be done using a barbeque or other cooking device, but the temperature might be difficult to control. For this recipe, just use your regular conventional oven. You will also need a pork butt roast. I have a family of six, and I usually purchase a 6 or 7 pound pork roast from Sam's club. You may want to buy a smaller or larger pork roast, depending on how many people you intend to feed. Pork is great because it's inexpensive and can easily feed a large crowd. Next, you'll need a bottle of Liquid Smoke. Liquid Smoke can be purchased in just about any grocery store for a couple of dollars, and comes in Hickory and Mesquite flavors. I personally like the Hickory, but either one will make a good Luau Pork recipe. Make sure you have lots of aluminum foil or tin foil available. I buy the large aluminum foil roll from Sam's club, but you don't have to. Have plenty of foil to be able to wrap the large roast several times. You will also need a box of Kosher salt and a few green bananas. Yes, I said green, unripe bananas. Trust me.

How To Cook A Luau Pork

Now that you have all of your Luau Pork ingredients, you can start the process. Lay out a large, double layer of tin foil on your table. Unwrap the pork roast and place it on the foil. Using a sharp knife, cut a few large gashes and holes in your pork on all sides. This will help the flavor penetrate the meat during the cooking process. Pour some Liquid Smoke on the pork roast, and rub it in. Make sure that you cover all sides of the roast. If you're wondering how much liquid smoke to use, I'd say that it depends on your personal preference. I like my Luau pork smokey, so I use plenty of it. When I'm done, there is usually a small puddle of Liquid Smoke at the bottom of the tin foil, if I lift up the pork roast. Next, cover the pork with your Kosher salt. You can be generous with your application of Kosher salt; this is not the same as table salt. You could also try different salts, such as Hawaiian sea salt once you become comfortable with this recipe. I decided to buy pink Hawaiian sea salt online for this recipe, but haven't used it yet. I look forward to trying it. Anyway, rub the salt into gashes and pockets that you have created in your pork roast, on all sides. Add a bit more Liquid Smoke and rub it all in as much as possible. 

Now here's the weird part, and again, you've got to trust me on this. Take your green, unripe bananas and lay them on top of the pork roast. DO NOT peel the bananas. Lay the unpeeled, green bananas on top of the roast. This will help add moisture and will mimic the tea leaves that are usually used to wrap the meat in Hawaii. No, the roast will not taste like banana when it is done. Wrap up the pork roast and bananas with the foil as best as possible, and then reinforce it with 3 or 4 additional layers of tin foil. Place the foil bundle in a baking pan (for easy clean up) with the bananas side up. Place the pork roast in an oven that has been pre heated to 350 degrees and bake for approximately 45 minutes per pound. You don't have to touch it, flip it or marinate it. It's that simple. You can forget about the Luau pork until the cooking time is up. Then, serve it with sticky rice and Hawaiian sweet bread. 

When your Hawaiian pork is ready, carefully remove the layers of tin foil until you get to the pork. You will probably be shocked to find that the green bananas have now turned soft and black. Using the stem of the bananas, pick them up off the roast and discard them. Pull apart the pork, and enjoy. Use the shoulder bone or other large bone from the pork (if you have one) to pull the pork apart if you're feeling traditional. I will sometimes add a little more salt or Liquid Smoke to taste, but be careful adding Liquid Smoke after the cooking process- a little bit can go along way. 

Enjoy your Luau Pork!

Luau Hawaiian Pork

Luau pork is delicious served with sticky rice.