Top Navigation

Kauai’s Kaneshiro Farms Fresh Island Pork

Kaneshiro Farms on Kauai's westside. Daniel Lane photos

Kaneshiro Farms on Kauai's westside. Daniel Lane photos

Have you ever had fresh pork before? I mean pork so fresh, that it was living just two days ago. Unless you know the farmer, it’s hard to know how fresh it is. Until eight months ago, I’d never had pork that was grown and harvested within a 25-mile radius of where I lived. One of the main benefits of eating local food is superior quality, because it’s super-fresh. After I speaking with Val Kaneshiro, herd manager for Kaneshiro Farms, I learned about a trick that major pork producers use.

Kaneshiro Farms baby pig. Daniel Lane photo

Kaneshiro Farms baby pig. Daniel Lane photo

Globally, people eat pork more than any other meat. In 2005, the world’s population ate 90 million metric tons of pork. China is the largest producer, producing nearly four times as much as the U.S., who in 2000, had fewer than 100,000 pork producing farms. American farms are concentrated in the Corn Belt states and in North Carolina.

If you buy pork, (or any meat) from a grocery store, its probably been shipped long-distances to your nearest grocer. In Hawaii’s case, that’s over 4,000 miles.

“‘Pumped pork’ is a term used by companies who tenderize their meat by adding a sodium phosphate solution,” says Valerie. “This waters down the flavor, gives meat a slimy texture, and reduces shelf life.” It also adds water weight, bulking up the price per pound. I like to buy pump-free pork, and brine it myself.


Kaneshiro Farms in Omao. Daniel Lane photo

Kaneshiro Farms in Omao. Daniel Lane photo

M & H Kaneshiro Farms, in Omao on Kauai’s sunny westside, is a small family farm that has been growing and selling fresh island pork since 1920. Right now, there are 125 sows housed in open buildings with a floor underneath, and a roof overhead.



Kaneshiro Pork with the Kauai Grown label. Daniel Lane photo

Kaneshiro Pork with the Kauai Grown label. Daniel Lane photo

You can find their pork at all Times/Big Save stores, Ishihara Market in Waimea, and Sueoka Store in Koloa. Kaneshiro pork is identified by the Kauai Grown label, except for Big Save stores, who uses their own labels. Valerie tells me deliveries are made on Tuesdays and Fridays, so plan to go then because this pork goes fast. Some local families buy whole hogs and cook them in an imu.

Pan-fried boneless leg of Kaneshiro Pork. Daniel Lane photo

Pan-fried boneless leg of Kaneshiro Pork. Daniel Lane photo


Besides the incredible flavor, I like the value in Kaneshiro pork. It sells for about $6 a pound. You can get two pork chops for around $5 (depending on which store), that are about a half-inch thick. They also have a good a half-inch lining of beautiful white fat, and thanks to a suggestion from my farmer friend Levi, I make chicharrón, or homemade pork rinds.

Before I cook the pork chops, I trim off the skin and fat. The skin doesn’t cook well, so I throw it away and cut the fat into half-inch squares. I put the fat in a small, cold sauce pan, and turn the heat on low—about 3 on my stove. After 45 minutes, the fat melts, and leaves a crunchy rind behind that’s fun to snack on. I store the rendered lard in an airtight container in the fridge, and use it when sautéing, frying potatoes, making biscuits, gravy, or pretty much wherever I use oil.

Before you get all freaked out, here’s a couple of paragraphs from the Agriculture Society website:

Valerie Kaneshiro. Daniel Lane photo

Valerie Kaneshiro. Daniel Lane photo

“Regardless of its unseemly reputation, lard is a gorgeous food. There are so many uses for it, it’s hard to know where to begin. All across the Old World In European countries like Britain, Italy, France, Hungary, Romania, Budapest, Germany, Poland, The Czech Republic, and Scandinavian countries, people used lard in everyday cooking from desserts to casseroles to pate, in the preservation of pickles and vegetables, in doughs, to being spread on bread with paprika. Lard was used especially in places where dairy products were scarce. In Japan and China it has been used mixed in with rice and soy sauce. Just like in European and Asian countries, lard has also been historically used for generations on the North American continent in the U.S., Canadian provinces and territories, and in Mexico in seasonal dishes, to season meats and vegetables, stews, one-pot meals, in beans and rice. Similar uses have been employed in South America, Africa, New Zealand, and Australia as a foundational staple for all types of cooking.

“Lard from hogs on pasture is a rich source of Vitamin D, something the majority of the population is sorely lacking in. Many people don’t know that as well as containing healthy saturated fat and cholesterol – which our bodies need to maintain skin, brain, and immune health, it’s also a good way to get monounsaturated fats which are known for their cardiovascular benefits and also found in healthy foods such as red meat, whole milk, olive oil, avocados, and nuts.”

The restaurant 22 North was a dedicated farm-to-table establishment with lush landscaping and its own garden. Unfortunately, it closed last January. Before it closed, I got to try chef de cuisine Aaron Leikam’s food. I think he’s one of the top five chefs on Kauai. Aaron shared his recipe for Kaneshiro Farms pork chops, which are brined overnight making them extra juicy. This is slow food at it’s best, and even though it looks complicated, it’s easy to make. You can make the dressing and onion marmalade the day before, just let the marmalade come to room temperature before plating.

Chef Leikam’s Kaneshiro Farms Pork Chop with Kauai Kunana Dairy Goat Cheese Grits, Red Onion Marmalade and Mustard Dressing

Serves 6

Honey Brine
7 cups Water
2 ½ cups Honey
½ cup Salt
2 Cinnamon Sticks
Bay Leaf
6 Kaneshiro Farms double cut pork chops
Bring contents to a boil and cool to room temperature. Place center cut pork chops in a glass container and pour brine over. Cover and let set overnight. Grill pork chops until they reach an internal temperature of 140.

Kauai Kunana Dairy Goat Cheese Grits
3 cups water
1cup Alber’s quick grits
salt and pepper to your taste
2TBS butter
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup Kauai Kunana Dairy goat cheese
Combine the water and grits in a 2 quart pot, stir and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in salt, pepper, butter and Reggiano.

Mustard Dressing
2 quarts mayonnaise
1 ½ bottle ketchup
½ cup Guldon’s mustard
½ cup whole grain mustard
1 ½ cups pickle relish
2TBS tarragon, chopped
2TBS parsley, chopped
4 hard-boiled eggs, grated
3 cups sour cream
Tabasco, salt and pepper to your taste
Combine all ingredients and whisk thoroughly, check for seasoning and add salt, pepper and Tabasco to suit your taste

Red Onion Marmalade
2 pounds red onions, sliced
2TBS oil
¼ tsp salt
2TBS honey
1 bay leaf
1 cup red wine
3TBS balsamic vinegar
Cook Onions in oil, covered until, dry. Stir in honey and cook for 5 minutes. Add bay leaf and red wine reduce liquid until thick and syrupy. Add balsamic vinegar and reduce until syrupy. Check seasonings and add salt to your liking.

Divide the grits onto six plates, spooning each serving onto the center of the plate. Brush the grilled pork chops with the mustard dressing and place on top of the grits, top with the red onion marmalade. Enjoy!

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Responses to Kauai’s Kaneshiro Farms Fresh Island Pork

  1. seo May 31, 2016 at 7:56 pm #

    Hello Web Admin, I noticed that your On-Page SEO is is missing a few factors, for one you do not use all three H tags in your post, also I notice that you are not using bold or italics properly in your SEO optimization. On-Page SEO means more now than ever since the new Google update: Panda. No longer are backlinks and simply pinging or sending out a RSS feed the key to getting Google PageRank or Alexa Rankings, You now NEED On-Page SEO. So what is good On-Page SEO?First your keyword must appear in the title.Then it must appear in the URL.You have to optimize your keyword and make sure that it has a nice keyword density of 3-5% in your article with relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Then you should spread all H1,H2,H3 tags in your article.Your Keyword should appear in your first paragraph and in the last sentence of the page. You should have relevant usage of Bold and italics of your keyword.There should be one internal link to a page on your blog and you should have one image with an alt tag that has your keyword….wait there’s even more Now what if i told you there was a simple WordPress plugin that does all the On-Page SEO, and automatically for you? That’s right AUTOMATICALLY, just watch this 4minute video for more information at. Seo Plugin

  2. fat burning foods May 31, 2016 at 8:23 pm #

    I have been exploring for a little bit for any high quality
    articles or weblog posts in this sort of space .
    Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this site.
    Reading this info So i am happy to show that I’ve a very excellent uncanny feeling
    I discovered exactly what I needed. I so much indisputably will make sure to don?t put out of your mind this site and give it
    a glance on a continuing basis.

What Do You Think? Leave A Comment

Join Our Mailing List