Sunday, December 20, 2009

Asian Pulled Pork Sandwich: originally from the south...

To my CH girls...who would humor me and speak "southern" with me and BB who helped me figure out how to roast the pork

For some reason, my FAVORITE speaking accent to do, has always been the southern accent. I take on the demeanor of Paula Deen along with her two sons, and speak as if I have been born and bred a southerner. For me, the accent evokes images of a time gone past - sort of Gone with the Wind (not that the slave thing is what I desire) and a whole different life and gentility. My normally strident agitated voice becomes a bit softer, more refined, and I attempt to sound like a gently-bred southern woman. Back in the old days of living with my roommates, I would start speaking Southern, and eventually the rest of them would find themselves falling in line speaking southern with me. (try it some time - you'll find it colors up your day quite a bit.)

When I decided to do this pulled pork - that Southern accent, one that I haven't fooled around with for a long time, came popping out. While the pork shoulder was roasting in the oven (for 8 hours mind you), with Daughters, I spoke with my soft southern accent. Gfriend BF was over, and she suddenly jumped into the game "speaking southern" as well. Something about that pulled pork drew out that drawl in me...only the pork wasn't going to be all that southern - it was going to be Asian. I guess if one was going to be technical, one could say it was SOUTH Asian, but not southern in terms of the geographic United States.

I did a dry rub - one with more Asian flavors, slow roasted it in the oven for 8 hours, and then poured on an Asian flavored sauce. I took all 13 lbs of pulled pork to a church Christmas party, along with the different condiments - and I am happy to say that people all really enjoyed it. It was fun seeing people put together their sandwich and have their face light up with the mix of flavors. It is a bit unexpected perhaps, but that's what makes it tastes so good.

The only thing difficult about this recipe - TIME. You need to plan ahead. You don't think one hour before dinner you're having pulled pork. You need to really think about it. My 13 lbs of pork shoulder took 8 hours in the oven and an additional 30 minutes of time before the oven to help bring it up to temperature. The sauce is a basic quick saute and mix and that is easy enough. Pulling the pork (Thanks SK for doing this for me last week) is not that hard either - it's just that you need an investment of time.

I definitely will be making this again as my house church has said they want it...for them I do anything. I've cut the recipe in half here - for about 6-7 lbs of pork shoulder instead of the 13 lbs I did, but feel free to double it if you've got a big party coming up and you want to serve a lot of people something yummy (and relatively cheaply!)

Asian Pulled Pork Sandwich
Serves 10-12 people

6-7lbs pork shoulder (I bought 14 lbs of this at costco but it does come in two parts, so feel free to buy the huge thing and then freeze half and use half)

Dry Rub
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon ginger powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

In bowl, mix all dry rub ingredients together. Pat dry your pork shoulder, and with dry hands, sprinkle and rub in the dry rub mixture over the entire surface of the pork shoulder. It can be ready to slow roast now, or can be covered and refrigerated until the next day.

Preheat oven to 275. Cover pork with aluminum foil and place in oven. 6-7 lbs should take anywhere between 5.5-7 hours. 4.5 hours into roasting, remove aluminum foil and continue to roast. The pork is ready when it is fork tender - you poke a fork into it and the pork just starts shredding apart. If it isn't at this stage, cook it longer.

When pork is ready, take it out of the oven. Allow to cool briefly. Then take a fork and your hands, and begin pulling the pork apart into little bite size pieces. You can leave out the overly crispy pieces if you have any (I thought they tasted really yummy personally). Place in a large bowl and pour warm Asian sauce over.

Asian BBQ Sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I use safflower or canola)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 tablespoon sake
1 tablespoon sambal oelek
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 cup hoisin sauce (Lee Kum Kee Vegetarian has no artificial colors and no MSG)
1 scallion minced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves and stems, minced

In a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant - about 2 minutes. Add sake, sambal oelek, sugar, soy sauce and sesame oil. Cook for another 2 minutes until very fragrant. Add hoisin sauce and bring to simmer. Add scallions and cilantro. Set aside until needed. Warm before pouring over pulled pork. (Can be made one day ahead. Refrigerate after it is room temperature. Reheat before pouring over pulled pork.)

Pickled Shallots
5 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
3/4 cup of rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt

In a container with a tight fitting lid, mix all the ingredients together. Place in refrigerator and allow to pickle at least 24 hours.

Pickled Jalapenos
4 jalapenos, thinly sliced
3/4 cup of rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt

In a container with a tight fitting lid, mix all the ingredients together. Place in refrigerator and allow to pickle at least 24 hours.

Putting the sandwich together
1 bunch of cilantro, carefully washed, tough stems trimmed, and then edible sprigs left.
2 mini cucumbers, sliced thinly
Pickled shallots
Pickled jalapenos
Pulled pork with Asian sauce on top
soft sandwich rolls

Printable recipe

Roll, pulled pork, jalapenos, shallots, cucumbers, cilantro - become a yummy sandwich! Dig in y'all.


Mike said...

This looks like the perfect update for the pulled pork sandwich.

Kevin said...

This pulled pork sounds tasty!

Sam said...

wow. this sandwich looks spectacular. I know what I'm talking about. Thanks for sharing, I'm now a loyal follower. One of these days when you have a minute, come and see my blog. I'd be proud and honored to have you as a friend/follower. Happy New Year, Keri (aka Sam)

The Fab Five said...

I made this in the smoker for a BBQ and it tasted just beautiful! I used the white steamed buns instead of rolls, and it worked great. The pork just melted in my mouth.... Everyone loved it! Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe!

Ian said...

Do you think this will work in a slow cooker?

Joanne Choi said...

Ian -

I think so. I'm not an expert on slow cooker cooking, but I think cooking the pork shoulder slowly then added sauce at the end might be the way to go.

Sandy said...

Slow cooker totally works.


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