Chinese-Style Al Pastor

I figured out how to make al pastor on the grill recently, and since then I’ve been a bit obsessed with it. So when I got my hands on some delicious sauces made by an old friend of mine, and saw one had pineapple as a main ingredient, my brain immediately said “OMG Al Pastor.”

The sauce itself, which is the Sweet Savory Spicy sauce from One Culture Foods, is made with fermented Chinese black beans, pineapple, brown sugar, and ginger (which, if you’ve been paying attention, is somewhat similar to my al pastor recipe already). But it has this wonderful depth and funk from the fermented black beans that really sets it apart and gives it that characteristic flavor of Chinese cooking.

We’re taking that delicious savory biz, and adding in some pineapple juice to help break down the connective tissue of the pork a bit, and we’re adding some chili sambal to give it some additional heat (cause tacos want heat, let’s be real). So we’re changing up the OG al pastor marinade, but we’re cooking it the exact same way. Oh, and the toppings are a little different. Grilled pineapple is pure gold in original al pastor AND here, but I also quickly grilled some baby bok choy and chopped that up, then threw that into the tacos to give them some good texture, while also maintaining some of the “Chinese-style” we were going for. Add in the grilled pineapple, some hot peppers (or sriracha or chili sambal), and a little extra sauce, and you’ve got yourself a serious fusion taco. Look out Korean BBQ Tacos, Chinese BBQ Tacos are coming for you.

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Ingredients (serves 6-8)

  • 2 lbs pork butt (“coppa” cut if you can get it)
  • 1 c Sweet Spicy Savory sauce from One Culture Foods
  • 3/4 c pineapple juice
  • 3/4 c chili sambal or sriracha
  • 1/4 c white vinegar
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Pineapple, trimmed, cored, and cut into 6-8 spears
  • 2 bunches baby bok choy, cleaned and trimmed
  • Flour tortillas
  • Chopped jalapenos or other spicy pepper

Directions

  1. Slice the pork to 1/4-1/2 inch thick.
  2. Combine all other sauce parts (SSS sauce, pineapple juice, chili sambal, vinegar, salt pepper), and split into two halves (one for basting, one for marinating)
  3. Put the pork in a gallon plastic bag and add one half of the marinade.
  4. Mix the marinade around well so that all external pork surfaces are coated. Squeeze the air out of the bag, seal and put in the fridge to marinate for 4-6 hours. Make sure you move your pieces around a bit a couple times during the marinating process to ensure every piece has a chance to be buried on the bottom of your bag.
  5. Take out of the fridge for 30-60 minutes before cooking, and preheat your grill to medium heat.
  6. Cook on a grill over medium heat until nicely charred and cooked through, about 15-20 minutes (time will vary depending on your grill); when I say cooked through I’m really aiming for medium, and if you see a little pink in the middle, don’t worry, eat it!
  7. Remove pork from the grill, and let rest 10 minutes.
  8. While pork is resting, turn the heat to high and throw your pineapple and bok choy on, and cook 3-5 minutes. You can also throw your tortillas on now if you have space for them (about 10-30 seconds each side, depending on heat).

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