Smoky Kalua Pork Sandwiches with Spiced Pineapple Jam


Enjoy this Hawaiian version of a classic comfort sandwich kicked up a notch with a zesty and flavorful jam loaded with spices. 

Smoky Kalua Pork Sandwiches with Spiced Pineapple Jam
Photo: © Con Poulos
Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
7 hrs



  • One 5-pound boneless pork shoulder with the fat cap, trussed (optional)

  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons liquid smoke

  • 3 large thawed frozen banana leaves


  • 1 cup diced sweet onion

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 Thai red chile, seeded and minced

  • 5 cups diced (1/2 inch) fresh pineapple (about 3 pounds)

  • 1 large cinnamon stick

  • 5 whole cloves

  • 3 whole allspice berries

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

  • 3 cups cane or turbinado sugar

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 12 potato slider buns and lime wedges, for serving


Make the pork

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°. Using a sharp knife, score the pork shoulder all over with 1/2-inch-deep crosshatch cuts. In a small bowl, combine the salt with the liquid smoke; rub all over the pork shoulder. Spread 1 banana leaf lengthwise on a work surface; arrange the remaining 2 leaves crosswise on top, overlapping them slightly. Set the pork in the center of the leaves and wrap tightly. Wrap the package in 2 layers of heavy-duty foil and transfer to a large roasting pan. Add 2 cups of water to the pan. Roast the pork shoulder until very tender, about 5 1/2 hours. Let rest without unwrapping for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the jam

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine all of the ingredients except the slider buns and lime wedges and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Reduce the heat to moderately low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pine­apple is softened and the juices are syrupy, about 50 minutes. Discard the spices; let the jam cool to room temperature.

  2. Unwrap the pork and transfer to a large platter; reserve the juices. Using 2 forks, shred the pork, discarding any large pieces of fat. Skim the fat from the pan juices; toss the shredded pork with 1/4 cup of the pan juices. Serve the pork on the buns with the spiced pineapple jam and lime wedges.

Make Ahead

The jam can be refrigerated for 3 days.

Suggested Pairing

Pair with a spiced, citrusy wheat beer.

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