Kalua Pork Sliders with Pineapple-Mango Slaw

Hawaiian Pork Sliders from Our Best Bites introAs you probably know, Kate and I both went on Hawaiian vacations this summer (you can see a little of Kate’s here, and a little of mine, here.)  I think that has contributed to us both having tropical food on the brain lately.  Kate posted her Kalua Pork last week and I’m not kidding; it’s one of my absolute favorite things to cook these days. The word Kālua, in Hawaiian, literally means, “to cook in an underground oven.”  And in Hawaii, they use an Imu, which is basically a big pit, where they use koa wood and burning rocks to cook create a hot oven right in the ground.  This photo is the remains of an Imu, right after the piggy was taken out.


Meat (like a whole pig, for example) is wrapped in banana leaves and packed into the hot hole.  It’s covered up and the smoky wood infuses flavor while the insulated heat slow-cooks.


Kate’s short-cut version involves an easier-than-a-whole-pig pork roast and nothing but some salt, liquid smoke, and a slow-cooker which results in a tender, smoky meat without the fuss of digging that giant pit in your backyard and trying to locate banana leaves.

Kalua Pork


I know Kate and I both use the basic pork recipe in so many different ways, so we’ll probably reference it in different posts, showing you how to turn the basic meat into a huge selection of meals (like they do in Hawaii.  Remember the Kalua Pork Pizza I posted about in this post?  Still need to recreate that one…)  This is one of my favorites these days; piled on sweet rolls with a sweet and tangy colorful slaw on top.

Mango Slaw Ingredients

I wanted to utilize some tropical flavors, so I threw in some mango and pineapple. If you want, you could use all mango, or all pineapple.  I like the combo of both.  I chop it up with some bell pepper, cilantro, green onion, celery, and purple cabbage.

Chopped Mango Slaw Ingredients

Chop it all up and suddenly you have a rainbow in a bowl.

Mixed up Mango Slaw

For the dressing, I wanted to base the recipe on a traditional coleslaw, but infuse some brightness into it and make it not quite as heavy.  So I just used a couple of tablespoons of mayo, just for a tiny bit of creaminess, and mixed it with some orange juice, and zest, a little cider vinegar and mustard and some seasonings.  It’s a very light coating of dressing so the color and flavors of the vegetables really shine through.

Slaw Dressing

Pour it right over those veggies and toss it all together.  Since the fruit in the slaw adds moisture as well, you don’t have to let the slaw sit for a super long time; a few minutes while you’re prepping some other things is all it needs.

Dressing on Slaw
So while it sits and chills, bust open the rolls.  I can’t imagine anything more fitting for these sliders that sweet Hawaiian rolls.

Hawaiian Rolls
I love how fresh and soft they are (as long as you’re buying a fresh bag!)

Cut Hawaiian rolls
Slice them in half and pile the tender, juicy pork on top.  I like to be pretty generous.

Pork on buns

And then top it with the sweet and tangy slaw.

Slaw Topped Slider

Pile it high; it’s okay if it falls all over the place.

Hawaiian Pork Sliders from Our Best Bites

It helps to stick a skewer through them to keep them all together.  These look great all lined up on a platter ready to serve (fun food for a baby or bridal shower- pair it with one of our tropical drinks and a big platter of fruit; yum!), or in separate dishes and people can assemble their own.  They’re also really good with a little squeeze of BBQ sauce in there, too.

Kalua Pork Sliders from Our Best Bites




state of great taste pk


  1. I made just the slaw and served it with brats and sausages. So, SO yummy! I did modify the recipe a little, it seemed like too much onion, so I chopped just 2 green onions. I think I also added a little extra OJ, as I was squeezing an orange and didn’t want to waste the orange half. I am not a huge coleslaw fan, but this was sweet with just a little spice and the cabbage taste wasn’t strong like in coleslaw. Thanks for a cool new summer fave!

  2. I’ve made this recipe twice now and our family loves it! I used the Hawaiian rolls recommended in the recipe above, however, I’m wondering if anyone has tried any other types of rolls that don’t get soggy so quick. Even when you eat them right away, I feel like it becomes a soggy mess rather quickly. Thanks!

  3. We had this tonight with the kalua pork (that I made yesterday) and loved it! I kind of fudged my way around the slaw just to buy a few less ingredients and do a little less chopping. I used a bag of broccoli slaw and it went well. Thanks for another great recipe!

  4. Have any of you made the slaw in advance and kept it in the fridge? Maybe diced everything and kept the dressing seperate? I’m making these sliders for a party this weekend and want to have as much prep work done before the day of as possible! (hopefully, I’ll save my fingertips from frantic-chopping-knife-slips if I get it done early…) Any tips would be GREATLY appreciated 🙂

    1. Just FYI, I chopped everything and had the dressing ready to go the night before – didn’t combine until right before the party and it was perfect. I don’t know that I would mix everything the day before, but having the components ready to go made it simple 🙂

  5. I very much enjoyed making both the pork and the slaw! Very fun, pretty, and most of all, YUMMY! Just had it again this morning, for…breakfast! 🙂

  6. Made these last night from leftover Kalua pork. I LOVE the slaw. All the chopping was a bit more labor intensive than my usual weeknight meal, but it was so worth it!!

  7. Oooh! This looks delicious. There is something so enticing about a food item that is so colorful. It makes you want to eat it that much more. I think I will give this a try sometime soon! Found you blog not too long ago, and it is beautiful Love the layout. Thanks for sharing!

    ~Laura Muir

    You can find me at:
    Fresh Cooking=Happy People

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