Tacos have become such a part of mainstream American cuisine that on the West Coast other ethnic groups have begun topping the ubiquitous corn tortilla with their cultural culinary specialties. Forget the fish taco, ground beef taco, or shredded beef taco. Their time has come and gone. In Los Angeles and Seattle you can find Vietnamese and Korean food-truck chefs who are creating the latest taco sensations: Korean barbecue and Kimchi tacos, Bulgogi tacos, Vietnamese lemongrass chicken tacos.
I mean, when you see a dozen kinds of tacos available in the neighborhood supermarket, and Taco Bells show up in China, what would you expect, right? The taco is ripe for a cultural hijacking.
And so this native Thai decided that the time was ripe for….ta da…a Thai taco.
I envisioned a corn tortilla with some shredded romaine lettuce, chopped tomato, grilled chicken or pork satay, and a generous dollop of peanut-butter curry sauce. Top it off with a few springs of cilantro and voilà: Thai taco.
For the tacos
- 1 pound (454 g.) boneless pork sirloin chops, sliced into thin pieces
- 5 tablespoons (75 ml.) coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml.) curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml.) garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml.) ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml.) fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml.) cooking oil
- 6 cups (1.4 l.) shredded romaine lettuce
- 3 cups (720 ml.) chopped tomatoes
- 3 ripe avocados, sliced into quarters
- Cilantro for garnish
- 1 dozen corn or flour tortillas
For the sauce
- 13.5 oz. (400 ml.) coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml.) red curry paste
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml.) fish sauce
- 1 cup (240 ml.) creamy peanut butter
- Marinate the pork satay by placing sliced pork in a medium bowl. Add coconut milk, curry powder, garlic powder, ground ginger and fish sauce and mix well to evenly coat the pork. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour.
- While pork is marinating, prepare the sauce by heating coconut milk over medium heat in a small saucepan. Reduce heat when it starts to boil. Stir in red curry paste and fish sauce and stir until red curry paste is completely dissolved into the coconut milk. Add peanut butter and stir until peanut butter melts and is incorporated into the coconut milk. Turn off heat and cover until ready to serve with tacos.
- Heat the oil in griddle pan or cast-iron skillet over high heat and cook the marinated pork satay, turning the pieces until each side is seared and cooked (about 3-4 minutes). Set cooked pieces onto serving platter.
- Place shredded romaine and chopped tomatoes in a serving bowl and place avocado slices on a serving platter.
- Place some cilantro springs in a bowl.
- Heat tortillas in a microwave or in a pan and place on serving plate wrapped in a paper towel to keep them warm.
- Place sauce in a serving bowl and serve all ingredients, allowing each diner to assemble his or her own taco and top with as much sauce as desired.
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