Have you ever been to a Super Bowl party? Before I lived in the States, I never went to one. My life here changed all that. My sons made lots of friends in school and sports. Eventually their parents became our friends. We got invited to lots of parties, some of them Super Bowl parties. The food spread was unbelievable. I thought Filipinos could not be outdone at food. I was wrong. A Super Bowl party is like taking all the food in the world, all the dishes, beef, pork, chicken, all the pasta, nibbles, dips and desserts, piling them at a buffet table and eating like there’s no tomorrow. You do all these while watching a football game, the championship game marking the end of the season.
Well, Super Bowl came and went this winter weekend. This year the football game was in our home state. Ironically, we did not go to any party and just stayed in to watch the game on tv, glued to the latest ads and half time show. Even if we were home by ourselves, that did not stop me from cooking up a storm. We just celebrated the Chinese New Year a few days ago. So my freezer and refrigerator were packed with everything good to eat.
Conveniently, I got the new cookbook “Stuffed “ by Dan Whalen from friends. What a find. It was packed with a variety of dishes, appetizers, sides, even desserts that you would wrap in various fillings. It was the kind of cookbook that I knew I’d go back to over and over again for different dish ideas.
The recipe for Korean Burritos had my name on it. I had a slab of pork shoulder which I stewed in a slow simmer till it was fork tender. Once ready and bursting with a garlicky-tangy but heady aroma, I shredded the sweet pork and combined it with vegetables, white rice and kimchi. Kimchi is spicy Korean pickles made out of fermented cabbage. It is fiery and adds a zing to anything. Once the pork and vegetables were stir fried and ready, I encased heaping tablespoons into a warm, soft tortilla wrap together with the kimchi. I rolled it up till it was burly and hefty enough for a meal.
The next time we get invited to another Super Bowl party or an event with friends, I’ll bring these Korean Burritos.It is dishes like these that have helped me connect, link up, make friends through the years. It always starts with the conversation. Once people I meet take a bite of what I made, say, this Korean Burrito for instance, they gasp, obviously enjoying it and ask “How did you make this? Will you share the recipe?”
And that’s what good food like these Korean Burrito is all about. It’s all about engagement, starting friendships with good food, good conversations and great connections. Say it with food, next time you’re invited !
Korean Pork Burritos
- 2 pounds pork shoulder fat trimmed, cut in cubes
- 2 Tablespoons Shao xing rice wine
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups soup broth
- 3 portion corners star anise
- 2 large tomatoes chopped, for salsa
- 1 whole large tomato chopped, for salsa, divide in half onion
- 1 whole medium-sized cucumber peeled, seeded, cubed
- 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar for salsa
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 cup brown sugar for pork shoulder, added at the end
- 1/3 cup Kimchi (Korean pickled cabbage) bottled; sliced thin
- 6 to 8 whole large soft flour tortilla wraps
- 1 1/2 cups cooked white or brown rice for the filling
- 2 stalks scallion whites chopped
- 1-2 cups shredded napa cabbage for filling
- How to boil the pork filling: Marinate the pork shoulder overnight with sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine, 3 cloves minced garlic. The next day, in a heavy large stock pot, over medium high heat place the pork with the marinades, add the soup broth, star anise, garlic, salt and pepper. Make sure there is enough broth to cover the pork as it softens. Cover and cook the pork for an hour and 40 minutes till it is soft and tender when pierced with a fork. Add the brown sugar at the end of cooking and blend well with the pork and gravy.
- Once the pork shoulder is cooked, shred or slice into tiny bite-sized pieces. Put aside. There will be leftover sweet broth, put that aside to moisten filling if needed later on.
- How to cook the salsa: In a medium skillet, add the vegetable or cooking oil. Saute half of the garlic portion, chopped onions and tomatoes. Cook till tomatoes soften up in 2 to 3 minutes. Do not let the tomatoes overcook. Add the cubed cucumbers and remove from fire.
- To stir-fry the pork filling: In a medium skillet (use the same one), over medium heat, add the cooking oil. After 1 to 2 minutes, when oil is hot, rest of chopped onions, scallions. After 1 to 2 minutes, stir fry the pork pieces, salsa, shredded napa cabbage, cooked rice. Add the kimchi.
- Prepare the tortillas: Warm up the soft flour tortillas in the toaster oven for 1 to 2 minutes. Lay the tortillas on dry surfaces or flat plates. Place 2 to 3 tablespoons pork filling with rice and vegetables in the center of each tortilla wrap. Spread the pork-vegetable-rice filling in a vertical shape, to align with the wrapped burrito’s shape.
- To assemble: Roll up the wrap away from you, tucking in the side. Continue to roll the burrito wrap like a giant fat cigar. Make sure no fillings fall out. Tuck in the sides of the burrito. Serve on a wide platter.
- Full disclosure : I was not compensated to review this cookbook. But it is a great new cookbook and I will gladly recommend it to anyone who likes to cook with wraps, fillings and stuffings .
- Cook’s Comments: Kimchi is a Korean pickled cabbage. You can choose to make your own or else purchase store-bought kimchi from Asian markets.
- Find "Stuffed: The Ultimate Comfort Food Cookbook" by Dan Whalen where most books are sold or through Amazon or other online sources.
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Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the marinade ingredients. The actual amount of the marinade consumed will vary. The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe? I have more classic recipes inspired by my late mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
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