The Kalua Mini
In a large family of wannabe chefs, I'm perfectly comfortable stating my only sister is the best cook. Her idea for a Hawaiian-themed potluck could have gone wrong very easily, but through careful planning and strategery it instead yielded this wonderful morsel of a mini sandwich.
The main ingredient is her version of kalua pig, 10-hour slow-cooked pork shoulder shredded into deliciousness. Typical kalua is smoky and salty. This is both, with an extra tang from some chili peppers and a heavy dose of soy sauce. It's actually very salty, but meant to be eaten alongside white rice. In this case its extreme savory notes are counter-balanced by almost-too-sweet King's Hawaiian brand rolls. To add some crunch and bite, we made a pickled vegetable salad of carrot, daikon, jalapeno, cilantro, red onion and black sesame seed. There could have been a bit more heat with more jalapeno, but the natural juice from the pork offered plenty of spice on its own. I know every ethnic cuisine has its version of sandwich, but I've never seen or heard of a Hawaiian sandwich. Allow us to offer up the Kalua mini. It's tasty.