5 Spice Braised Pork Tacos

Chili braised pork or 5 spice tacos bring different ideas to the table instead of just Mexican.

Everyone’s familiar with Mexican flavors in tacos, but these 5 spice tacos use braised pork and Asian seasonings to knock it out of the park!

I can eat tacos for days, but 5 spice tacos are a welcome change of pace from the traditional Mexican flavors we all love.

I like to serve these 5 spice tacos with a big bowl of crunchy slaw on the side. You can swap in vegetables with whatever you have on hand.

Want a an even healthier version? Try swapping out tortillas for cabbage leaves! You get similar flavor and crunch with none of the carbs. (Even my kids love tacos in cabbage leaves!)

As with all Connected Chef recipes, let your kitchen and instincts guide you as you cook. The ingredient amount below are used as a starting off point; taste as you go and reseason as needed!

Chili braised pork or 5 spice tacos bring different ideas to the table instead of just Mexican.
5 Spiced Braised Pork Tacos
Print Recipe
I can eat tacos for days, but these 5 spice tacos are a welcome change of pace from the traditional Mexican flavors we all love. I sometimes will swap out tortillas for cabbage leaves. Even my kids eat it!
Chili braised pork or 5 spice tacos bring different ideas to the table instead of just Mexican.
5 Spiced Braised Pork Tacos
Print Recipe
I can eat tacos for days, but these 5 spice tacos are a welcome change of pace from the traditional Mexican flavors we all love. I sometimes will swap out tortillas for cabbage leaves. Even my kids eat it!
Ingredients
Shredded Pork
Rice
Servings:
Instructions
Shredded Pork
  1. Preheat the oven to 300*F. Pat the pork butt dry with a paper towel, then rub all over with the 5 spice, salt and pepper.
  2. In a large Dutch oven or saute pan with a tight-fitting lid, heat 4-5 tablespoons oil until shimmering. Add the pork to the pan and sear until dark golden brown on all sides.
  3. Remove pork from the pan and set aside. Add the chopped onion, garlic, ginger and carrot to the pan. Char and slightly cook the vegetables, about 3-5 minutes, then remove vegetables from the pan and set aside.
  4. Deglaze the pan with bottle of beer, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  5. Place the pork back to the pan, and add in enough water to cover the pork by about 3/4, then add the charred vegetables. Cover the pan and set in the oven.
  6. Cook at 275-300 degrees for 3-4 hours, until pork is falling apart. (You should be able to put your fork in the pork and pull it apart without any resistance)
  7. Once cooked, let everything cool in the braising liquid. (I often make 1-2 days ahead and put the whole pot in the fridge to cool. If that is the case, just warm the pork up when you are ready to shred it.)
  8. Shred pork and strain braising liquid, discarding the vegetables. Then, add pork back to the strained liquid. You may need to reheat gently if it has cooled completely, but make sure the liquid does not boil while you are reheating.
Slaw
  1. Julienne all veggies, except Napa cabbage, in equal amounts
  2. Pick stems from cilantro & mint leaves and add to salad
  3. Season with salt & pepper & add lime juice to your liking
  4. Pick Napa Cabbage leaves for taco shells. You can cut out the core of the leaf for easier folding
Rice
  1. Saute garlic, ginger & onion in olive oil (Use a heavy amount of olive oil)
  2. Add rice and toast. If you need to add more oil at this point to coat the rice, do not be afraid to do so.
  3. Once the rice is a golden brown color, add 4 cups water and stir
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer
  5. Stir occasionally until rice is tender
Recipe Notes

If your rice is undercooked and all your water is absorbed, it is ok to add a little more water in the middle of the cooking process!

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Chili Braised Pork Tacos & Salsa

Chili braised pork or 5 spice tacos bring different ideas to the table instead of just Mexican.

These chili braised pork tacos are one of my family’s all-time favorite recipes, and one that I’ll often make in my cooking classes as well!

Chili braised pork tacos are practically foolproof and very popular – making this the perfect party meal, make-ahead dinner option, or simple Sunday dish. The chili-braised pork tastes better the longer it sits, too, so make a big batch and freeze some for later if you get the chance.

The base of this dish, the pork shoulder, follows along the guidelines I’ve laid out in the braising section. Remember that the perfect braise builds a flavor that works along with the rest of the ingredients it’s paired with; turn a cheap cut of meat into the star attraction with just a few simple tricks!

Chili-braised pork tacos and salsa are great on their own, but if you’re looking for a different side, I really recommend this simple corn salsa.

Chili braised pork or 5 spice tacos bring different ideas to the table instead of just Mexican.
Chili Braised Pork Tacos & Salsa
Print Recipe
Chili braised pork or 5 spice tacos bring different ideas to the table instead of just Mexican.
Chili Braised Pork Tacos & Salsa
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Chili Braised Pork
Pico de Gallo
Spice Rub
Servings:
Instructions
Chili Braised Pork
  1. Coat pork in spice rub & salt, pepper. (You will have left over rub. Keep it in a jar for another dish/time!)
  2. Sear pork in a dutch oven or saute pan until dark, golden brown on all sides.
  3. Remove pork and add all veggies. Cook until charred and slightly cooked
  4. Deglaze with bottle of beer
  5. Put pork back into dutch oven & add enough water until pork is ¾ covered. (If you don’t have a dutch oven & have seared your pork & veggies in a sauté pan, place everything in an oven safe pot & cover.)
  6. Cook at 275-300 degrees for 3-4 hours, until pork is falling apart. (You should be able to put your fork in the pork and pull it apart without any resistance)
  7. Once cooked, let everything cool in the braising liquid.
  8. I often make 1-2 days ahead and put the whole pot in the fridge to cool. If that is the case, just warm the pork up when you are ready to shred it.
  9. Shred pork and strain braising liquid. Then, add pork to the strained liquid. You may need to reheat everything slightly if it has cooled completely. (Don't boil when reheating, you will toughen the meat)
Pico de Gallo
  1. Dice tomato, avocado, onion jalapeno & cilantro
  2. Mix with lime juice & season generously with salt/pepper
Recipe Notes

There are no quantities for the PICO DE GALLO. That is because you can make it to your own liking.

I typically like my Pico de gallo heavy on the lime and cilantro, but it's a personal choice.

TASTE AS YOU GO and remember you can always add more of an ingredient!

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