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Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Quesadillas

You say tortilla; I say 8-inch circle of gastronomic possibility.

Sweet-and-Spicy-Asian-Pork-Quesadillas-Recipe-The Law-Student's-Wife

You + a tortilla + your imagination are an unstoppable kitchen trifecta. No matter your level of cooking experience, with a tortilla as your partner in crime, your culinary prowess is positively beastly. Stuff one of these bad boys with your favorite flavors, slather on something saucy, heat, and BOOM! Dinner is served. Cheese enchiladas? Peanut butter-and-honey-gone-bananas? Lazy-gal pizza? Check, check, and check.

I purchase tortillas with an abundance that merits joining Costco. Quesadillas (along with suped-up grilled cheese) are one of the most frequent dishes on Ben and my weeknight menu. In our first year of marriage, I cooked so many different versions of quesadillas that I suspect the universe has endowed me with a tortilla-centric purpose in life. (Sweet potato black bean anyone?) Either quesadillas are my life’s work, or I’m just a lazier cook that I care to admit. No need for a response. Let’s eat.


Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Quesadillas are my latest quesadilla creation, and I am confident that you—and the universe—will want two helpings. Southeast Asia and Mexico are colliding here, and it’s one tasty identity crisis.


Representing Asia, we have hoisin sauce (the sweet), ginger (the spicy, part I), baby bok choy, red cabbage, and scallions. Standing up for Mexico are shredded pork, red pepper flakes (the spicy, part II), and cheddar-jack cheese. Enveloping our two cultures is the flat, the fabulous, the tortilla. We crust this traditional Mexican ingredient with crunchy Asian sesame seeds, and our flavor fusion is complete.


Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Quesadillas ooze with cheddar-jack cheese, pile on the spiced veggies, and satisfy hunger with tender shredded pork. Oven baking crisps the tortilla, ensuring it hold up to our marvelous, messy filling. The “lid” of sesame seeds offers a surprising texture and flavor that takes these Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Quesadillas from “that was good” to “that was crazy good!”


Crazy good. You heard it here first. Whether you are looking for a fun recipe to celebrate Cinco de Mayo or a quick weeknight dinner idea, Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Quesadillas have you covered. Heed the call of the universe and serve Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Quesadillas for dinner tonight!

Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Quesadillas

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Quesadillas

A fusion of sweet Asian and spicy Mexican flavors, Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Quesadillas are loaded with tender pulled pork, ginger, gooey cheese, and veggies. Oven-baked and topped with crunchy sesame seeds, this dish transforms easy quesadilla night into something memorable.


  • 8 ounces (heaping 2 cups) shredded pork (see notes for cooking suggestion)
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 4 cups thinly sliced baby bok choy
  • 3 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (about 1/2 head)
  • 3 scallions, cut into julienne strips
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 (8-to-10) inch whole wheat tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar-jack cheese
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine pork and hoisin sauce. Set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or wok on high heat. Add baby bok choy, cabbage, and scallions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Stir in ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Continue to cook on high for 1 to 2 additional minutes, until vegetables are beginning to soften and most of the liquid as evaporated.
  4. Lay out 4 tortillas and sprinkle each with 1/4 cup cheese. Top with slightly heaping 1/2 cup shredded pork, then 3/4 cup vegetable mixture. Spread another 1/4 cup cheese over top.
  5. Top each with 1 remaining tortilla. Brush tops with egg wash, then sprinkle on 2 tablespoons sesame seeds.
  6. Stand a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Lay each quesadilla, sesame-side up, on top of the rack and do not overlap. Bake 10-12 minutes, checking frequently in the last few minutes so as not to burn. Transfer to a plate, cut into wedges, and serve immediately.


Suggestion to prepare shredded pork: Trim a 1.5-pork pork tenderloin of excess fat, place it in the crockpot with 1 cup of chicken broth, then cook on low for 6 hours. This will yield exactly double the pork needed for the recipe. Leftovers can be stored in the freezer or used in another recipe (or more Sweet and Spicy Pork !uesadillas!) Sesame Seeds: To save on groceries, look for sesame seeds in the bulk section of your grocery store. It’s much cheaper to purchase them this way than in the small spice bottles. Storage Tip: Store leftover quesadilla filling in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Fill tortillas and bake just before serving.


Adapted from Quesadillas by Donna Kelly

40 Responses to “Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Quesadillas”

  1. DessertForTwo — April 29, 2013 @ 7:01 am (#)

    I love the sesame seeds! How fun!

    • Erin — April 29th, 2013 @ 9:47 am

      Thanks Christina! And I might have to start adding those little guys to everything I make. Breakfast cereal? Don’t put it past me….

  2. Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough — April 29, 2013 @ 8:20 am (#)

    This is GENIUS. I am loving all the things about this recipe. Going to try it very soon!

    • Erin — April 29th, 2013 @ 9:47 am

      Thanks Stephanie!! Hope you enjoy every cheesy bite :)

  3. jessica | Portuguese Girl Cooks — April 29, 2013 @ 9:12 am (#)

    I’m loving the asian/mexican fusion! These look fabulous!!

    • Erin — April 29th, 2013 @ 9:46 am

      Thanks so much!! I know I wasn’t the first to put these two flavor profiles together, but this could be the start of some beautiful experimenting around here!

  4. Cassie — April 29, 2013 @ 9:14 am (#)

    I love that first line. We are BIG quesadilla fans here. I love these flavors, Erin!

    • Erin — April 29th, 2013 @ 9:45 am

      Thanks Cassie! And quesadillas are just the bees knees, aren’t they? So many options!

  5. cara — April 29, 2013 @ 11:41 am (#)

    Looks so good! I, too, am known to improvise quesadillas out of every conceivable flavor.

    • Erin — April 29th, 2013 @ 6:42 pm

      You sound like a girl after my own heart Cara! Thanks for your comment, and viva la quesadilla ;-)

  6. laurengrier — April 29, 2013 @ 12:21 pm (#)

    Indeed, these dillas look CRAZY good! You know I gotta get down on these bad boys!!

    • Erin — April 29th, 2013 @ 6:30 pm

      “Dillas.” I am totally using that word from here on out! Love it. Thanks Lauren!

  7. Megan {Country Cleaver} — April 29, 2013 @ 12:34 pm (#)

    The sesame seeds – inspired!! The asian twist – brilliant. Hungry? Totally.

    • Erin — April 29th, 2013 @ 6:30 pm

      Thanks Megan!!

  8. Ali @ Ali Eats Clean — April 29, 2013 @ 3:36 pm (#)

    I love the creativity!! This looks like one fun dish!

    • Erin — April 29th, 2013 @ 6:27 pm

      Thanks Ali! Glad you like the look of these cheesy monsters!

  9. Aimee @ ShugarySweets — April 29, 2013 @ 4:16 pm (#)

    Gorgeous. And love the sesame seeds. That’s just awesome!

    • Erin — April 29th, 2013 @ 6:26 pm

      Thanks Aimee! I think I’m going to have to start putting those little guys in everything now :)

  10. ashley - baker by nature — April 29, 2013 @ 5:34 pm (#)

    You know I love me some quesadillas!!! Mmm, and sweet and spicy pork just sounds too darn good to pass up!

    • Erin — April 29th, 2013 @ 6:25 pm

      Thanks Ashley! And the pork totally makes it :)

  11. Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry — April 29, 2013 @ 8:11 pm (#)

    Quesadillas are a weeknight staple and I am always looking for fun new twist on the traditional cheese recipe. Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork sounds out of this world good! Plus the sesame crusted tortillas? Hello genius.

    • Erin — April 29th, 2013 @ 10:37 pm

      Hope you love these Nicole! If you try them, let me know your verdict pretty please!

  12. laurasmess — April 29, 2013 @ 9:12 pm (#)

    Haha… definitely not lazy. Inventive and time-conserving, I say!! :) I love flatbreads. You can make anything from a quick snack to a full meal in minutes. I usually buy pitas as opposed to tortillas (just because we have an amazing Lebanese bakery down the road and they make them fresh to order… ah-mazing!) but I love the look of your quesadillas. Great idea to spice things up with Asian flavours!

    • Erin — April 29th, 2013 @ 10:36 pm

      Love your perspective Laura: Inventive and time-conserving. Totally using that from now on! Also, I want a Lebanese bakery right down the road for me. That sounds dangerously awesome!

  13. Megan — April 30, 2013 @ 8:22 am (#)

    oh my gosh — i looooove quesadillas, too! I can’t get enough of them. I really love the idea of sesame seeds on the outside. These look fabulous!

    • Erin — May 1st, 2013 @ 10:23 am

      Thanks Megan! And quesadillas are seriously a must-make at least once a week for us! Just in time for Cinco de Mayo :)

  14. Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies — April 30, 2013 @ 2:39 pm (#)

    Those sesame seeds on the outside? probably the best thing I’ve heard all day. I love quesadillas — so quick and satisfying :)

    • Erin — May 1st, 2013 @ 10:20 am

      Thanks Kelly! And the sesame seeds totally make it.

  15. Ali | Gimme Some Oven — May 1, 2013 @ 7:39 am (#)

    Haha…I’m with you on the Costco-worthy tortilla purchases! So many of my favorite meals include tortillas! :)

    These look absolutely wonderful. Love the colors and flavors!

    • Erin — May 1st, 2013 @ 10:19 am

      Thanks so much Ali! And really, you can never have too many tortillas :)

  16. Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking — May 1, 2013 @ 12:40 pm (#)

    Totally mouthwatering! This looks amazing, Erin. Your photos are so gorgeous, too!

    • Erin — May 1st, 2013 @ 1:04 pm

      Thanks so much Georgia! I think your photos are AMAZING, so that means a ton :-)

  17. rebacox — May 2, 2013 @ 9:56 am (#)

    Such beautiful colors in this!

    • Erin — May 2nd, 2013 @ 2:01 pm

      Thanks Reba! I love getting as many different colors and flavors into my meals as I can–quesadillas make it easy :)

  18. Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out — May 2, 2013 @ 8:21 pm (#)

    So smart! What a creative combo of ingredients – and made into a quesadilla? I’m totally sold.

    • Erin Clarke — May 3rd, 2013 @ 9:32 am

      Thanks Stephie! And really, can anything in a tortilla with cheese be bad? Nope, didn’t think so ;-)

  19. Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen — May 2, 2013 @ 8:48 pm (#)

    Quesadillas are one of my go-to quick dinners. These look so delicious!

    • Erin Clarke — May 3rd, 2013 @ 9:31 am

      Thanks Maggie! And dillas are a definite staple around here too!

  20. Pingback: Mushroom and Sundried Tomato Quesadillas | The Law Student's Wife |


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