Slow Cooked Hawaiian Pork Roast with Coconut Rice

Posted by on September 9, 2012 in Karista's Kitchen, Kid Friendly, Pork | 52 comments

Slow Cooked Hawaiian Pork Roast with Coconut Rice

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Pork Roast

I wish I could tell you I just got back from a spectacular Hawaiian vacation.  But I didn’t. :(  It’s been a few years since visiting Maui, but I remember it like yesterday.

Probably because when I vacation with Ranger Craig it’s not really a vacation.  It’s an adventure of epic proportions.  Seriously.

Coconut Rice

I remember vividly our first vacation twentysomething years ago.

I thought we might lounge on the beach and sip cocktails.  Not a chance.

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Pork Roast with Fresh PIneapple

We were hiking long stretches of beach, exploring old ruins and caves, sunfish surfing, snorkeling, day tripping out to a remote island, only to hike its gigantic mountain.

By the fifth day I put my foot down.  I suited up, grabbed my beach towel and told Ranger Craig we were hanging on the beach that day.  He relented.  But only in Ranger Craig style.

A room with a view

While I was lounging on my beach chair sipping a refreshing cocktail and reading a fabulous mystery, Ranger Craig went surfing, snorkeling and then surfing again.

I saw him for lunch.  And then finally at dinner.  I knew then life with Ranger Craig would always be an adventure.

Look! No Hands! My third dive all by myself :)

So that leads me to our more recent Maui vacation.  You guessed it.  Not much lounging on the beach.  Instead Ranger Craig thought we should get scuba diving certified.

Hmmm… I thought that would be nice.

The first dive I almost had a heart attack and died.  I’m not kidding.  Of course, Ranger Craig chose the one diving company in town that believes getting into the ocean for your first dive is the best way to learn.  Well, maybe for most people.

Ranger Craig and a Maui Sea Turtle

But I’m not most people.  Although adventurous at heart, athletic I’m not.

Finally when I was brave enough to stick my head in the water and breathe properly, guess who I saw casually cruising the ocean floor.  Yep, my husband.  In my somewhat competitive nature,  I was not going to let Ranger Craig get scuba diving certified without me.

Sunset on the beach

So, I grabbed my instructors hand and the rest is history.  Although, my instructors hand may never be the same again.  I held a tight grip on his hand for the first two dives.  By the third dive we had to have a little chat.  I had to let go, my instructor said.

Thankfully, the third dive I was so overwhelmed by swimming with sea turtles, I didn’t even notice the instructor had left my side.

Ranger Craig wants to return to Hawaii for another vacation someday soon.  I’m sure he will come up with something new for us to try.  Probably paddle surfing.  That won’t be pretty.  :(

Slow Cooked Hawaiian Pork Roast with Coconut Rice

Ranger Craig and I were reminiscing about our Maui vacation recently and laughing (lots of hysterical laughing) about my arduous scuba diving training.  In honor of our fun and adventurous vacation I thought a Slow Cooked Hawaiian Pork Roast would be perfect.  Served with coconut rice just takes this dish over the top.

Serves 6


3-4lbs Pork Shoulder, bone in

4 cloves garlic, smashed and halved

1 sweet onion (Walla Walla or Vidalia) sliced

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

2 cups chopped fresh pineapple (if you can’t find a fresh ripe pineapple, organic canned is a good substitution)

½ cup Tamari (or soy sauce)

Salt and pepper

Drizzle of oil

Coconut Rice (recipe below)

Slow Cooker


Warm up your slow cooker by turning it on to high.

Cut a few deep slices into the pork shoulder and stuff with smashed, halved garlic cloves.  Next, season the outside of the pork shoulder with salt and pepper.

In a large heavy bottom skillet, heat a drizzle of oil on medium high heat and brown all sides of the pork shoulder.  Browning gives the meat a richer flavor while searing in the moisture.

Transfer the pork shoulder to the slow cooker and turn the temperature down to low.

Layer the sliced onion, pineapple and grated fresh ginger on top of the pork shoulder and then add the Tamari.  Cook for about 5 hours or until the internal temperature of the pork roast reaches 145F and is tender and falls apart.

Transfer the pork to a platter, slice or shred and ladle the pineapple and onions with a little sauce over the pork roast.  Serve with coconut rice and stir fried greens.

Coconut Rice


1 cup coconut milk

½ cup water

¾ cup basmati rice

¼ t salt


Combine coconut milk, rice, water, and salt in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stir once, then cover and cook for 15-18 minutes, or until the rice is tender.  Fluff with a fork, cover, and keep warm.

*Ingredients can be doubled or even tripled.

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  1. Pork roast is one of my all time favorite main dishes. And doesn’t coconut rice just elevate any meal?? I’m sure this meal was super tasty and delightful —-

    • I too love a good pork roast. I think I have three on this blog :) This was a nice twist to what I usually do with a pork and yes, the coconut rice makes any meal a little bit better. Sometimes I just make the coconut rice and eat it wrapped in nori. Yum!

  2. Love your tales of adventures with Ranger Craig…and this Pork looks absolutely delicious. Slow-Cooker meals are definitely back. This very well might be the first one I do to kick off the season!

    • Ahhh…. life with my hubby has never been dull. Hahaha! I love slow cooker meals and I thought it might be a good time to dust it off and put it to use. Great for those evenings I can’t be at home to cook. My family thinks it may have been invented just for them. :) Have a fabulous week Erina!

  3. Awesome holiday! I’d love to go diving eventually. Coconut rice sounds so yummy! What a delicious dish, Karista! Looks like were both picking up inspiration from our respective holidays.

    • It was a fun holiday, although a tiny bit exhausting. LOL! But we Americans don’t holiday long enough, or often enough. I have friends in France and they take off most of August. That’s the way to vacation! And a trip to Spain, another way to vacation! Loving all your pictures and recipes Frugal. :)

      • Thanks, Karista… perhaps you ought to buck the trend and holiday more often?

        • I’m thinking I just might do that! Hahaha! I will have to talk my clients into cooking for themselves for a month. :)

  4. I’m tired just reading your holiday adventures! What a fun life you have. That recipe sounds wonderful and it’s pretty much time to bring out the slow cooker now that fall has officially arrived in the Pac NW.

    • Sometimes my life is fun, and sometimes it’s a lot of work. :) Actually, much of the time it’s a lot of work. Hahaha! But I think fall has definitely arrived. So much cooler here today than two days ago!

  5. What fun…the holiday and the dish, which looks scrumptious and very much in the tropical mood. I always wanted to get certified to scuba and now think it may be a little late for it. I admire you’re doing that. Paddle boarding…much more my speed, but less pretty than you would be I feel sure, LOL. :)

    • Awww… it’s never too late to Scuba dive Betsy! I was 43! It was a blast once I got the hang of it. Now paddle boarding is another story. So glad you like the Hawaiian pork. We love this dish and it’s a nice change to my other slow cooker recipes. Plus I could eat the coconut rice everyday. :)

  6. What a fantastic Hawaiian dish!

    • Thank you! Definitely inspired by our Hawaiian vaca and full of those lovely Asian flavors. Yum!

  7. I just pulled out my slow cooker today and make a super easy soup. I was thinking that I need more slow cooker go-to recipes for the busy fall that we have lined up….you must have read my mind! The ponytails LOVE coconut rice and yours looks fantastic!

    • I’ve been thinking of slow cooker recipes for exactly the same reason. Our Fall is going to be a busy one and the slow cooker makes dinner so much easier. I agree with the ponytails, I love coconut rice!

  8. I love the flavors of the pork shoulder! Will certainly make it for dinner or a dinner party (I like making pork roast for those!) even if I can’t have pineapple myself (weird allergy)!

    • Awww… so sorry to hear about the pineapple allergy! I can’t have mango. :( And cranberries. How weird is that. LOL! Just skip the pineapple and add in whatever suits your fancy. I’m sure you’ll make it delicious!

  9. Oh goodness – I’m so scared of scuba-diving, but I would love to learn! This was a good pep-talk. 😉 Love the coconut rice with this dish – what a great combination!

    • Jess you have no idea how scared I was but once I got the hang of it I had a blast. You must give it a try! The breathing thing was hard. I’m a nose breather not a mouth breather and there is no nose breathing under water. I had the best, most patient instructor. I felt badly I clung to him so tightly. I sent him a bottle of wine after. Enjoy the week!

  10. Seems your Ranger Craig and my Pete come out of the same shell. Pete couldn’t sit still for 5 minutes let alone spend an entire morning lazing on the beach, so I know exactly what you are talking about.
    I am loving your pork – scrumptious!
    :-) Mandy xo

    • You have one too huh?! LOL!! Then you know what I’m talking about. I bet your free time and vacations are just like mine. hahaha! But I wouldn’t trade him for the world. :) Life is certainly entertaining with men like ours. :) Enjoy the week!

  11. What an incredible dish inspired by an awesome holiday 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  12. You confused me, I don’t know anymore what to envy you more, for your holidays or your food!
    I loved your post:) So cool!

    • Haha! Thank you Maya! And thanks for stopping by!

  13. Hi Karista, that’s without a doubt one of my favourite stories you’ve told us about you and Ranger Craig. I’m very much in the ‘holidays are for relaxing’ boat too and my guy’s the fishing expert, mountain biking, love of my life! As he jokes to our friends, “she doesn’t fish but she makes nice snacks!” 😉 I loved those photos of you with those beautiful sea turtles, exactly as I’d imagine Hawaii and its beautiful surrounds. It’s a dream destination of ours one day (for when we finally) make it to the States!

    • :) Glad I could give you a good laugh Alli! I still laugh about it. Never been so terrified in all my life! Awww… the love of your life sounds like a good man! Love the part about the snacks. Hahaha! So sweet! Yes, Hawaii is a lovely destination, but the place I’ve always wanted to visit is Austrailia and New Zealand. LOL! One day. Happy Tuesday!

  14. Dear Karista: Thank you SO much for emailing me today. :-) It is an absolute pleasure to meet you and read your blog. :-) This dish sounds absolutely fantastic. I was just wishing for a new way to cook pork roast and BOOM! There you are. :-) Thank you!!!

    • Thanks Krista! Loved hearing from you too and can’t wait to finish perusing your beautiful and tasty blog. The pictures are stunning! Hope you like the pork dish, it’s fun for fall, or spring in your case. Delicious Wishes!

  15. You are sooo brave, my husband would love it if I were more adventuresome like you! I think it’s high time I got out my slow cooker and this is the perfect first recipe for it! xx

    • Well I try to be adventureous, but I think scuba diving almost ended my adventureous streak LOL! I love a good slow cooker meal, especially during this busy time of year. And I’ve been so lacking in menu planning for my family. My clients are all planned out but my poor family gets whatever I might come up with last minute. Have a fabulous rest of the week Smidge!

  16. Coconut rice in Nori.. YUM!! I miss white rice.. siighh.

    • It’s my little now and again treat to myself. Usually, if I even make rice, it’s brown rice or I try to pass off red quinoa as a rice/couscous dish. My family sometimes doesn’t buy it. LOL!

  17. Hi,

    I have a quick question about your blog, do you think you could e-mail me?


  18. Good for you! Are you Padi certified now? I think you have sold me on getting a slow cooker while in HK. I have been putting off purchasing one but this dish sounds so inviting.

    • Bam, I am Padi certified! Phew! Wasn’t sure I was going to make it. LOL! I do love my slow cooker. Not everything tastes good in a slow cooker but it does make those busy weeks easier to achieve dinner. :)

      • Good for you! I really miss my slow cooker in addition to my kitchen aid and all the other things I can’t fit in these small HK apartments. Take care, BAM

  19. Ahhhh, now I am nostalgic for our wedding and honeymoon in Hawaii. I don’t eat pork but I may make this with chicken – sounds awesome!

    • Oh I always wanted my wedding in Hawaii! Instead it was in Little Rock, Arkansas. Hahaha! But we did honeymoon in the Bahamas. I think chicken would be fabulous in this recipe. If you try it, let me know how it turns out. So great connecting with you Alyssa!

  20. What an adventure(s)! I love it!! How fun that you can do such fun things together. I also can’t wait to try this. It’s definitely starting to be slow cooker season!!

    • Kelley, I was super adventurous (at heart anyway) before we had the girls. After they arrived I wasn’t quite so adventurous. Hahaha! But now that they’re older, and one of them is in college, my husband and I find ourselves doing a lot more activities these days. Most of them are super fun, but I have to admit… the scuba diving was challenging. Gotta love the slow cooker, especially on days I can’t be home to make dinner. :) Hope you’re doing well and how did the large catering event go? I thought of you and Wow! You are one impressive woman!

  21. We used to have a chinese restaurant that served a sweet rice as dessert. Could it have been coconut rice?

    • Yes. Sheila It could have been a coconut rice with a bit of sugar. You can prepare the coconut rice recipe with a bit more sugar and optional additions of raisins, cinnamon and toasted coconut. Thanks for stopping by and hope you enjoy the recipe!

  22. Hi Karista – So this amazing picture of rice appeared on my Pinterest feed….and I immediately thought, “wow, someone took a picture of white rice on a white plate and it looks great.”. Had to click through and see more! The pork recipe reads pretty amazing as well. Gotta pin this one for later. Cheers! Tony

    • Hahaha! Thanks Tony. Ah, Pinterest. I am still learning how to use that social media tool. Thanks for stopping by my site. I’ll be heading over to browse yours soon. Delicious Wishes, Karista

  23. This is one of my favorite flavor combinations.

    • Mine as well Connie. And I could eat buckets of the coconut rice unfortunately. :)

  24. I made this last night! It rocked!! I love experimenting with pork shoulder. This had such few ingredients but the taste was all there! And the rice – awesome! I used the leftover pork for tacos. I’ll definitely be making this again! Thanks for posting!!

    • Thank you Meredith. So happy you enjoyed the pork! It’s one of our favorites and yes, the rice is fantastic! I use it with other recipes and sometimes just because I’m craving it. :)


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