Instant Pot Kalua Pork - 6 Ingredients!

Kalua pork with cabbage was something that I grew up eating in Hawaii. Compared to how this dish is traditionally made, my recipe is quick and simple. There is no need for digging an imu pit in your backyard. You know, unless you want to. In that case, I’ll be over with some cocktails!



Traditionally, Kalua Pork is made in an underground oven called an imu. Imu pits are used to cook not only Kalua Pig but other luau delicacies. Imu pits are round, usually 2 to 4 inches deep with sloping sides. Rocks are used for the base of the pit. Banana leaves are then put over the rocks, and whatever you’re cooking goes on top, in this case, it would be a whole pig. After that, more layers of banana leaves go on top, and then finally, it is covered with dirt to ensure that no steam escapes.



Since this process uses steam, it keeps the pork so moist and tender. However, the entire process of building and cooking in an imu takes a good part of the day. My recipe uses an instant pot and will only take 2 hours!



Of course, there is nothing quite like having Kalua Pork from Hawaii, but you should definitely still give this recipe a shot! Let me know if you do!



Ciao for now!


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Instant Pot Kalua Pork

Instant Pot Kalua Pork - 6 Ingredients!
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Hawaiian
Keyword: Pork, Pork Tenderloin, Kalua, Kalua Pork, Cabbage
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 266kcal


  • 5 lb Pork Loin
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tbsp Liquid Smoke
  • 1 Cabbage
  • 2 tsp Himalayan Salt
  • 1/2 cup Water


  • Cut pork into equal pieces.
  • Add oil into Instant Pot.
  • Sear both sides of the pork and remove.
  • Add water into the instant pot and stir to loosen any browned bits on the bottom of the pot.
  • Add in liquid smoke.
  • Add pork back into the pot.
  • Sprinkle with salt and turn to coat.
  • Cover with lid and pressure cook on high pressure for 90 minutes.
  • Shred pork with 2 forks, remove from pot, and set aside.
  • Cut cabbage into equal large pieces.
  • Add into instant pot. Cover and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
  • Separate cabbage pieces.
  • Add shredded pork back into the pot.
  • Gently mix pork and cabbage. Serve hot over rice.


Please note that *The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


Calories: 266kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 503mg | Potassium: 871mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 78IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 2mg