Not your typical bbq pulled pork - five spice powder gives these bite sized apps an Asian flair.
Asian Pulled Pork
For Valentine’s day, among the myriad of tapas I was assembling, I wanted to make pulled pork stuffed in wonton cups. I sought out an Asian inspired recipe as I thought it was most appropriate. I was quite surprised at the outcome of this recipe. It was dang tasty but still let the flavor of the pork shine through. I scooped it into the wonton cups and topped with a little diced mango. I meant to make the mango into more of an Asian salsa, but time got away from me. I will say I think this pulled pork is the perfect filling for bite sized wonton cups. I woke up the following morning craving the combo (thankfully, I still had two left).
What is five-spice powder anyway?
Five-spice powder is a seasoning in Chinese cuisine. It incorporates the five basic flavors of Chinese cooking – sweet, sour, bitter, savory, and salty. Most commonly, it consists of Szechuan peppercorns, star anise, cloves, cinnamon and fennel. I have forgotten how much I love it. When you are sick of making the same old stir fry, try adding a little bit. It definitely livens up the party. I made a Five-spice Chocolate Cake once that was too die for. I think it came out of America’s Test Kitchen Restaurant Recipes, but here’s an online version.
Five spice pulled pork with Asian BBQ sauce, sauteed cabbage and a wonton crisp.
Later in the week, I still had a lot of pulled pork to use up. I thought it would be nice to pair it with an Asian BBQ sauce. So I sauteed some cabbage with a little ginger and garlic to use as a bed for the pulled pork. Then topped the pork with a little of the bbq sauce and a wonton crisp (cause shoot, I am addicted to the crunch. Now I know to make crispy little crackers out of leftover wontons!). Once again, a fantastic combo.
For a variation on your normal bbq pulled pork, give five spice pork a try. You won’t be disappointed.
Five-spice Pulled Pork
Adapted from here. I made this into a slow cooker recipe cause I just couldn’t be bothered to do otherwise.
1 medium onion, sliced
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon five-spice powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 (3ish pound) pork shoulder, deboned or 3 lbs boneless country ribs
1/2 cup water
1. Place the sliced onion in the crockpot.
2. Pulse the ginger, garlic and shallot in a food processor to a fine mince or paste (it will be rubbed into the pork).
3. Mix all the dry spices, salt and the brown sugar together in a medium bowl.
4. Rub the minced ginger, garlic and shallot paste into the meat. Then follow with the dry spice rub.
5.Fold the roast into a compact shape, and put it (or country ribs if using that) in the crockpot on top of the sliced onion. Add the water to the crockpot.
6. Cook in crockpot on high for 4-5 hours. You can alter the cooking time (put on low for longer) to suit your schedule, but I was running out of time and needed this cooked asap.
7. Remove from crockpot when it is fork tender. Shred pork with 2 forks (or your hands – whatever works best).
Serving suggestion – put in wonton cups, top with a little Asian BBQ sauce, maybe some mango. Or a variation on any of the above.
Wonton Cups / Crisps
Wonton wrappers (however many you want to make)
Vegetable cooking spray
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Place wonton wrappers on work surface; spray lightly with oil.
Flip wonton over and give the second side a spray (Important – remember to spray both sides! Otherwise they bake up extremely sharp – and, um, painful to eat).
Press each wonton wrapper into muffin tin. Or, alternatively, place on baking sheet for flat squares.
Bake until wonton cups/crisps are golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.
Cool completely in tins/baking sheet. (Can be made 3 days ahead).
Remove cups from tins and store airtight at room temperature.
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