Fusion Tacos

I always have flour tortillas on hand at my house. Whether it's for making an impromptu quesadilla for lunch or wrapping my favorite fillings with a bunch of friends on the weekend, being able to have a fun, quick meal is reason enough to keep them stocked. And one of my favorite ways to use them is as a shell for fusion tacos, especially those filled with sweet and spicy Asian-inspired pork:

This tender pork filling can be made in less than an hour if you happen to be lucky enough to own a pressure cooker, but it's also a hands-off meal if you have a slower cooker, too. Choose your favorite method, as both are outlined in the recipe below. And while you're picking favorites, contemplate condiments for these tacos, too. I love tossing red cabbage and onions in a jar with some rice vinegar for quick pickled cabbage. And, if you have them, thinly sliced radishes make for a very pretty plate:

Now, if you don't have tortillas on hand or would prefer something a bit less messy than tacos, feel free to serve this spicy pork over rice or noodles. It can even be added to your favorite Asian-inspired soup or used as a filling for an egg roll or twenty. Oh, and did I mention that it freezes particularly well too? Sometimes you just need to give yourself a gift and, in this season of too much to do and not enough time to do it, this one's my gift to myself … and to you!

Spicy Asian Pork

  • 1 lb. boneless pork (I used pork loin ends)
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 1/2 c. soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. fig jam (could also use blackberry, elderberry, or even orange marmalade)
  • 1/4 c. hoisin sauce
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced into thin wedges
  • 1 c. chopped red pepper (I used witch stick peppers from our CSA box)
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 T. cornstarch

Place the pork in the bowl of your Instant Pot (or the stoneware of your slow cooker).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the honey, soy sauce, jam, hoisin, olive oil, garlic, onion, red pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Pour the sauce over the pork. Cover the Instant Pot and set it to cook at high pressure for 30 minutes (or cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 4 to 5 hours). Release the pressure on the Instant Pot by allowing it to rest for at least 10 minutes before turning the nozzle to the venting position.

Using tongs, remove the pork (reserving the liquids) and place it on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, slice the pork into small pieces. It may just fall apart. If it does that, make sure the pieces are small.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and 3 tablespoons of cold water. Add that to the liquids in the Instant Pot (or transfer the liquids from the slow cooker to a saucepan and add the cornstarch mixture to those).

Bring the liquids in the Instant Pot (or the slow cooker) to a simmer (using the sauté setting or the stovetop over medium-high heat) and cook it until it reduces and has thickened slightly, about 3 minutes. Combine the pork and the sauce, tossing to combine. Serve the pork as a filling for fusion tacos, as a topping for rice or noodles, or in your favorite Asian-inspired soup.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes using an Instant Pot pressure cooker or up to 6 hours using a slow cooker

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