At the time I was growing up in a small Texas city, it was pretty slim pickings when you wanted to eat something besides classic American food. My mom’s idea of cooking Chinese food at home was heating up some La Choy Chow Mein. Anybody else remember that meat-and-veggies-in-a-can delight? (See example at left, although I always think of the 70’s-rific orange package from back in the day.) Those were the nights I tried to make a meal out of the crunchy noodles that went on top.
We did have a couple of Chinese food restaurants in town and I remember it being a big treat when we got to go “eat Chinese.” One time we took my grandma, who had never encountered such an exotic menu before. She listened in quiet horror as my dad ordered the pupu platter appetizer. (“I don’t think I’ll be havin’ any of that,” she whispered to me.) After the rest of us were done ordering our entrees, grandma smiled at the waitress and inquired, “Now, honey, do you have any baked potatoes?”
I think she ended up eating some steamed rice. And complaining a lot.
In my continuing quest to perfect pulled pork on my Egg — and it is ongoing, as you will hear — I thought putting a Chinese-inspired spin on my next attempt might be fun. First, I needed a good rub for the pork shoulder. I found a blog with a Chinese-style Dry Rub and I modified it just a teeny bit since I never have white pepper on hand.
Chinese-style Dry Rub
Mix: 1 tbsp Salt, 1.5 tbsp Black pepper, 1 tbsp Garlic powder, 0.5 tbsp Onion powder, 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp Ginger powder, 1 tsp Mustard powder, and 2 tsp white sugar.
I rubbed down my pork shoulder and put it on the Egg over indirect heat for a nice, long smoke. I would give you details of the cooking process but, since my pulled pork ended up being chopped pork, how bout if I just direct you to Griffin’s Grub for cooking instructions? What I am finally figuring out is that I need to allow for a LOT of time on these — like set up an overnight smoke. (If you don’t have that kind of time, see some of my shortcut suggestions at the end of this post.) My pork shoulder sure looked good at the start, though…
I decided I would whip up both a mop and my own sauce for this one. My inspiration for the sandwiches was this appetizer recipe. I used their char siu-style glaze — just mix up: 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup hoisin sauce, 2 tbsps toasted sesame oil, 2 tbsps minced garlic, 2 tbsps minced ginger, and 2 tbsps low-sodium soy sauce.
For the mop, I threw together 1/4 cup peanut oil, 1/4 cup sesame oil, 1/4 cup soy sauce, and 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar.
I set a little of the BBQ sauce aside to use later on the sandwiches. I basted with the mop every hour and then switched to the sauce a little more than halfway through.
Once the pork was done (or at least I thought it was done), I removed my plate setter, cranked up the heat, and grilled some fresh pineapples slices. (About 2-3 minutes per side, basted with the BBQ sauce.) I also drizzled a purple onion with a bit of peanut oil and threw it on the Egg, too.
Final step was sandwich assembly. I made a new discovery at the store: King’s Hawaiian Sweet Hamburger Buns. (Brilliance.) I toasted them up and spread a little sauce on both sides like so…
And then piled on my pork, a pineapple ring, and the grilled onion.
Y’all, they were so good. I think even grandma would have been won over.
Shortcut ideas: To make this easier, you could use the same spices and sauce in a slow-cooker version OR how about throwing the spices in some ground pork for a burger version? I think either would be totally yum.