Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Kalua Pork Quesadillas

I blame this one on Prudence Pennywise since she had to post her Slow Cooker Sweet & Spicy Chicken which looked pretty tasty and then she made it worse by using the leftovers to make Sweet and Spicy Chicken Quesadillas which were downright crave-worthy. Desperately wanting quesadillas, I didn't have a chicken in my freezer but I did have some leftover Slow Cooker Kalua Pork in there from making Swedish Kalua Pork Cabbage Rolls last month so I decided to make some island-style quesadillas.

Kalua pork quesadillas are pretty ubiquitous here in Hawaii, appearing on most pupu menus in restaurants across the state. There is a reason for that, they are darn good!

I like mine a bit "overstuffed" with some cabbage and red onion, a bit of cheese, a touch of cumin and cayenne and the extra special ingredient; some gingery plum sauce (check the Asian foods section at your grocery store--mine is made by Kikkoman), which really complements the smokey taste of the pork. I served these on whole wheat tortillas, grilled to crispy perfection on each side.

Kalua Pork Quesadillas

For each quesadilla:
1/3 cup Kalua pork
1/3 cup chopped green cabbage
2 Tbsp chopped red onion
cayenne pepper taste
black pepper to taste
cumin to taste
2 Tbsp shredded jack cheese
1 Tbsp plum sauce
1 whole wheat tortilla

In a medium pan, saute cabbage and red onion in olive oil, over medium heat until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add Kalua pork, cayenne, black pepper and cumin and heat through. Place mixture on 1/2 of tortilla, sprinkle cheese on top. On opposite side spread 1 Tbsp plum sauce and fold over filling. Heat a pan with a bit of olive oil and place folded tortilla on it. Grill over medium heat until tortilla is brown and crispy, then carefully flip and repeat on other side. Serve with lime wedges and sour cream or plain yogurt.

Perfectly crunchy and chewy at the same time. The plum sauce is so ono! (good or delicious in Hawaiian). No Kalua pork in your freezer? Its very easy to make, just pork butt, liquid smoke and salt cooked for hours in a slow cooker.

Easy Slow Cooker Kalua Pork
4-5 pounds Pork Butt Roast
1 Tbsp Hawaiian Alaea Sea Salt (or substitute regular sea salt)
2 Tbsp liquid smoke flavoring

Trim any excess fat from pork butt. Using a fork, pierce the pork butt all over. Rub pork butt with liquid smoke and sprinkle with salt. Cook on low for 12-16 hours depending on size of roast (Two 2.5 lb roasts took about 10-12 hours--you'll know its done when it is tender and falling apart). Turn roast once during cooking time. Remove pork from slow cooker, reserving the cooking liquid. Shred pork, adding some of the drippings/cooking liquid if needed to add moisture to the meat. Allow the surplus dripping/ cooking liquid to cool; skim fat from the top and use if needed for sauce or gravy.

Although I am still craving Prudy's ooey-gooey sweet and spicy chicken quesadillas and will probably make them someday; these were mighty good too!


  1. I better buy liquid smoke the next time I'm home so I can make kalua pig...this looks really easy and good!

  2. I've been loving using a slow cooker--just started a while back. I adore Kalua pig and quesadillas, so it's a no-brainer. Please stop by at Food of Love for an interesting challenge.

  3. I do have liquid smoke but no pork. Can I just come to your house for lunch? I will bring dessert.

  4. Hey Deb, if I can't find Kalua Pork, can I just add Kahlua to the pork butt and cook it? :) All kidding aside, the quesadillas sound fantastic. But I've grown to expect no less from you my friend. Great recipe.

  5. These look great! I love the crock pot recipe for Kalua Pork! How did I miss these last time I visited Hawaii?

  6. Kat--it is both, easy and good!

    Arlene--slowcookers are the best. I'll stop by soon!

    Natashya--Its a deal!

    Teresa--that would be another option! ;-)

    Cathy--maybe you stuck to the healthier part of the menus!

  7. That's funny, because really it was YOU that got me hankering for Mexican food. Kahlua pork sounds absolutely scrumptious on a quesadilla. And all the better that I can make it in the crock pot. You're making me hungry again!

  8. Prudy--so we are equally guilty then! ;-)

  9. Looks great... Wish I had some bbq pork in the fridge right now.

  10. Thank you for these recipes, Deb. BTW, last week when I did my Kalua Pig in the crock pot, I tried a new twist and my hubby is still raving. Line the bottom of the crock pot with sliced onions. Place ti leaves so that they lap over the sides and ends of the pot. Place pork butt in the leaves after rubbing Hawaiian salt, liquid smoke and minced garlic over the surfaces. Wrap leaves over the top and place a ti over the top if there are exposed meat surfaces. I didn't even have to pull the pork. It was so tender that it just fell apart.
    @Prudy: We tried Kalua pork tacos with papaya salsa (fresh lime juice, diced papaya, diced onion, cilantro, dash of cumin, diced serrano pepper) and shredded cabbage--yummo.
    ShirlinHawaii (how do I sign up?)


Mahalo for visiting and for leaving a comment. I love reading them and they mean a lot!

All advertising, spam, inappropriate (or just plain rude) comments will be promptly deleted. I do appreciate your right to free speech and to your opinion but I'm not into mean, rude, or mean snarky (non-mean snarky is just fine!) ;-)