Day Twenty Eight: Five Spice Grilled Pork Crepes

23 Apr

Typically, I try to cook food that goes with the weather outside. Comfort foods when it is cold and snowy (or rainy) and grilled, lighter dishes when it is sunny outside. Last night was an exception to this.

Lake Tahoe weathermen are notoriously clueless around this time of year. Just 2 days ago, sun was forecast for Friday and Saturday so, as a result, I decided that I’d grill outside and planned my weekly menu accordingly. To my (not) surprise, I woke up Friday morning to cloudy skies, which quickly turned into snow. I’m so darn sick of this snow and now it seems worse since it is throwing a wrench into my cooking plans. I should have known better, but I think my yearning for warm sunny skies has clouded all reason out of my brain.

Anyway, I didn’t care that it was snaining outside, I was still going to grill. What came out of it was a fresh, pleasant, flavorful meal that made you forget about the dismal skies outside.

This dish was full of flavor – Chinese five spice, plum sauce and fresh cilantro. It was sort of a play on soft tacos, with Asian influence and crepes in lieu of corn or flour tortillas. The pork had a nice charred crust on the outside, but the meat itself inside was juicy and tender. Yum. The crepes, made with rice flour, were light and very tasty – undetectably gluten-free, a plus in our house. Thanks to The Book of Yum website for a great base recipe to tinker with. It is very adaptable and great for savory or sweet recipes. .

Also a great attribute about this dish? It is wonderfully easy. Crepes can be made ahead and the pork only takes about 8 minutes to cook. Chopping vegetables is a no brainer.

This is a must try, and would be even better sitting outside on a nice sunny deck. I served this along side some stir-fried Chinese long beans with almonds and some simple steamed brown rice.

Five Spice Pork Crepes

(Makes about 9 crepes, or 3 servings)

(Crepe recipe adapted from The Book of Yum)

  • 1 1/4 lb pork shoulder, trimmed of fat and cut into 1/2″ to 1″ cubes
  • 2 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • Pinch of cayenne, to taste (omit if the five spice has Schezuan peppercorns, or if you don’t like too much spice)
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • Cilantro, chopped (up to you how much)
  • Thinly sliced lettuce (as much as you want)
  • Bottled Plum Sauce (amount is dependent on how much you want to use)
  • 1/2 cup white rice flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for the pan
  • 1 tbsp sherry
  • 3/4 cup milk

To make the crepe batter, whisk rice flour through milk together.  Let stand for about 30 minutes. Heat a small skillet/crepe pan over medium high heat. Add just enough oil to thinly coat. Lifting the pan off the heat, pour in 2 tbsp of the batter, swirling to coat the batter evenly on the pan. Return to heat and cook about 2 minutes, until you can lift the crepe up. Flip and cook another minute. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining batter, coating with oil between each crepe. If not using right away, wrap in foil and keep in a warm oven.

In a bowl, add the five spice and cayenne. Add pork and toss to coat. Thread onto metal skewers. Set aside until ready to grill.

Prepare a grill to medium high heat. Brush the pork on both sides with vegetable oil and grill, about 4 minutes. Flip, and continue cooking another 4 minutes. Remove from grill and let rest a few minutes, then remove from skewer. Chop the pork – I cut my cubes in half.

To serve, spread plum sauce on a crepe and add some pork. Top with cilantro, carrots, lettuce and drizzle with more plum sauce. Fold and repeat with remaining crepes.

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