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Day Thirty Four: Pupusas de Chicharrones

19 Aug

Normally, I wouldn’t be into anything labeled “chicharrones”. Even though I love pork, I’m not particularly fond of pork skin. Sin, I know. But lucky for me, in El Salvador, chicharrones means something different, and something way better in my opinion. It is essentially pork that has been boiled, then fried in it’s own fat, then minced or pureed into pure deliciousness with a tomato-based sauce. What isn’t to like about that?

Latin American food is heaven sent when it comes to eating a gluten-free diet. Take for instance the pupusa, basically El Salvador’s answer to a real gordita (not Taco Bell’s pathetic rendition) or an arepa. A homemade corn tortilla stuffed with fillings like meat, beans, cheese, etc, with a traditional offering being the Pupusa de Chicharrones. That brings us to day 33.

I was super excited to make these. Fresh tortillas are fantastic, but a filled one is even better. And really, it is quite easy. Time consuming, maybe, but a lot of it is unattended since you have to cook that pork down real good before frying it. The recipe below is an adaptation of one I found on Food Network here.

I served these with the traditional accompaniment, cortido – a simple slaw you serve on top of the pupusa. It is a bit fermented, as you are supposed to leave it out for a while at room temperature. It is tangy, crunchy goodness that pairs very well with the pupusa. You really can’t skip this part if you want the real deal. I also fried up some yuca that I bought at the store yesterday, and grilled up some corn from the farmer’s market.

Overall, this was good, but not great. The dough dries out pretty quickly, which made some of the last ones a bit dry. But the filling, which is the most important part of course, was very tasty. The recipe below makes WAY more than you’ll need, unless you plan on making 800 pupusas. Christian ended up piling extra filling on top of the pupusa, whereas I used it for a pork sandwich the following day for lunch. Delish.

I have to apologize (yet again) for the crappy pictures here. Our “good” camera was out and about with Christian, so I was stuck without it. I promise you, they taste better than they look!

Pupusas de Chicharrones

  • 1 1/2 lbs pork shoulder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 jalepeno, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Mexican oregano
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup cotija cheese or feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 3/4 cups masa harina
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp warm water
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Place the pork in a crockpot with garlic, onion, water and 1/2 of the chopped jalepeno. Cook on low for 6 hours, until tender.

When done, transfer pork and juices to a large heavy pot (enameled cast iron, for example); cook over high heat so that the pork starts to fry in the juices and fat. Cook until most liquid is gone. Add the tomatoes, rest of the jalepeno, oregano, cinnamon, and salt/pepper to taste. Cook over medium low, covered, until thick and very little liquid is remaining. You’ll want to stir a lot in order to break up the meat – you want it to really incorporate with the sauce. Set aside to cool, then stir in the cheese.

To make the dough, combine the masa harina with water and salt until you have a dough; let stand for about 20 minutes. Add more water so the dough becomes very soft, like Play-Doh, but not sticky. Divide into 8 balls and cover with a moist paper towel.

Take each ball and press your thumb into the middle to form an indentation, then turn the dough to begin to flatten it into a disk. Add some filling to the center and bring the edges together over the filling; squeeze to form a seal. Gently press each dough ball into a flattened disk that resembles a thick pancake. Repeat with remaining dough.

Brush each pupusa with oil and place them on a heated and greased griddle. Cook until puffy, about 4 minutes on each side. Serve with the cortido on top.


Day Thirty Three: Chashu Rice Bowl (Chashu Don)

12 Aug

Day 33 (which by the way, is extremely delayed due to my laziness) takes us to Japan, one of Christian’s favorite cuisines. When he asked what I was making, and I told him Japanese food, his reponse was “Oh good, that is my favorite”. So the bar was high for me. The food is so clean, but so flavorful – there isn’t much to not like about Japanese cuisine.

While I really wanted to make ramen, I couldn’t do it without the real noodles, and since I can’t eat real noodles, it just wasn’t worth the effort. So, instead I opted for another uncomplicated, traditional dish – donburi, or a rice bowl. A super versatile concept adaptable to any type of meat, fish or vegetables. And yet another bonus is that it is so simple, and it really lets the meat (or whatever topping) shine as the star. Basically, you want your meat to be as flavorful as possible, because there is nothing there to overshadow it or emphasize the flavor. That is a good thing – uncomplicated dishes can really result in some of the best tasting food.

This rice bowl features chashu, a traditional Japanese boiled pork that becomes really tender, but not falling apart – it is sliceable meat, not pull apart meat. It should be made from fatty meats, like the shoulder, belly and even cheeks. The cooking liquid is full of flavor, with soy sauce, ginger, green onions and mirin. I added some white miso for a bit more flavor, but it isn’t necessary at all. I love miso though, and will find a reason to put it in whatever I can now. (This was another new discovery during the cleanse – dressings, soups, marinades, etc.)

After Christian’s first bite, he said “this is f’ing awesome”, so that is good. I thought it was really good too, but did not have the same level of appreciate for it that he did. The pork was tender and had quite a bit of flavor. I think, for me, the end product would have been better if I had reduced the cooking liquid down to a more concentrated and thicker sauce. Seemed like that is what fell flat for me. But the pork was cooked well and tasted great.

The recipe was really easy to make, and definitely could be a weekday thing (it was for me, at least). To go with the chashu, I quickly sauteed some beautiful white turnips and mizuna from the Farmer’s Market, adding a bit of tamari and mirin to finish it off. Delicious!

I ended up doing a lot research on this, since it was a new concept for me. I finally decided to take two recipes and mesh them together – this one and this one.  The latter site, from No Recipes, made me really want to seek out some pork cheeks – it is like the best of pork shoulder and pork belly combined. Sounds like heaven.

Chashu Rice Bowl

  • 1 1/2 lbs pork shoulder
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
  • 2″ piece ginger, sliced
  • 1 green onion, green part only
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp miso paste
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • About 20 peppercorns
  • 1 cup
  • 1 additional green onion, sliced on the diagonal, for garnish

In a large pot or dutch oven, combine all ingredients except rice. Liquid should almost cover the pork. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Leave lid ajar slightly, and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, until meat is tender (but not falling apart). Remove and let rest, covered in foil. Meanwhile, boil the sauce for about 10 minutes (longer if you want to try to make it more concentrated). Slice the meat thinly against the grain.

While meat is cooking and/or resting, make 1 cup of what rice (more if you want, less if you want). To serve, dish up the rice and top with pork, a drizzle of sauce and the green onions.

Day Thirty Two: Grilled Pork Kebabs with Basil Chimichurri

12 Jul

I have a bad habit of buying basil and never being able to finish it before it goes bad. At Whole Foods, or at least ours, you have to buy a rather large container of it and frankly, not everything I cook works well with basil. I’m also not big on making a ton of pesto to freeze – I just find it so much better when it is freshly made. But that is just me.

Anyway, so I decided that I was not going to waste basil this time. It is just too good to waste, and I get so mad every time I realize I’ve made that mistake, yet again. I used some this week for a chilled roasted beet side dish, but had a ton left over. That led to this recipe, one that I thought would be great way to use more of it up. A fresh basil chimichurri would definitely pair well with marinated and grilled pork kebabs, right? Yep, it did.

This recipe is so darn easy, it is like child’s play. Some of the best recipes are the simplest, with no complicated methods, ingredients or flavors. Marinate the meat overnight and grill, throw sauce ingredients together in a bowl and mix for 30 seconds. Done. It would really make a great dish when you don’t have a lot of time or don’t want to be cooking when you have guests over, since the sauce and pork is mostly prepared ahead of time. All you have to do at game time is grill.

The fresh flavors make this a great summer meal. I served it with a roasted fingerling potato and arugula salad and some grilled spring onions, as well as an Argentinian Malbec – delicious side dishes and wine. The pork was juicy, tender, and nicely charred on the outside, with just the right amount of lemon coming through from the marinade. The chimichurri added to the bright flavors and pulled it together nicely. The dinner really was perfect for eating outside on the deck overlooking Lake Tahoe (well, what we see of it at least). We finally have summer here, and the weather is just too good not to be eating every single meal al fresco.

Note that the recipe will probably yield more chimichurri than you’ll need. I’m planning to use the rest mixed with roasted fingerling potatoes, or perhaps on some grilled chicken. I have a feeling it would be good with anything, really, even just eaten on it’s own!

Grilled Pork Kebabs with Basil Chimichurri

(Serves about 3)

For Pork and Marinade:

  • 1 1/2 lbs pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut int 1 1/2 inch cubes
  • Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
For Basil Chimichurri:
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Combine marinade ingredients together in a bowl and transfer to a ziploc bag or dish. Add pork and move around to coat. Marinade up to 24 hours in refrigerator.

About 2 hours before you are ready to grill, make the chimichurri. Combine sauce ingredients together and cover; transfer to refrigerator until ready to use. You’ll want the flavors to infuse and develop before you serve it.

Prepare grill at medium (with a gas grill) until hot. Put pork pieces on metal skewers and grill until done, turning once, about 14 minutes total.

To serve, remove pieces of pork and put on plate; top with chimichurri.

Day Thirty One: Pork Tostadas with Pickled Farmer’s Market Vegetables

10 Jul

And we’re back! Oh how I’ve missed pork shoulder! Still feeling good, albeit with some minor setbacks along the way. I’m very excited to pick up where I left off back in May (I can’t believe it has been that long).

Summer brings us one of my favorite things – the Farmer’s Market. I get so excited on Thursdays to see what great, beautiful, fresh vegetables, fruits and flowers the vendors have. So far, it has yet to disappoint. I’m currently obsessed with bright purple spring onions one stand has been having – they are amazing on the grill. Sweet, charred deliciousness.

For the newest recipe here, I added some Asian flavors to the tostada concept. The result? Pork tostadas with pickled farmer’s market vegetables. The pickled veggies consisted of kohlrabi, cucumbers and radishes that I picked up at the market. And “pickled” is used here loosely – they are more like veggies that have been marinated in a vinegar-sugar solution, long enough for flavor them but while staying a bit crunchy. Whatever you call them, they are good.

If you’ve never had kohrabi, I suggest trying it at least once. The taste is sort of like a combination of a radish, celery root and a turnip, while the texture is almost jicama-ish. I love it, and it is surprisingly versatile. I’ve made it into slaws, and more recently, made a salad with raw diced kohlrabi, steamed chard and red lentils. I had 1/2 of a bulb left over and figured this “pickling” method would be a good way to use it up.

The succulent pork was marinated in a cilantro, lime and soy mixture, then slow cooked to pull-apart perfection – it was a great accompaniment to the vegetables.  For the tortilla, I used brown rice tortillas in lieu of traditional corn, and rather than frying them, I brushed them with oil and crisped them in the oven (this was a staple item on the cleanse). This method is not only a bit healthier, but at least with the rice tortillas, they get really crispy. They also hold up well to the topping, without getting soggy from the juices and sauce.

We really enjoyed this recipe. I served it as an appetizer/first course with some friends we had over for an impromptu bbq at our house. Definitely think this is a great entertaining recipe since the serving size can be so adaptable – larger tortilla portions for main course, or really small bite size for appetizers. I opted to serve the tortillas in quarters, with each person having 2 pieces. There was leftover pork that would have made 2 more, but I wanted it the next day for a sandwich (which was great, by the way).

The bright flavors of the vegetables really matched well with the rich but fresh, juicy pork. And by topping it off with a bit of fresh cilantro and black sesame seeds made this a pretty dish.  I think it needs to be stressed how important the vegetables are to pull the dish together. Our friend, Steph, doesn’t particularly like vinegary stuff, so she had one first without them. For her second, she had one with the veggies and definitely agreed it was much better. It is amazing how something so simple can make a dish just taste right. Highly recommend this one!

Pork Tostadas with Pickled Farmer’s Market Veggies

(Serves about 6 as a first course/appetizer, more for hors d’oeuvres and less for main course)

For Pork and Marinade:

  • 1 1/2 lbs pork shoulder, cut into 3 equal pieces
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ginger (you can add more or less)
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
For Pickled Veggies:
  • 3/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 radishes
  • 1 small cucumber, or 1/2 regular
  • 1/2 bulb kohlrabi
  • Brown rice tortillas (or corn tortillas)
  • Olive oil
  • chopped cilantro
  • black sesame seeds (optional)

Mix together all the marinade ingredients with a whisk. Set aside 1/2 cup of marinade for later (keep this in the refrigerator). Pour the rest of the marinade in a dish and add the pork, turning to coat both sides. Cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours. Add the contents of the dish to the crockpot and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, until falling apart. When done, shred into large pieces.

While the pork is cooking, make the veggies. Using a mandoline on the thinnest setting, slice the vegetables. For the kohlrabi, once sliced, julienne the pieces so they are thin sticks. Combine the rice vinegar, sugar and salt, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Pour into a glass bowl and add the vegetables; cover and refrigerate at least one hour.

When ready to serve, cut the brown rice tortillas in 1/4’s (if using small corn, don’t worry about doing this). Brush top side with olive oil and broil until crisp and brown, about 3 minutes. To each tortilla quarter, add pork and drizzle with a spoonful of the marinade that you set aside. Top with some of the vegetables and sprinkle with black sesame seeds and extra cilantro. Serve and eat.

Day Thirty: Pork Stew with Red Chiles

4 May

I’m pretty sure we can officially say that Tahoe has hit Spring. First beach bbq? Yep. Multiple days without wearing socks? Thankfully. No jacket required when outdoors? Check.  Cloudless vibrant blue skies? Oh yes. I couldn’t be happier. Unfortunately, May is notorious for switching from Spring to Winter in the blink of an eye and I’m hoping that this year is different – that we’ll be rewarded for surviving these past few months. Nobody knows, so for now, I’m enjoying the beautiful warmer days.

With the warmer weather brings different foods – more fresh vegetables and more grilling. I’m getting very excited to see what the CSA box has in store and what will be at the Farmer’s Market come June. However, with that said, there is still room for braised dishes every once in a while. This recipe is no exception. Despite being cooked low and slow for 8 hours in the slow cooker, the resulting product was fresh and bright, both in flavor and visually.

At first, when throwing all the ingredients in the slow cooker, it seems entirely bland and boring, even with the red chiles. But once that pork breaks down and all the flavors combine, along with the addition of lime juice, fresh cilantro and fresh jalepenos, the dish becomes magical. A beautiful plate with fresh greens and reds popping out (quite perfect for upcoming Cinco de Mayo, no?). The pork is enhanced by a spice from the red chiles that surprises you at the end and the tang from the fresh lime juice. The cloves offer a welcome warmth that serves a great backdrop for all the other flavors.

The inspiration for this dish came from the Yucatan Pork Stew with Ancho Chiles and Lime recipe I found on Food and Wine’s website. My version differs in a few ways: 1) I didn’t have fresh Ancho chiles, but instead used some dried New Mexico chiles I had in the pantry, 2) I opted to use canned, diced tomatoes in lieu of the fresh (I generally don’t like to use fresh tomatoes outside of tomato season), 3) I reduced the amount of liquid because of the canned tomatoes and use of the slow cooker, 4) I didn’t brown the meat, as I threw this together in the morning before I went to work, and 5) I added the lime juice at the end to impart a brighter citrus flavor.

Two comments on the substitutions. First is that the use of dried chiles most definitely produces a different flavor, as well as a different texture. Dried chiles result in more “chile skin” rather than chile flesh, as noted by Christian. I found the dish to be wonderful with my substitutions, and so did Christian, but since I haven’t made the original as written, I can’t make a true comparison. I also think browning the meat and not using the slow cooker could have added more richness, but I really don’t believe it would make or break the recipe. Since I wanted to throw it together before I left the house in the morning, I didn’t have time to go through the extra steps (or do the extra dishes).

This is a dish to try, no matter what season or temperature. It really would be perfect on a cold Winter night or a gorgeous Summer evening.

Pork Stew with Red Chiles

(Serves 4)

  • 2 lbs pork shoulder, trimmed of fat and cut in 2″ cubes
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 cup diced canned tomatoes with juice (no salt added preferred)
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 dried New Mexico chiles
  • 3 carrots, cut in 2″ pieces crosswise
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 limes
  • handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalepeno, sliced
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Bring some water to boil over high heat; add the chiles and cook until softened. When done, remove chiles and slice open to discard seeds. Cut the chiles into thin strips.

Add all ingredients (pork through bay leaf) to the slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper. Set to low and cook 6 to 8 hours.

When stew is done, add the juice of 2 limes and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle portions of stew over steamed white rice, and sprinkle with chopped cilantro and jalepeno slices.

Day Twenty Nine: Wild Mushroom Pork Meatloaf

30 Apr
I love meatloaf. It is such a comforting and versatile dish – you can go with Greek flavors, Italian flavors, Asian flavors, and you can use a mix of meats or just one. Meatloaf is one of those things that, if you have any ground meat in the fridge, you can throw together with almost anything you’ve got laying around.
Another thing I love? Wild mushrooms. So naturally, I threw these two loves together. It isn’t any amazing combination that I can be credited for, obviously – roasted mushrooms and meatloaf have been paired together forever.
This meatloaf turned out great. It was so incredibly moist, and just full of great flavors. The fresh herbs brightened the meat up and complemented the woodsyness of the mushrooms. Christian said that this is now, to date, at the top of his list. I was shocked that this edged out the Milk Braised Pork, his previous favorite. For me, this is a very close second to the greens stuffed shoulder I made last month (my top dish so far).
I ended up trimming nearly 99 percent of the fat off the shoulder piece I had. By cooking the meatloaf in a loaf pan, as opposed to a free form meatloaf on a baking pan, the fat and juices stay in and don’t dry out the dish. Additionally, the milk soaked bread further ensures no drying out. While a well known trick, it was something I learned from my Mom and Grandma’s meatballs. Anyway, back to the fat point – I just didn’t feel the need for a fatty, greasy meatloaf. In fact, it kind of grosses me out to see that sometimes. This particular meatloaf is so juicy, even without all the fat, and so moist. While one of the greatest things about pork shoulder is the fat content and the fact that it can produce such tender meat, it isn’t always necessary. I think it is a misconception that anything with pork shoulder is going to be over the top fatty and bad for you – if you can control how you use it, you can make it as lean as you want.
The sauce that I made for this was a great accompaniment to the pork-based meatloaf. Dijon and balsamic are great pairings with pork, and this sauce just made the meatloaf feel a bit more elegant. Not the typical ketchup topping (which I never liked anyway). It added another dimension and really finished it off nicely – a bit tangy from the Dijon, with the right amount of sweetness from the reduced balsamic and maple syrup. Rather than a sauce, you could also use this as a glaze while the meatloaf is cooking. From a presentation standpoint, the sauce application adds a little something – otherwise, it is pretty monochromatic (maybe the one downside of this dish).
Served along side roasted fingerling potatoes and roasted green beans, this was a nice update on a classic. Super comforting for what I’m hoping was the last snowy, gray, dismal day until the cycle starts all over again towards the end of the year.
And as is the case with all meatloaf, this was fantastic as lunch the next day.

Wild Mushroom Pork Meatloaf

For Meatloaf:
  • 2 lbs pork shoulder, trimmed of most fat and ground
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 slices of bread (gluten-free or regular), cut into cubes
  • 3/4 c milk
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
For Mushroom Filling:
  • 6 to 8 oz mixed, fresh wild mushrooms (oyster, cremini, chanterelle, etc)
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp white wine
  • 1 tsp olive oil
For Sauce:
  • 1/4 c chicken stock
  • 1/4 c white wine
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Soak the bread cubes in milk for 10 minutes; squeeze out excess milk and set bread aside.
In a small saute pan, heat the 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, shallot, and 1 tsp thyme; saute until browned and liquid is evaporated. Add 1 tbsp white wine and cook until evaporated. Season with salt and pepper. Remove mushrooms and set aside, reserving pan for use later.
Combine the pork, bread cubes, eggs, thyme, rosemary, onion, cheese and garlic. Using your hands, mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
Add 1/2 of the pork mixture to a loaf pan. Spread the mushrooms leaving a bit of a border, then top with the remaining meatloaf mixture, pressing to seal the edges. Transfer to oven and cook for 50 to 60 minutes.
During the last 10 minutes of cooking,  heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat in reserved pan from mushrooms. Add the shallots and cook till browned. Add the chicken stock and wine; reduce slightly. Add the dijon and balsamic and continue to cook until the sauce becomes thick and color has darkened. Add the maple syrup, thyme, salt and pepper.
To serve, slice the meatloaf and drizzle with the sauce.

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.