Thursday, August 10, 2017

Instant Pot Lechon Kawali

     I'm so happy I've finally made the attempt to make on of my favorite Filipino comfort foods in the Instant Pot which was Lechon  Kawali. I've made this several times in the oven but with its high fat content and with the high oven temperature, it would smoke out my kitchen. Plus it took a while for it to cook too. So since I've been slowly trying to convert nearly everything I cook via stove top or oven,   I knew there had to be a way to at least prep cook the pork belly and finish off with broiling the top layer of fat.

     My local Costco sells pork belly cut into about 2-inch or so thick slices. I normally use his cut of meat to marinate in a char siu sauce and layer grill on the BBQ. I finally had a very late epiphany to try to make Lechon Kawali with it and finally did so a few days ago. I just seasoned each pork slice with black pepper and garlic salt, added 1 cup of water to the IP liner, and set the cooking time for 20 minutes. Once done I sliced each pork piece and baked for 10 minutes. Set oven to broil and broiled each side for about 7 minutes each time. Everything worked in my favor and it turned out SO delicious! 

     I maybe could have broiled it a little more longer but I got impatience and hungry 😝. Next time I make this though, I'm going to try the baking and broiling without slicing up the pork beforehand. I'll just leave it in whole slices so I can get the top layer of fat more crispier. 

     After the Lechon was done cooking, I turned it into a specialty dish well known at a local Filipino restaurant in Hawaii (Thelma's of Waipahu) called the Thelma's Special. Which is pretty much lechon with chipped yellow onions, chopped tomatoes, and seasoned with shoyu and apple cider vinegar. I got my Waipahu raised hubby's seal of approval and said it's nearly like the real thing 😄. So for your eating pleasure here is the recipe.



4 lbs boneless pork belly 
Black pepper 
Garlic salt
1 cup water


Season all sides of pork belly with black pepper and garlic salt. Add water to instant pot liner. Add pork slices to liner. Cover with lid and set timer to manual for 20 minutes. Be sure valve is at sealing. When timer is done, let NPR 10 minutes and then QPR. Heat oven to bake at 400 degrees. Remove pork from IP. Slice pork into 1-inch pieces and place onto wire rack on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. When done, change oven temperature to broil. Broil one side of pork for about 7 minutes or until you see it crisping over enough...just keep your eye on it. Remove from oven and flip pork pieces to opposite side and broil the other side to repeat process. Once done remove from oven and let cool. Serve with lechon sauce or use pork to make your very own "Thelma's Special".



2-3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup shoyu
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar


Place cooked lechon in bowl. Add tomatoes and onions. Mix shoyu and vinegar. Pour about half of mixture over pork and vegetables. Add more to taste. Then ENJOY!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Instant Pot: Roast Pork

I converted my oven baked roast pork a while ago but never took the time to post the recipe.  The original baked recipe can be found here:

As I'm sitting here drafting this post, I realize it's pretty much the same way as my IP kalua pig is made but with different seasonings. All you need to do is just add some pork gravy, rice, and corn (Mac salad  preferred 😉) and you've got your own local style plate lunch. My hubby even compared it to an Ige's plate lunch but I won't be tooting my horn just yet 😆. Here's the recipe for you to see if it's plate lunch worthy 😉.


4-5 lbs pork butt or shoulder (cut into 2-inch thickness)
Coconut oil or preference
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 medium chopped white onion
Garlic salt
Black pepper
1 cup chicken broth
4 packets pork gravy, prepare to directions

Turn IP on to sauté and add oil. Add onions and cook until semi soft. Add pork and season with garlic  salt and pepper. Add minced garlic and chicken broth. Place cover on IP, cancel sauté, hit meat button, and set timer to 35 min. Be sure valve is on sealing. While pork is cooking, prepare gravy to package directions and set aside. When timer on IP is up, let NPR for 10 minutes then QR. Remove lid and remove pork to a separate clean bowl and shred into big chunks.  Hit cancel on IP and turn sauté on. Add prepared pork gravy to pot and let come to boil. Mix a slurry of cornstarch and water. Add to gravy mixture and let thicken. Once thickened, add pork back into pot. Serve with rice and preferred side dish. All I had was corn although mac salad would've been preferred 😉😝.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Handmade Valentine's Coloring Card

So Valentine's Day is nearly a month away. I just made some of these for the boys' school treats next month. I'm considering on selling these (LOCAL TO ME ONLY). I figure it can save you the time from searching for treats at the store. Bonus is that I'll do the work for you 😉. 

Selling 24 for $18. You get to choose up to 3 designs. They will include the crayons and treat bags with an adhesive seal. For an additional $2 charge I can also include the names for the "To" and "From" with a name list that you will provide to me. 

Lmk, if you're interested! Mahalo!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Instant Pot: Chicken Papaya

We've been experiencing 35*+ weather lately. Even got some snow today and expecting freezing rain overnight. Made chicken papaya for dinner last night and it was such comfort food for this weather. 

Instant Pot: Chicken Papaya

3 lbs defrosted chicken wings
1 large green papaya, peeled, seeds removed, and cut into 1-2 inch cubes
2 medium chopped tomatoes 
1/2 onions sliced
1-2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp patis, more can be added to taste
2 cups water
Shoyu to taste
Black pepper
Coconut oil

Hit sauté. Add some coconut oil, onions, and garlic and cook 1-2 min. Add tomatoes and store 1-2 min. Add chicken wings, water, and patis. Stir. Close lid and move valve to sealing. Cancel sauté and hit chicken option. Adjust time to 5 minutes. Let NPR for 10 minutes and then QPR. Add papaya and stir. Reclose lid and change valve to sealing. Cancel keep warm and hit soup option. Adjust time to 2 minutes. Let NPR 10 min and then QPR. Add black pepper, shoyu, and more patis to taste. Enjoy!

**I wasn't sure about cooking the papaya at the time time with the chicken for fear of turning it into mush. After I did the second round of cooking I kind of overlooked the wings and the papaya was perfect but still al dente. I could very well cooked everything all at once for 5 minutes and it would've turned out fine. I have one more green papaya left, maybe I'll make another batch of soup to test that theory 😝.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Instant Pot: Zuppa Toscana

I first made this a long while ago in the crockpot and then stovetop. I've actually never eaten this soup before at Olive Garden but a friend brought for a party and it was such comfort food. Now that I have an Instant Pot I of course had to make this soup in it. It only took about 10 minutes prepping time to cut the veggies and bacon. Then 5 minutes to cook on the soup function, NPR (natural pressure release), and then to QR (quick release). Super quick dinner to make and it tasted just as good if not better than when done in the crockpot and stove top. Here's the recipe.

Instant Pot: Zuppa Toscana (Olive Garden Knockoff)

1 lb Italian sausage
3 russet potatoes, cubed
1/2 onion, diced
2 tbsp minced garlic 
1 pkg bacon (I used 2 pkgs, well because bacon 😝)
1 bunch kale, removed from stem and chopped
4 cups chicken broth (forgot to include in first pic and in the 4th pic it looks like gel because I used turkey broth I made in the IP a few days ago)
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream 

Sauté Italian sausage till no longer pink. Add onions and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add potatoes and broth. Hit cancel, cover with lid, hit soup, and adjust time to 5 minutes. Make sure valve is on sealing. While IP is going, I separately brown bacon and drain fat. Let NPR for 10 min, then QPR. Cancel keep warm button and hit sauté. Add heavy whipping cream, chopped kale, and bacon. Season with black pepper. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Instant Pot Kalua Pig

I keep forgetting to post about this and it's been sitting in my pending posts. Plus I got kinda lazy with blog posting and on the Facebook IP group. I ended up making this last night and figured I get it rolling again 😉. Bonus, I included a little vid with some island flavah 😆. 

Our normal 2 hour oven baked Kalua pig cooked in the IP for 25 minutes. Overall cooking time of prepping, quick sauté, pressurizing, and depressurizing in about 45 minutes. SAY WHAT 😳😃😱😉👍🏼! 

I just did what we normally do for our oven baked version and adjusted the measurements for the seasonings a bit. Just to account for the saltiness. You can always season more after cooking but during the cooking process you're pretty much outta luck. 

We've always cut our pork butt or shoulder into about 1 1/2-inch slices, laid into a 13"x9" baking pan, seasoned it with shoyu, Hawaiian salt, & liquid smoke (I've made this so many times that I don't even measure but will give an approximate), added some water, covered with foil, and baked at 400* for two hours. The slicing of the pork makes it cook faster and makes for easier shredding. 

Now today I converted that method to the IP and it worked like a charm. I kept going over other recipes for Kalua pig but just couldn't shake that it takes just as long in the IP as it does when I cook in the oven. Then my hubby told me why fix something that isn't broke and just do it the same oven way (ingredients wise) but cut the time for the IP. So I did and it went a little something like this...

PS - Thank goodness it worked as a trial run since I just scored 5 pork butts on a price cut for our son's bday party the next weekend. Used one of those for this experiment 😃😉👍🏼.



3 1/2 lb - 4lb boneless port butt or shoulder (if you have bone-in, it's fine. Just slice and cut around bone) sliced into 1 1/2-inch slices. 
Liquid smoke
Hawaiian salt
Coconut oil or preference. 


Slice pork into about 1 1/2 inch slices.  Hit sauté, add some oil, and brown slices a little on both sides. Cancel sauté. Sprinkle about 1 tbsp. Hawaiian salt.  Drizzle about 1/4 cup shoyu over pork.  Drizzle about 2 tbsp liquid smoke over pork.  Add 1 cup water.  Cover with lid and be sure valve is at sealing. Hit meat and adjust time to 25 minutes. When done let NPR for 10!minutes, then QR.  Remove lid and remove pork pieces from liquid to separate bowl for shedding. Reserve liquid if you want to keep meat less dry or use as broth for Kalua pig and cabbage. 


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Instant Pot Beef Luau Stew

I've had success with slowly converting all the local Hawaii dishes that I cook via stovetop to the Instant Pot. A few weeks ago I conquered a beef luau stew. It's Hawaiian beef stew made with luau leaves (taro leaves) and coconut milk. Normally this takes me a few hours to cook on the stove in order to get the meat tender and to cook the fresh leaves properly. Not cooking down the leaves properly results with you experiencing an itchy throat when eating it. Here's my mock up recipe that I just typed up 😉👍🏼. 


Luau leaves (taro leaves) stems & fibrous veins removed
8 cups water
Hawaiian salt
3 lb chuck roast 
1/2 onion
2 tbsp minced garlic
4 cups chicken broth 
2 cans coconut milk
Salt & pepper to taste 



Cleaned and cut off stems of luau leaves. Chop leaves and add to pot with 8 cups water. Sprinkle some Hawaiian salt and push leaves into water. Cook on manual for 15 min. Let NPR for 10, then quick release. Drain leaves.  I ended up doing two cooking batches of the leaves since I didn't want to overflow the pot. 

Cut chuck roast into big chunks. Sauté meat with coconut oil. Add sliced onions, garlic, 4 cups chicken broth, and cooked luau leaves. Stir to incorporate. Cancel sauté and cook on Meat/Stew for 25 min. Let NPR for 10 min, then quick release. Cancel keep warm and hit sauté. Add two cans of coconut milk and stir.  Season to taste. Enjoy!