Sunday, January 5, 2014

Asian Pork Tacos and Slaw--A Cultural Combination

This is one of the best recipes I have made in my Woman's Day journey. And if I were you, I would do one of two things for the pork depending on what route you'd like to take. Either eyeball Kroger's expiration dates for their meat and go back for a discounted pork price or buy your meat at a local butcher. I've said it once and I'll say it often after this blog, our local meat shop, Bedford Avenue Meat Shop, is worth the extra money for locally sourced, humanely raised meat without antibiotics. If you only eat meat a few times a week, the flavor and the healthy advantage of buying better meat is tremendous.

Slow cooker recipes are awesome because it feels like you're cooking two things at once--and you are. Shred the entire head of cabbage and make it into slaw--any recipe that requires half a head of cabbage for anything, I immediately make into slaw. It's so cheap and so easy and SO delicious.

Also, I buy tubes of prepared ginger. It's so much easier than grating, plus ginger is such a predominately Asian spice, I never know what to use it for once I'm done with a recipe. If you have any suggestions, that would be great.

We took this recipe to our friends farm to share. Even her children loved it. The pork was so tender and the flavoring is superb.

  • 1 large navel orange
  • 1/4 cup(s) balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup(s) packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon(s) low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 clove(s) garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon(s) grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (2 1/2-pound) pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  •  Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1/2 small head red cabbage
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 8 small flour tortillas


  1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove 4 strips of zest from the orange (reserve the orange). In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, red pepper, and orange zest.
  2. Add the pork and toss to coat. Cook, covered, until the pork is tender and shreds easily, 7 to 8 hours on low or 4 to 5 hours on high.
  3. Thirty minutes before serving, make the slaw. Squeeze the juice from the orange into a large bowl (you should have about 1/2 cup). Whisk in the oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Core and thinly slice the cabbage. Cut the carrot into matchsticks. Add the vegetables to the vinaigrette and toss to combine.
  4. Warm the tortillas according to package directions. Using two forks, shred the pork into large pieces; gently toss in the cooking liquid. Fill the tortillas with the pork mixture and top with the slaw.

Tips & Techniques

Love Your Leftovers: 
Make double the slaw recipe, adding 1/2 cup golden raisins and 2 sliced scallions to the other half. Refrigerate, covered, for up to 2 days and serve with chicken, beef, or pork.
Save on Calories: 
For an extra-fresh version with a bit of crunch, use romaine lettuce leaves instead of the tortillas.

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