Monday, October 23, 2017

Fusion Mini Tacos - Teriyaki Pork with Thai Peanut Slaw

[FTC Disclaimer] We are proud to be sponsored by Smithfield's extensive line of Fresh Marinated Pork.  This is our 6th and final sponsored post for the year featuring these time saving products.

There is a fine line between fusion and confusion when blending cuisines.  These Fusion Mini Tacos tip-toe right up to that line and do a little dance. Fusion Mini Tacos take the tastes of Japan, Indonesia, and Thailand and serves them in a Mexican style.  

The light and crispy shell crumbles when you bite into it and contrasts against the tender pork.  Smithfield's Sweet Teriyaki Fresh Marinated Pork pairs exceptionally with the rich and nutty slaw, spicy chile paste, and aromatic cilantro.   These mini-tacos are fun, bursting with flavor, and will brighten up any tailgate or party menu. 

Asian Fusion Mini Tacos featuring Smithfield Sweet Teriyaki Fresh Marinated Pork Tenderloin recipe

The Smithfield Fresh Marinated Pork products are a smart foundation for a quick 30-minute meal and you can find plenty of inspiration at their Real Flavor Real Fast website. Smithfield uses only 100% fresh pork, packed with protein, for these and I've only gotten quality pork from them.

This recipe for Teriyaki Pork Mini-Tacos with Thai Peanut Slaw is crispy and delicious.
The 2 inch sized tacos were the perfect bite.

Teriyaki Pork Tacos with Thai Peanut Slaw


  • 1 Smithfield Sweet Teriyaki Fresh Marinated Pork Tenderloin
  • 16 round wonton skins
  • peanut oil for frying
  • 2 cups broccoli slaw mix
  • 1/2 cup Thai peanut slaw dressing (see recipe)
  • 1/4 cup crushed roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • 2 tablespoons sambal oelek aka red garlic chile paste (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)


  1. Make the Thai peanut slaw.  Mix together the slaw mix, Thai peanut slaw dressing, and crushed peanuts.
  2. Make the mini-taco shells.  Heat a small pan of oil to 350°f.  Carefully use long handled tongs to lower a wonton skin half-way into the oil until golden, crisp, and bubbly (12-15 seconds).  Switch the other half into the oil and do the other side.  Remove to a resting rack.  Repeat for all of the wonton skins.
  3. Set up grill for direct heat and preheat the grill to 350-400°f.
  4. Grill the pork tenderloin, rotating every 5 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°f, about 20-30 minutes.  Remove to a resting rack and allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Slice the pork tenderloin as thinly as you can.  Add any juices that came out while resting.
  6. Build the tacos.  For each taco shell, add a few pieces of the shaved pork, a 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of sambal oelek, Thai Peanut Slaw, green onion, and cilantro.  Drizzle with thin ribbons of sweet soy sauce.  
  • Smithfield Sweet Teriyaki Fresh Marinated Pork Tenderloin - It's easy enough to make your own but the convenience factor is the key.  I made a homemade teriyaki pork tenderloin to go with this and my wife declared them equally good.  Marinate a Smithfield pork tenderloin (I like Smithfield Prime Reserve) in soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, green onion, and rice wine vinegar for 8 hours.  It's just easier and quicker to let them do the work for you.
  • Round wonton skins - I couldn't find round wonton skins and the square ones don't look like a taco shell, so I used eggroll wrappers and a 2-inch biscuit cutter to make my own.
  • Sambal oelek - This stuff is a flavor grenade.  If you can't find it in the Asian section of your grocery store, you can substitute a little bit smaller quantity of sriracha sauce.
  • Sweet soy sauce - This Indonesian condiment is thick, sweet, salty and amazing. We buy ours at an Asian supermarket.  Substitute a thick teriyaki glaze/sauce, not the thin stuff and definitely don't sub regular soy sauce. 
For the Thai Peanut Slaw, we did several versions side by side.  The ones using fresh grated broccoli slaw were hands down better in terms of texture and taste than the pre-packaged broccoli slaw mix.  But the quickie and homemade versions of slaw dressing were much closer.  We still preferred the homemade but the quick version definitely works.

Thai Peanut Slaw Dressing - Quick Version

  • 1/3 cup store bought peanut satay sauce
  • 2 tsp sambal oelek (red garlic chile paste)
  • 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
Whisk all ingredients together.  If still too thick for your preferences, add a little splash of chicken stock.

Thai Peanut Slaw Dressing - Homemade

  • 1/3 cup cashew or peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp chicken stock
  • 2 tsp sambal oelek
  • 1/4 tsp ginger fresh
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons chicken stock or coconut milk
Mix all ingredients ingredients EXCEPT stock/coconut milk together in a small pan over medium heat, whisking until well combined.  Gradually add stock or coconut milk, whisking until you get a smooth, thick sauce consistency.  Allow to cool to room temp before using.

recipes for Smithfield Sweet Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin
 My first career was in retail grocery and I rose from a bag boy to working in the corporate offices of a major chain. When you see meat that the store has seasoned or marinated and packaged, there is a HUGE chance the meat was either blemished or close to its expiration date.    But not Smithfield, they only use 100% fresh, quality pork.  So if you're looking for a shortcut in time but not quality, look for the Smithfield labeling and packaging.

Recipe for thai peanut sauce and dressing cooked on a SABER infrared grill
Making the Thai peanut slaw dressing.  This is actually just a variant of a Thai peanut sauce that is great as a salad dressing, glaze, or dipping sauce.

How to make your own broccoli slaw mix
Fresh grated broccoli slaw bears almost no resemblance to the pre-packaged stuff at the store. It has a completely different texture and tastes so much better.  Three stalks of broccoli and one carrot made the right amount needed.

Ideas for eggroll wrapper and wonton skins
We made wonton wrappers from eggroll skins using a 2" biscuit cutter.

How to make small mini taco shells
Have a few extra wonton wrappers because you'll probably mess the first two up but then you'll get the hang of it.  Lower the wonton skin in halfway and it should fold at a 90°f angle like this.  Hold it there for 12-15 seconds and it should hold that side's shape.

Making mini-taco shells
Then just roll it over and go another 12-15 seconds.  It's handy to have a second pair of tongs available in case the shell tries to close up on you.  Don't forget to wear proper safety gear such as long sleeved, splash resistant and heat resistant gloves.

These things are so light, crispy, and fluffy that people where trying to snack on them just like this.  The resting rack keeps them from getting soggy when they come out of the fryer.
Smithfield Sweet Teriyaki Fresh Marinated Pork is quick and delicious.
When grilling pork tenderloins, always orient the meat so the tapered end points away from the hottest part of your grill.  I did these on a ceramic kamado grill over lump charcoal. 

Thin slicing grilled pork tenderloin
Think "shaving" more than "slicing" when cutting the pork up for tacos.

Perfectly cooked pork tenderloin from Smithfield
See that slightly pink center?  That used to be considered underdone by the FDA but they changed their guidance because pork roasts are safe and ideal at 145°f with a 3 minute rest. 

Fusion mini tacos featuring Smithfield fresh marinated pork.
The first batch that we made were 3+" shells which were good, but the shells are so flaky that they would break by the first or second bite, making a bit of a mess...not that there's anything wrong with that.

Our older son mentioned how tender the pork was. He said that often you'll bit into something like this at a restaurant and pull out all of the meat on the first bite but with this, the pork bit cleanly through.

Mini tacos with sweet teriyaki pork and Thai peanut slaw recipe
The two inch tacos were our favorite because they were just 1 or 2 bites, depending on your modesty. 

These things are addictive.  I would say that I was done but then grab "just one more" because they are so perfectly sized for appetizers.

About Smithfield Fresh Marinated Pork
  • Slow-marinated and perfectly seasoned, Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork is available in an assortment of mouthwatering flavors, such as Roasted Garlic and Cracked Black Pepper, Slow Roasted Golden Rotisserie, or Hardwood Smoked Bacon and Cracked Black Pepper.
  • Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork is also available in a wide variety of fresh cuts,including pork roasts, loin filets, sirloins, pork chops, and tenderloins, and can be sliced or cubed for even faster cooking.

Now that Fall is here and the cooler weather and darker evenings are here, here is another great idea for making a quick meal using Smithfield Fresh Marinated Pork. 

Smithfield is also challenging you to see what you can do with Marinated Fresh Pork to get a flavorful meal ready in about 30 minutes with their “Real Flavor, Real Fast” contest. For more 30-minute meal preparation ideas, and to submit your original tip for a chance to win great prizes, head to Real Flavor Real Fast.