Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Quesadillas
You say tortilla; I say 8-inch circle of gastronomic possibility.
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
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.
Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
- 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
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, combine pork and hoisin sauce. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- Top each with 1 remaining tortilla. Brush tops with egg wash, then sprinkle on 2 tablespoons sesame seeds.
- 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