Timber 2 Table - Hawaiian-Style Banana-Leaf-Wrapped Roasted Pork Recipe

Try this traditional method to turn even the wildest of pigs into prime table fare.

Hawaiian-Style Banana-Leaf-Wrapped Roasted Pork Recipe

30 Min

Prep Time

180 Min

Cook Time





Wild pig hunting is popular on the Hawaiian Islands. The porcine invaders thrive in the tropical paradise, and hunting them is both a fun pastime and the best way to keep their population in check — so is eating them. The pig roast, known as a Kālua, is a traditional Hawaiian cooking method that utilizes an imu, a type of underground oven. The word kālua, literally means "to cook in an underground oven". Whole hogs are wrapped in banana leaves and lowered into a pit in which large stones have been heated by fire. The stones retain enough heat to slowly cook the pig into a tender and delicious meal.

With plantains, pineapple slices, and coconut milk, this pork recipe has a touch of the tropics.


4 pounds of pork shoulder, wild or domestic, cut into large chunks

1 can of pineapple slices, in 100% juice

1 sweet onion, sliced

1 plantain, peeled and sliced

1 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup barbecue rub

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon minced ginger

3 cloves of garlic, minced

salt and pepper

3-4 banana leaves, stems removed

4 pieces of butcher's twine, cut into 3 foot lengths

Cooking Instructions

Start by stripping the stems from the banana leaves. In a half-size aluminum pan (approximately 10 inches x13 inches) lay out butcher's twine in a double-cross pattern. Line the pan with banana-leaf sections, overlapping the edges.

Use butcher's twine to tie the leaves into a tight bundle.

Fold the banana leaves over the pork, completely covering the meat. Use the string to tie the leaves into a tight bundle, sealing the pork inside. Slow cook the pork on your smoker or grill at about 275 degrees for 3 to 4 hours.

The leaves help to hold in the juice and give the recipe a unique flavor.

Snip the strings with a sharp knife and carefully fold back the leaves. The pork should be tender enough to almost fall apart. Plate a piece or two of pork, top with onions, pineapple and plantain slices, then spoon over some of the juice from the pan.