Saturday, July 26, 2014

Thai Pork Tacos with Mango Radish Slaw

Here's a really versatile recipe.  You the pork in tacos or it would be great over rice.  Use hard or soft taco shells (I generally use both so the soft shell will catch any of the broken hard shell, plus I just like the dichotomy of textures).  This will make a big batch and it freezes well, so you could put several batches away for another time.

As a taco or over rice, I would definitely still use the slaw on top.  The cabbage lends a great crunch, the mango a cool sweetness, and the radish slices for more color.  Add a bit of chopped cilantro if you'd like.

THAI PORK TACOS with MANGO RADISH SLAW (makes 8-10 cups)

Mango Radish Slaw:
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2" fresh ginger, grated or very finely minced
1 lime, juiced
2 mangos, sliced
3 radishes, sliced
1/2 head green cabbage, sliced

NOTE:  I made the entire dressing recipe (chili sauce through lime), but only used a bit of it since there were only two of us at the time.  The rest will keep in the fridge for weeks.  I buy the mango slices in a jar (found in the produce deparment) and used bagged angel-hair slaw and then just mixed enough of the slaw, mango, and radish slices for one meal with just enough dressing to coat everything.

To make the slaw, in a large bowl, combine the chili sauce, soy, sesame oil, ginger, and lime juice.  Whisk together.  Add the mango, radishes, and cabbage.  Toss to combine.  Store in the fridge to serve, tossing occasionally.

The Pork:
3 1/2-4 pounds pork butt
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1" fresh ginger, grated or very finely minced
2 Tbsp Sambal Oelek (chili paste)
2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
3/4 light or regular coconut milk
2 tsp minced garlic clove
1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp cornstarch
corn tortillas
cilantro, optional

Take the pork butt and season on all sides with S&P.  Place in a slow cooker (sprayed with cooking spray).

In a large measuring cup (or bowl), combine the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, chili paste, peanut butter, coconut milk, garlic, sweet chili sauce, and brown sugar.  Whisk together.

Pour the sauce over the pork, slightly moving/turning the pork around so that the sauce falls through all the crevices.

Cover and turn on low for 6-8 hours until it is fork-tender and easily falls apart.

When the pork is done, remove all the pieces of pork to a cutting board.  Turn the heat on the slow cooker to high.  Remove about 1/4 cup of the sauce, and whisk in the cornstarch.  Add the mixture back to the slow cooker and whisk it into the remaining sauce until it begins to thicken.  Leave the heat on high while you shred the pork, using two forks, pull in the opposite direction.

Once the pork is shredded, turn the heat down to "Keep Warm" or turn it off completely.  Add the pork back to the thickened sauce and toss well to fully coat.

Whether using soft and/or hard taco shells, load in the pork and top with the slaw.  Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

NOTE:  You'll want to have some extra napkins on hand....these can be a bit "juicy!"

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