The newest craze in this house is Korean Pork Tacos. It started with a simple slow cooker recipe, and before long, Oliver was saying, "Let's make a double batch and just have a huge taco party!" Meanwhile, I was finding creative ways to add the leftover pork to just about every meal: topped with a fried egg, over salad, even just topped with sesame seeds and hot sauce. Hey! Everyone has their own means of expression, right?
I didn't realize it until now, but these tacos (or cabbage cups, whatever you want to call them) remind me of San Francisco. There's no rhyme or reason. No specific nostalgic memory in my mind that I can tie back to these tacos, but still, they make me think of San Fran. I think it's the way that east meets west in a single bite -- from the umami pork to the bright, fleshy mango in the salsa.
That contrast is like the steep hills of San Francisco. The tall, brightly colored apartment buildings. The small, crowded shops of China town. A little slice of culture. In a taco.
Serves: 8 | Total Time:
- 2 pounds pork shoulder
- 1 onion, cut into in wedges
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/4 cup traditionally fermented soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 c honey
- 1 heaping tablespoon chili paste
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Juice of one orange
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- To serve (mix and match to your preferences!): cabbage leaves, mango salsa, hot sauce, arugula, avocado, kim chi, sesame seeds, toasted almond slices, etc
- Heat the coconut oil in the bottom of a slow cooker that has a sauté setting or a skillet. Place pork in pot once heated, and brown on each side (about 5 minutes each side). Once brown, either turn off sauté setting or transfer pork to slow cooker. Place onions in slow cooker as well.
- In a jar, stir together the remaining ingredients (soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, chili paste, vinegar, orange juice, ginger, garlic, onion powder). Pour mixture over pork and place lid on slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. (Note: you can use an Instant Pot for this recipe, but set it to the Slow Cooker setting).
- After 8-10 hours, open slow cooker and use a slotted spoon to remove pork from cooking liquid, and place on cookie sheet. Shred pork using tongs and a fork and spread into single layer on sheet pan.
- Turn oven to broil and cook pork for 5-7 minutes, until the top pieces become crispy. Assemble tacos to taste and serve!