What to Serve With Kalua Pork?

What To Serve With Kalua Pork
Image credit: barbecuebible.com

Pork shoulder, or kalua pork, as it’s known in Hawaii, is one of the most popular and sought-after dishes throughout the state.

You will likely see this dish on the menu when you visit the Hawaiian islands and visit your favorite restaurant. But what to serve with kalua pork? 

Read more here to find out what to serve with kalua pork so that your guests can enjoy it at home! Let’s get started.

1. Coconut Rice

This is the first on our list of what to serve with Kalua pork. Coconut rice is a staple in Hawaiian cuisine. It’s delicious and pairs perfectly with kalua pork.

In a medium saucepan, combine white jasmine rice, coconut milk,  and water over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes or until cooked through. 

Next, remove from the stovetop when cooking and stir in salt. Stir in more salt if needed. Fluff with a fork and serve on a plate before layering meat on top.

2. Hawaiian Baked Beans

This is next on our list of what to serve with Kalua pork. It’s not just because I grew up eating this at home, but it’s also because it’s so simple and easy! 

All you need are some canned baked beans, a can of crushed pineapple, brown sugar, ketchup, and soy sauce, and that’s it! Place your beans in the bottom of your oven-safe dish. Then pour your ingredients over the top. 

Next, cover with foil and bake for about an hour or until the center is bubbling. You can also cook them on the stovetop for a bit longer if you prefer a thicker sauce like mine. Make sure you eat these hot straight out of the oven!

3. Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Hawaiian macaroni salad is a traditional side dish that is both creamy and cozy. It’s the ideal dish for potlucks and summer gatherings because it resembles a cross between coleslaw and macaroni salad. The creamy dressing aids in taming the pork’s strong, smoky flavors.

Ingredients: macaroni noodles, sugar, white vinegar, salt, butter, melted cooked ham, cooked sweet potatoes, mashed canned crushed pineapple in juice, finely chopped cloves garlic, minced Juice from one lime Directions Cook noodles according to package directions.

4. Brioche Buns

Brioche buns are a great side dish for kalua pork. They’re soft and fluffy, soaking up the sauce from the pork. They have a buttery taste that’s perfect for this dish. 

Also, you can use them as slider buns for your sandwich if you want to make smaller portions! If you are wondering what to serve with kalua pork, Brioche buns are a great option.

5. Red Cabbage Slaw

This is what to serve with kalua pork. Red cabbage slaw is one of the most popular side dishes for kalua pork.

This refreshing slaw is made from shredded red cabbage, shredded carrots, green onions, and a tangy dressing that is whisked together in a bowl. 

The slaw can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days, or you can make it ahead of time and serve it cold or at room temperature. Either way, this dish will taste great alongside some kalua pork or even on its own as a light meal.

6. Ulu Chips

Regarding what to serve with kalua pork, ulu is the perfect option. Ulu chips are made from taro root and can be baked or fried. 

Also, you can slice them into thin strips before frying them in coconut oil. One great way to serve these chips is as a topping for your kalua pork sandwich.

7. Lomi Lomi Salmon

Lomi Lomi Salmon is a Hawaiian dish that consists of diced or shredded raw salmon mixed in a seasoning of Hawaiian salt, often accompanied by ʻōlena (coconut cream) and seaweed. This dish can be eaten alone or used as an accompaniment to other dishes. 

Also, It is popular as a topping for rice. Lomi lomi salmon is the perfect side dish for kalua pork because it compliments the dish’s flavor without overpowering it.

8. Pina Colada Salad

Bring your taste buds to the islands with this refreshing salad. This dish goes great regarding what to serve with kalua pork. 

Pina colada is a popular drink in Hawaii, and it has the perfect balance of sweet and sour flavors that complement the rich flavors of the pork. You can also use it as a main course or even an appetizer by adding chicken to make it more filling. 

9. Atchara

Atchara is a Filipino condiment made from unripe green papaya and salt. Atchara is traditionally eaten as a side dish alongside kalua pork or other grilled meats.

Achiote oil is often added for color and flavor. Recipes for atchara vary, but the main ingredient is always unripe green papaya. Atchara is a  recipe you might want to try!

10. Sweet Potato Fries

The perfect side dish for kalua pork is sweet potato fries. Sweet potatoes are a great alternative when you don’t want starchy potatoes. They’re a healthier option and taste just as good as regular potatoes, if not better. 

Plus, it’s much easier than frying up some fries-you can just bake them in the oven! 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius 
  2. Peel and cut into french fry shapes 
  3. Put on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil or coconut oil and seasonings (such as cumin, cinnamon, garlic powder, paprika, and chili powder) 
  4. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown and crispy

11. Buttered Cabbage

Buttered cabbage is one of the most popular side dishes for kalua pork. It is simple but delicious addition and compliments the flavor of the kalua pig. When cooking, be sure to cook your cabbage before adding butter and salt.

This will help caramelize your cabbage and keep it from becoming mushy when you add it to the cooked meat.

Cooked cabbage can be served as a side dish or as an accompaniment to breakfast eggs. Wondering what to serve with kalua pork? Try buttered cabbage. 

12. Frog Eye Salad

Frog eye salad is a Hawaiian dish that is perfect for serving as a side dish for kalua pork. This recipe consists of tender and savory meat, boiled eggs, and a combination of fresh vegetables. 

To make this dish, prepare the following ingredients: green onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Thinly slice green onions and cucumbers into small pieces and dice tomatoes into small squares before mixing the vegetables together in a bowl. 

Next, drizzle olive oil over the vegetable mix before sprinkling salt and pepper on top of the vegetables.

Allow these ingredients to sit in the fridge for an hour so they can release their flavors before serving them on top of kalua pork.

13. Watermelon otai

This is also on the list of what to serve with kalua pork. The juicy, refreshing taste of watermelon is a perfect complement to our kalua pork recipe.

It is important that you choose a watermelon that is ripe and sweet. You will want to peel the skin off and remove the seeds before chopping them up into bite-sized pieces. 

A quick way to do this is to cut off the top and bottom of your watermelon and then slice it into quarters.

Cut around each section where there are white lines separating the individual wedges from each other. This will give you four flat slices, which you can then cut in half or thirds if necessary.


There are a few different things that are perfect for what to serve with kalua pork, but the most common and popular is poi. Poi can be made at home or bought from grocery stores all over. It’s easy to make, too! Give it a try!

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