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    The Wedding Cafe, Manoa

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    Zaney's, Downtown Honolulu
    Bob's Bar-B-Que, Kalihi
    Restaurant Yamagen, Moili'ili

    Below you will find a never ending list of restaurants that I want to visit or re-visit:

    Young's Fish Market
    Alan Wong's Pineapple Room
    Cafe Sistina
    Indigo Eurasian Cuisine
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    The following posts should be completed someday (!):

    New Diner's Drive In
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    Indonesia Restaurant
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    Happy Inn
    Kat's Sushi
    Fritz's European Bakery
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    Singapore/Bangkok Posts
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    Hata Restaurant
    Ebisu Catering Service
    Bubba Burgers
    The Eggberts
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    Hamura Saimin Stand
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    WHEW! I hope to have them done by year's end!

    Upcoming adventures

    San Francisco, CA

    Sydney, NSW, Australia

    London, UK
    Paris, France
    Chicago, IL
    Seoul, South Korea
    I won't be able to visit Korea this year.
    San Francisco, CA
    New Orleans, LA
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Shanghai, China

    Hopefully, some of you can provide me with recommendations for some good eats!

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« The Daily Grindz | Main | Downtown Planet - October 24, 2005 »

October 24, 2005



Hi Reid - Wow, posted like clockwork, I revised and made sure I linked to your correct post!


Hi, Reid. That recipe for kalua pig looks rather tempting. I can't wait to try it!


ah, crock pot, the modern day imu--that's how i do it too, but i use kiawe liquid smoke (although my bottle must be two years old by now. do they still make it? and how exactly is "liquid smoke" made anyway? i digress). i also dump in some taro leaves or spinach to pretend i'm eating right :)


Hi Kirk,

Like clockwork is right. Thanks for including the photos. I normally use the mesquite liquid smoke. The flavor is mellow like kiawe wood. It seems as though you used the hickory.

Hi Midge,

Thank you. This is actually a very popular dish here. Make this and impress your friends! =)

The meat is almost like pulled pork. In fact, I'm sure you could put barbecue sauce on this! =)

BTW...other popular variations are kalua pork sandwiches and kalua pork with cabbage. I normally like to stir-fry the kalua pork the next day with some Chinese (Napa) cabbage, a little soy sauce and some fresh ground pepper.

Hi Santos,

The liquid smoke that I use is mesquite. It's has a flavor that is similar to kiawe. I like to make it in the crock pot too. The only trouble with that is the neighbors...they are usually at my door when I get home!

To be really honest with you, I have no idea how liquid smoke is made. Maybe I should send an e-mail over to the folks at Wright's. Do you think they'd tell me?


Hi Reid,

haven't read your site in about a week and looks like I've missed alot ! Thanks for sharing that pork recipe. Your package looked very interesting and I sure hope I can find as yummy a korean restaurant as the one you found in Arirang :)

Was the cafe where you live or was that on your holiday?

FatMan Seoul

Reid, I've mention this to you in the past, and I'll say it again here. If I ever make it to Hawaii, a traditional Hawaiian lu'au is one of my must-do.

clare eats

This looks so good Reid!
Do you think you could use a Cast iron oven instead of a crock pot?

I hope you had a good holiday! I need one so much ....


What a coincidence! Guess what I'm having for lunch today? Instead of using pork butt, I used country style spare ribs which goes on sale here quite often in the supermarkets. Some of it is fatty but I cut off most of the trimming first then pressure cook it for two hours with Kosher salt, liquid smoke, and a little soy sauce. In two hours, the meat is ultra tender and falling apart. I'll then drain the liquid and add a tablespoon or two of more liquid smoke then mix it thoroughly in a serving dish. It's not as authentic as imu kalua pig but will do for a transplanted islander. I tried it with ti leaves but don't find any difference in taste when serving. This dish goes well with lomi lomi salmon and poke if that's available. I can give you my mainland version if you care. The key is to improvise with the available resources with what you have.


Hi Reid, this is fantastic! I've always wanted to try making kalua pork myself - it represents some of my best memories of Hawaii! Might there also be a crash course in laulaus in the near future? :)


Hi Reid, this is fantastic! I've always wanted to try making kalua pork myself - it represents some of my best memories of Hawaii! Might there also be a crash course in laulaus in the near future? :)


Hi Reid - Yeah, I use the Hickory. I found that when I use the Mesquite liquid smoke, it's a bit too mellow for these folks here - they start doing stuff like pouring BBQ sauce on the kalua pork! Though one of my friends back home used to do that.


This looks great (and simple). Can't wait to try it at home!!

Although, I must confess, when I first read the title I thought it said Kahlua Pig--which sounded odd, yet intriguing.


Hey Kirk,

My brother, Clinton, and I remember our dad buying a pound of real imu kalua pig from that little Hawaiian lady in the stand at the Oahu Market near the corner of King and Kekaulike Streets in the early 1960's. But in modern times, we do it at home. You must remember that kalua pig is not smoked pork, but instead, is steamed, and somewhat pressure cooked. One way to have the authentic flavor is to butterfly a pork shoulder roast, season it with Hawaiian salt, and smoke it on the barbecue for an hour with mesquite chips (mainland kiawe), then wrap it in foil with a half cup of water and cook it in the oven at 350 degrees for another 3 hours. After shredding, you will have very moist smoked meat that comes close to the real thing. If you need more moisture, add a little hot salted water.


Don't forget to leave a little skin on the meat for that extra taste and cholesterol. Oo-o-o-o that was the best part of the kalua pig as far as I was concern.


Yum. Thanks for sharing the secret.

And are you sure we can't convince you to pose in a grass skirt? =P


Yes, but I'm making it for the fellows at work, and also the local Ex-Pat Kamaiaina's, they don't remember the old Kalua Pork by the Kukahiko Family in Waianae - also the best Laulau I ever had!


And BTW, it doesn't taste anything like smoked pork.


Hi Rachel,

I think you missed quite a bit! The Korean food was good. I hope you do get to find some place as good.

As far as the pork goes, it's one of my favorites and it's so easy to make.

Hi FatMan,

Nice to hear from you again!

If you do make it to Hawaii, I will take you to a traditional lu'au OK?

Hi Clare,

You can use any baking vessel of your choosing. I used a crock pot because you can turn it on and it will cook food slowly over the course of several hours. It's used more for convenience than anything else.

Hi Clinton,

What an idea! I never thought of using spare ribs, but then again, I don't normally make this. Thanks for the suggestion. Hopefully I'll have a chance to try it soon.

Hi Melissa,

I hope you do get to try this. If you do, I would be interested in how you like it.

As far as laulau is concerned, it's coming up tomorrow! Stay tuned.

Hi Kirk,

I normally like the mellower flavor of mesquite (and that's why I don't use as much liquid smoke). There have been quite a few times where I have actually cooked a whole pig in an imu and this is close, but really no cigar. One day, you should try kalua turkey. I think the last time I had it was when I had the turkey cooked at Kailua High (I think).

Hi megwoo,

Long time no hear! =)

This recipe is really easy and takes almost no effort to reproduce at all. If you do make it, I hope you like it.

As far as the KAHLUA pig is concerned, perhaps we can find a way of incorporating that delicious coffee flavored alcohol in some way...I'm sure it would be quite interesting.

Hi Glen,

Thanks for the tips. Maybe I'll try to make it that way next time just to see how it turns out.

Hi Clinton,

As much as I would like skin for me. =(

Hi AG,

You're welcome...and no, I don't think I'd look very good in a grass skirt! =)


Here is a link to Wright's online.

Maybe in a year, I'll have a piggy I've raised, we'll dig a hole in the yard and do a real luau...


Reid! Thank you SO much for posting this recipe! It's my all-time fave next to Huli-Huli chicken, and if I can at least make this at home, it will really hit the spot.


Hi Jo,

Thanks for the Wright's link. If you are going to attempt this at home, make sure you invite all the Hawaiians in your area. A hundred pound pig will probably serve about 120 people! =)

Hi Moira,

I hope you have the opportunity to make this at home. It's really simple to make and I like having leftovers to use in kalua pig and cabbage! Mmmm!


Hi Jo,
Reid says that a 100 pound pig will serve 120 "menehunes" but in my estimation, it would feed only 10 people like me!
Hm-m-m-m...I don't think I can eat a one year old pet though...


::roaring with laughter:: does that mean your a "maxihuene" Clinton? If I find that many Hawaiians living near me in North Carolina, I will be so totally jazzed! Part of the farming plan includes raising our own meats so, meat lovers will be welcomed!


Hi Clinton,

LOL! I don't think I could eat 7 pounds of kalua pig by myself! =P

Hi Jo,

Well, you know, you could always move to Utah. You may not find very may Hawaiians there, but there are quite a lot of Polynesians there (Samoans) that might enjoy this!


YIKES!!! ME?!?! In Utah? You gotta be lolo in da head man!!!! 1) more than 100 miles from the ocean and 2) it snows there on a regular basis! uh uh... NO way I'm voluntarily living that far from a body of salt water and we are gonna be cold enough in North Carolina where they generally get a handfull of light snows each year as it is. I don't need a blizzard! I'm a Florida girl!!! San Francisco is the northern most latitude I've EVER lived in! ::shudders::

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