Posts Tagged With: zen

Chinese-style BBQ Pork Sandwiches

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.

Chinese-style Dry Rub 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…

Chinese-style Pork Shoulder

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.

Sauce & Mop

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.

Chinese-style Pork Shoulder

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.

Grilled Pineapple

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.

Chinese-style Pork Sandwiches

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.

Categories: Pork, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Overnight Slaw

Let me start my saying that I am a potato salad gal. Last year, Food Network magazine printed a booklet with 50 variations of potato salad. They ALL sounded good to me. Mayo? Yes! Mustard? Yes! Pickles? Sure! I like them all. I have also always considered coleslaw to be an unfortunate side dish. It often has too much mayo, too much sugar, and a weird, almost mushy texture.

When I came across this little recipe in Food & Wine magazine that I am about to share with you, I stopped and reread it. And here’s what got me, folks: peanut oil. Peanut oil makes everything taste better. If you are frying up something, you want to fry it in peanut oil. I was a bit surprised to see it in a coleslaw recipe. And there was no mayo. Hmmm, both of these factors intrigued me enough to give it a spin.

First, I ignored the laborious food processing of cabbage, carrots, etc in the original recipe. I like easy and I like my coleslaw chunky-style so I grabbed some packaged slaw and carrots at the store…


I chopped up some sweet onion and celery and threw it in…

Chopped Veg

And I sprinkled a bit of sugar on top. (Ok, maybe a whole lotta sugar.)


Next, I mixed up some vinegar, peanut oil, mustard and salt and brought it to a boil.

Then I poured it all over my veggies and gave it a good stir. (So pretty, those veggies!)


Then I threw it in the fridge overnight and drained it in the morning and voila!


In this case, I have it on a toasted ham and cheese sandwich. I have had this meal three times since I made the slaw and I think I might officially be obsessed. It also went quite well with the Vampire Steak I cooked up the day before.

Here’s the official recipe, y’all…

Overnight Slaw

(Adapted slightly from Food & Wine)


Two 10 oz. packages coleslaw mix

1/2  of a 10 oz. package shredded carrots

1 large Vidalia onion, diced

3 celery ribs, diced

1 cup sugar

1 cup distilled white vinegar

3/4 cup peanut oil

1 tsp dry mustard

1 tsp kosher salt


Mix coleslaw mix, shredded carrots, diced onion, and celery in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, oil, dry mustard, and salt; bring to a boil. Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss well. Refrigerate overnight.

Just before serving, drain the slaw.

Serves: an army. (Probably about 8-10 as a side.)

Categories: Recipes, Sides | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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