Char Siu Cauliflower Tacos with Cabbage, Carrot & Green Papaya Slaw

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I love Char siu bao and the Char Siu sauce that you can find at any Asian store. My mom would use it often for chicken wings on the bbq while I was growing up. We would dip them in a mixture of lime juice, salt and Chinese five spice. It was great to balance out the sweetness of the sauce. So I thought why not make a veggie version? I love cauliflower and the result is crunchy caramelized goodness. For the slaw, I kept the Asian vibes going but with a more Thai-style slaw.

This recipe makes 12 small tacos. You’ll have enough slaw to eat on the side or you can also make a second batch of cauliflower.

Ingredients:

For the Cabbage, Carrot & Green Papaya Slaw:

3 cups of finely shredded purple cabbage

1 ½ cups of shredded carrot

3 cups of shredded green papaya

1 bunch of coriander, chopped

For the dressing:

1 tablespoon of minced ginger

Juice of 1 lime

1/3 cup of olive oil

1/3 cup of white vinegar

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

1 teaspoon of fish sauce

2 tablespoons of honey

Pinch of garlic powder

1 small red eye chili, finely chopped

1 teaspoon of brown sugar

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup (if you can’t find it just add an extra tablespoon of honey)

For the cauliflower:

1 medium cauliflower chopped into small florets (about 6 cups)

1/2 cups of Chinese BBQ sauce (Char siu sauce)

1 tablespoon of chili bean sauce

¼ cup of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1 tablespoon of honey

Extra:

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil for the pan

1 tablespoon of sesame seeds

1 tablespoon of chopped chives

12 small tortillas

 

To make the slaw, just shred the green papaya, carrot and purple cabbage. Place them in a large bowl along with the chopped coriander.

To make the dressing for the slaw, just place all of the ingredients in a jar with a lid. And shake it till it emulsifies. Pour the dressing over the slaw and mix well. Keep it in the fridge until ready to serve.

To make the char siu cauliflower, first mix the Chinese BBQ sauce, chili bean sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil and honey in a large bowl. Then add the cauliflower florets and mix until they are evenly coated.

Place one tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large pan or wok over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the cauliflower and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes till it caramelizes. Toss it or stir from time to time so it doesn’t burn.

Warm up the tortillas in a pan. To assemble the tacos, just place some of the slaw and then the char siu cauliflower. Finish it by sprinkling some sesame seeds and chopped chives. Enjoy!

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Pork Sliders with Caramelized Pineapple on a Mini Pretzel Bun

Pork Sliders with Caramelized Pineapple on a Mini Pretzel Bun

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I have been craving burgers and BBQ sauce lately. I think it has to do with the fact that I am very much looking forward to summer. Going to the park, having barbecues and actually feeling the sun on my skin! And right now the weather feels more like we are entering winter instead of spring.

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To satisfy my burger cravings, I made these sliders. I went for minced pork instead of beef. The patties are seasoned with cooked shallots, garlic, oregano, thyme and smoky BBQ sauce. So they are full of flavor just by themselves.  And because pork and pineapple are a marriage made in heaven, I added it too. Top it with some Emmental cheese and some mini pretzel buns and you’ve got some food porn right there.  I was in a make everything from scratch mood that day so I also made the mini pretzel buns. They are super easy to make. It is the same recipe as my Soft pretzel twists, just shaped differently. I have added the different instructions below. This recipe makes about 13 sliders.

Ingredients:

For the patties:

500gr minced pork

2 tablespoons of smoky BBQ sauce

3 shallots, chopped

1 teaspoon of dried thyme

1 teaspoon of dried oregano

1 tablespoon of olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

Salt

Pepper

1 egg yolk

1/3 cup of panko

1/3 cup of breadcrumbs

For the caramelized pineapple:

½ fresh pineapple, thinly sliced

4 tablespoons of sugar

Pepper

For the toppings:

150gr of Emmental cheese, thinly sliced

Lettuce of your choice

 

First start making the mini pretzel buns, for the whole recipe check out my Soft Pretzel Twists Post.  The ingredients are the same; there are just a few different steps.  Once the dough has risen, divide it into 16 equal pieces.  Then form each piece into a ball. Place the balls in the baking soda/water bath for 30 seconds.  Then place them on a prepared baking tray (lined with parchment paper and lightly greased with vegetable oil).  Cut a cross in the middle of each bun, brush the tops with an egg wash and sprinkle with some sea salt. Bake for 8 minutes at 230C/450F.

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To make the caramelized pineapple, place the sugar and sliced pineapple in a large pan.  Sprinkle some pepper and let it cook over medium-high heat until it has caramelized. This will take about 6 minutes, turning the pineapples half way through.  Place the caramelized pineapple slices on a lightly greased plate and set aside.

To make the patties, over medium heat add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a small pan. Add the shallots, dried thyme, dried oregano and garlic.  Cook for a few minutes until the shallots are translucent.

Place the minced pork in a large bowl. Add the shallot mixture, BBQ sauce, egg yolk, panko, breadcrumbs and some salt and pepper.  Mix it all until well combined. Grab about 1/4 of a cup of the mixture and make a ball, repeat until all the mixture is done. This will give you about 13 meatballs.

Pour some olive oil into a large pan, over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, place the meatballs in the pan and press a bit with a spatula so they become mini burgers. Cook them for about 4 minutes on each side until they are all cooked through.  Take the pan off the heat. Place a slice of cheese on top of each patty. The heat of the patties will melt it.

To serve the sliders, slice the mini pretzel buns in half and place some lettuce on the bottom. Then place a patty and some slices of the caramelized pineapple.  Cover with the top parts of the bun. Serve right away.