How can something be both local and Asian? Or for that matter, how can something be both Asian and tacos? Very easily in my kitchen. I try to make whatever I have on hand work; it’s how I came up with my famous Pasta (Because that’s the Only Thing in the Cupboard) with Sausage and Zucchini (Because that’s the Only Thing in the Fridge). Haven’t heard of it? I shall remedy that in a later post. This Asian taco recipe is loosely based on Mu Shu Pork, one of my husband’s favorite take-out meals.
Earlier in the week I told you about the excitement I felt when seeing beautiful, light green spheres of cabbage at the farmer’s market. My excitement was not dissipated when I turned these lovely spheres into a cabbage slaw to top my Asian Short Rib Tacos. It’s so easy, because the short ribs cook all day in the crock pot. You come home and presto! Dinner is served.
Here’s how you do it (ingredients are always local, when available):
For the short ribs –
2 pounds boneless short ribs (my farmer’s market has them in perfectly portioned, about-a-pound slabs, so I just bought two)
1 medium onion, sliced
1 cup hoisin sauce
1 ½ inch of fresh ginger, peeled and grated (or finely chopped)
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
For the slaw –
Half of a lovely, local cabbage, shredded
1 ½ cups of grated carrots
1/3 cup sliced scallions (I’ve used red onion before and it works too!)
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
20 flour or wheat tortillas, warmed (I like the soft taco size for this)
Place the onions in the crockpot first. Short ribs go in next, after coating them liberally with the hoisin sauce. Throw the garlic and ginger on top. You might want to add a little water (sometimes I add about a ¼ cup). Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours.
To make the slaw topping, whisk the vinegar and sugar in a small bowl. Combine that mixture with the cabbage, carrots, and scallions. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Just before serving, shred the meat with two forks.
Spread each tortilla with about 1 teaspoon of extra hoisin sauce, add about ¼ cup shredded short ribs and top with about a 1/3 cup cabbage slaw. (Or vice versa—slaw then short ribs, whatever you prefer.)
I’ve tried this recipe with pork loin roast too. It’s tasty either way. The local cabbage adds such a fresh crunch and peppery bite. This meal is one of those recipes that will make going local, all the way, all the time very difficult. Hoisin sauce is not local (obviously), neither are the wheat tortillas I usually buy. I’m sure I’ll come up with a solution or a cheat before June 4!
Now I’m off to cook an entirely local breakfast for me and the husband! Happy Saturday!