Wherever did the idea come from? Heat. Summer heat. It’s summer in the tropics and the heat is punishing. My family is not in the mood for heavy meals that include rice. Mostly, they want something they can pick up with their hands and not bother with setting up the table and dealing with the clean-up afterwards.
I considered all that when deciding what to do with leftover cooked pork that had been sitting in the fridge for two days. Tortilla roll-ups seemed to fit the bill perfectly. The pork won’t go into oblivion in the fridge and, at the same time, we’d have a filling meal that wouldn’t require spoons, forks and knives.
Thinly sliced shallots, garlic and oregano were sauteed in hot oil before the pulled pork was added. How much pork? Well, I had about two cups but that measurement was incidental rather than intentional because, like I mentioned earlier, this is leftover meat.
Freshly cracked black pepper, a bay leaf, vinegar and soy sauce were added. No, not whole peppercorns which is what traditional adobo requires. While it’s easy to fish out whole peppercorns when adobo is cooked as a stew, it would be impossible to find them and fish them out from pulled pork adobo. So, freshly cracked black pepper.
How much vinegar for two cups of pulled pork? I measured three tablespoons. The amount of soy sauce was less because the pork had been cooked in salted water days earlier. No need to go overboard with the soy sauce.
Besides, the pork browns in the oil. Pulled pork adobo means frying the shredded meat in oil. So unless you want a cooked dish that’s as dark as a moonless night, don’t use too much soy sauce. If the pulled pork adobo needs more saltiness, augment the soy sauce with salt.
When the pulled pork adobo is done, all you need to do is warm up your tortillas, fill them and roll them. Because I wanted to lighten the meat filling, I topped the adobo with pickled vegetables.
The pickled carrot and radish is a Vietnamese condiment that usually goes into a Saigon-style banh mi. We often keep a jar of the stuff in the fridge, homemade of course, because we make banh mi quite often.
The pickled cucumber is something my younger daughter prepared at the request of her father. We harvested cucumbers recently and pickling was the best way to preserve them.
Pulled pork adobo
- 5 10-inch flour tortillas
- pickled vegetables store bought is okay
- thinly sliced scallions optional
Cook the pulled pork adobo
- Heat the cooking oil and saute the shallots and garlic until aromatic.
- Add the pulled pork and stir until every strand is coated with oil.
- Add the pepper, bay leaf, vinegar and soy sauce.
- Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the liquids have been soaked up by the meat and the pork has fried in the oil.
- Taste and stir in salt, if needed.
Assemble the tortilla roll-ups
- Warm the tortillas.
- Lay a tortilla flat and spoon two to three tablespoons of pulled pork adobo across the middle.
- Top with pickled vegetables.
- Fold in the sides then roll to seal the fillings.
- Optionally, cut into halves crosswise and sprinkle with sliced scallions before serving.