Crunchy Asian Slaw

BBQ season calls for coleslaw nearly every time, at least it does in our family!  I love traditional mayonnaise-y versions as well as vinegar-based slaws.  One of my very favorites is one my wife started making years and years ago.  This Asian-inspired version is tangy, crispy and nutty.  I honestly can’t get enough of it!

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CRUNCHY ASIAN SLAW

Ingredients

  • 1 Lbs. Bag Cabbage/Slaw Mix
  • 2 Packages Beef Ramen Noodles
  • I Cup Salted Sunflower Seeds
  • 1 Cup Slivered or Sliced Almonds, Toasted
  • 1 Bunch Green Onions, Chopped

Dressing

  • 3/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup White Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Envelopes Beef Flavor Packets (from ramen)

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Instructions

  • In a dry frying pan, lightly toast almonds over low heat until slightly browned.  Remove from heat and cool.
  • In a large bowl, mix together slaw mix, almonds, sunflower seeds, green onions and crushed ramen noodles.
  • In a small bowl, combine dressing ingredients and whisk together until dissolved and smooth.
  • Pour dressing over salad ingredients and toss to combine.
  • Chill for 2-4 hours and serve.

This is an easy and delicious version that goes well with any grilled protein.  Try it as a perfect acidic side dish to fatty short ribs or pork shoulder!  Do you like thinks a little spicy?  A thinly-sliced or finely-diced jalapeño or serrano pepper would be great here.  I also like to add a little sriracha for a kick.  Either way, I hope you love it too.  Dig in!

Hoisin Glazed Pork Belly

My wife came home with a huge slab of pork belly the other day and I decided to split it in half and start experimenting.  The result of one half was this ridiculously delectable Asian-inspired pork belly.  Packed with flavor, melt-in-your-mouth soft and perfectly crispy on the outside, it made for great sliders.  While it’s a little out of your comfort zone, it’s actually really easy to make and execute well.

HOISIN GLAZED PORK BELLY

Ingredients

  • 3-4 Lbs. Pork Belly (No skin)
  • 1/4 Light Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Hoisin Sauce (Plus additional for glazing)
  • 1/4 Cup Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2-3 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
  • 1 Tsp. Fresh Grated Ginger
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. Five Spice Powder
  • 1 Tsp. Sesame Oil

Instructions

  • Place pork belly in a zippered plastic bag.  Set aside.
  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.  Whisk well and pour over pork belly.
  • Seal plastic bag, removing as much air as possible.  Place in a glass dish and refrigerate for 24-48 hours.
  • When you’re ready to braise, remove from refrigerator and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Remove meat from plastic bag and place into a glass baking dish.  Pour marinade over meat and add enough water to bring liquid up halfway on pork belly.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour at 400 degrees.
  • Lower oven temp to 200 degrees and continue to bake for 3 additional hours.
  • Remove from oven.  Use a spatula to remove pork belly from cooking liquid and place on a platter.  Allow to cool for 1 hour.
  • Cover platter with plastic wrap and place cooked pork belly in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  • When ready to grill, remove from fridge and slice with a sharp knife into 1/2 to 3/4-inch slices.
  • Grill over medium-low heat to crisp pork belly brushing each side lightly with additional hoisin sauce.  Grilling should take roughly 15 minutes.  Be careful not to burn!

You can serve this fantastic meat on its own as a main dish, in an Asian-style taco or in sliders.  We devoured sliders made with Hawaiian rolls, the pork belly and topped with spicy kimchi – wow!  I know you’ll love trying this out and I’m sure you’ll look like a professional chef when you serve it to your family and friends.  Get this belly in your belly.  Dig in!

Asian-Glazed Grilled Swordfish Skewers

When you travel a lot for work, it feels great to be home for a week and get creative in the kitchen.  Feeling the heat of summer means keeping it light with this twist on traditional grilled kabobs.  Swordfish is meaty and will stay on a skewer and hold up on the grill.  It feels like a stick-to-your-ribs meal with the addition of Brussels sprouts and cremini mushrooms al covered in a tangy Asian-inspired glaze.  The combinations are endless, but give this a try for something new and different without stacking on the fat and calories.

ASIAN-GLAZED GRILLED SWORDFISH SKEWERS

Ingredients

  • 1 Lb Swordfish Steak(s)
  • 8 Cremini Mushrooms
  • 12-16 Brussels Sprouts
  • 3 Green Onions, Sliced Thinly

Asian Glaze

  • 3 Tbs Light Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbs White Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbs Honey
  • Juice & Zest of 1/2 Lime
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Tsp Grated Fresh Ginger

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Directions

  • Clean and trim Brussels sprouts.  Steam on stovetop or microwave for 7 minutes, until slightly soft.
  • Cut swordfish into 1 1/2 inch cubes.
  • Alternate fish, Brussels sprouts and mushrooms on skewers.  DO NOT overcrowd them or they won’t cook evenly!
  • In a small bowl mix all ingredients for the Asian glaze.
  • Grill skewers on medium heat for 5-6 minutes, turning twice.  Lightly brush skewers with glaze and continue to cook for an additional 5-6 minutes.  Turn and glaze every minute or so.  Fish should be opaque and firm to the touch.
  • Remove skewers from grill, glaze once more and serve over white sticky rice.  Finish with sliced green onions.

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These don’t take long to grill, so it’s important that you steam the Brussels sprouts ahead of time or they won’t cook through.  Also, there is an absence of salt and pepper in this recipe because the glaze seasons everything really well.  If you like things a little spicy, I would replace the garlic clove with a tablespoon or two of sriracha.  Either way, this is a healthy dinner that’s filling and good for you too.  Let me know how it goes and what you changed!