Layered Kalua Pork Quesadillas

photo(315)If you are from, or have been to Hawaii, you know that kalua pork is a mainstay in the local cuisine. In celebratory feasts called luau, the centerpoint is the underground roasting of a whole pig which is then shredded into the kalua pork. I just love the salty flavor and smoked aroma of kalua pork.

In my last visit to Oahu,  I came upon a pupu (appetizer/small plate) menu item at my favorite local bar, and I thought what a great idea it is to combine the best of the islands with that of  Mexican cuisine! It was kalua pork quesadillas.

This home-made version uses slow-cooked kalua pork as main ingredient in quesadillas, those delicious, cheese-filled grilled corn tortillas. Once you’re done with the slow-cooking of the pork, everything else comes quick and easy.


One 2-lb pork butt roast

1 tbsp sea salt

1 tsp liquid smoke

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

16 pcs., 6-inch yellow corn tortillas

Sriracha sauce to taste

1/2 cup fresh avocado, sliced into tiny cubes

1/2 cup Roma tomatoes, sliced into tiny cubes

1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped


Season pork butt with sea salt and place in slow cooker. Add liquid smoke. Turn on slow cooker to low and cook for 8-10 hours, turning the pork once halfway through. Using a fork, shred the cooked pork and pour the drippings over it. Set aside. Warm one corn tortilla on a pan or griddle. Put desired amount of cheddar cheese over the tortilla. Put a second tortilla on top of the cheese  then top with desired amount of shredded kalua pork. Sprinkle with desired amount of Sriracha sauce. Place a third tortilla over the pork mixture. Top the third tortilla with desired amount of mozzarella cheese, then put a fourth tortilla over the mozzarella. When the cheeses start melting turn the layered quesadilla over and continue cooking for a minute or two. Repeat process for additional quesadillas. Place cooked quesadillas on a plate, slicing them into 1/4 wedges and serve warm with a side of tomatoes, avocadoes and cilantro.


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