Hawaii’s traditional Kalua pork requires a beach pit, a whole hog, and a day’s worth of smoking. Our weeknight version delivers all the flavor with a fraction of the effort—no shovel required. Pineapple pulls double duty in this recipe—caramelized rings add smoky sweetness, while the just-tangy-enough pineapple juice makes the slaw a tasty stand-alone side dish. Save time by picking up a peeled and cored pineapple in the produce section—the flavor is far superior to canned rings.
1/4 cup unsalted ketchup
2 teaspoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons pineapple juice, divided
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, divided
8 ounces ground pork
1/2 cup sliced scallions, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
8 (1/4-inch-thick) pineapple slices
1 cup shredded red cabbage
8 (1-oz.) whole-wheat rolls, split
Added sugars 3g
Calcium 10% DV
Potassium 11% DV
How to Make It
Stir together ketchup, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon pineapple juice, and 1 tablespoon vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside.
Combine pork, 1/4 cup scallions, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl; form into 8 patties. Spray a large cast-iron skillet with cooking spray, and heat over high. Add patties, and cook until slightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook until pork is cooked through, about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate.
Add pineapple slices to skillet, and cook on 1 side until lightly charred, 1 to 2 minutes. Top patties with pineapple slices.
Combine cabbage, remaining 2 tablespoons pineapple juice, remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar, remaining 1/4 cup scallions, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. To assemble sliders, brush bottoms of rolls with ketchup mixture; add a pork patty with a pineapple slice to the bottom of each bun. Top with cabbage mixture and tops of rolls.
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