Monday, June 10, 2013

Hawaiian Pork Sandwiches + The Latest Meal Plan

These are good, kids.  I made them for the first time years ago and stumbled upon them again while thumbing through my recipe binder the other day.

The original recipe calls for using pork tenderloin and cooking it on the grill.  I had a pork shoulder, and didn't want to have to babysit the grill all day while it slow cooked, so I busted out the crock pot.  Easy peasy.  When it came time to get dinner on the table, I threw the pork and the pineapple on a sheet pan together, all sauced up, and broiled them.  I'll share the recipe for the original, but both ways are delicious, so do whichever you have time for.  Just make sure you plan ahead so that you can brine the meat overnight.

Char Siu-Glazed Pork and Pineapple Buns
Adapted from a Better Homes & Gardens recipe
Printable Recipe

"Char siu--Chinese-style barbecued pork--is popular throughout the Islands.  Here, the sweet, tangy glaze is used on pork tenderloin and pineapple, and then tucked both into Hawaiian sweet rolls."

1/4 C kosher salt
1/4 C packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp Hawaiian vanilla extract (I used regular)
1/2 C each ketchup and hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp each toasted sesame oil, minced garlic, minced ginger, and low-sodium soy sauce
12 slices of peeled and cored fresh pineapple
24 King's Hawaiian sweet rolls or other small soft rolls (I used King's Hawaiian Mini Sub Rolls)
1 C fresh cilantro sprigs

Make brine:  In a large pot, bring 3 1/2 cups water to a boil.  Stir in salt, brown sugar, and vanilla.  Chill until cool.

Put pork in a 9-by-13 pan (or ziplock bag) and pour on brine.  Chill at least 3 hours or overnight.

Make char siu glaze:  In a small bowl, mix together ketchup, hoisin, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce.

Prepare grill.  Lay pork over indirect-heat area and cook, covered, until meat reaches 135 degrees, 15 to 20 minutes.  Alternately, see my note above for the crock pot.

Using a a pastry brush, cover pork with half of the glaze.  Cook, turning occasionally, until glaze has caramelized slightly and meat reaches 145 degrees, 5 to 10 minutes more.  Transfer to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest 15 minutes.

Lay pineapple slices on direct-heat area of grill, brush with 2 Tbsp reserved glaze, and cook, turning once, until grill marks appear, about 4 minutes per side.  Remove slices from grill and cut in half.

Cut pork into 1/2-inch slices.  Cut a deep diagonal slit across the top of each roll.  Fill each roll with a piece of pork, half a grilled pineapple slice, a cilantro sprig, and 1/2 tsp of reserved glaze.  Serve rolls with remaining glaze for drizzling.

Here are the goods after broiling with the sauce:

We had chips and fruit to go with.
Here's dinner on my plate:

Mmmmm, delicious.

Our latest meal plan is all things I've made before.
All my cookbooks are packed up in boxes.
This is what we'll be eating this week:

  • Turkey Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce and Steamed Rice
  • Grilled Pita Pizzas and Roasted Beet Salad
  • Tuna Casserole, Salad, and Rolls
  • Caesar Steak Sammies, and Oven Fries
  • Spicy Turkey Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, and Best Broccoli Of Your Life
  • 5-Ingredient Curry and Brown Rice 
  • Ravioli With Roasted Garlic & Garlic Scapes, Beet Salad, and Bread

Please check out my sidebar for the places I party.


  1. OMGoodness!! That sounds REALLY, REALLY good! Your photography skills are wonderful and show off your cooking skills! xo Diana

  2. This looks wonderful!!! I love anything with pineapple and hawaiian rolls.

  3. I would love the recipe for 5-Ingredient Curry and Brown Rice. I searched your blog, but couldn't find it :(. Thank you ;)

    1. Here's the link to the curry recipe:

      I typically throw in more veggies, depending on what's in the crisper drawer. The red curry is pretty dang spicy, so if that doesn't sit well with the mouths you're feeding, I'd substitute green or yellow. My kids don't tolerate the red at all, so we have to sub at our house.

      We love all things curry, and this one is fast, easy and beyond delicious.

      As for the rice, just your regular run of the mill brown rice, steamed up like you'd do white, only it takes longer.

      Thanks for comin' by!


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