This is Chris from over at Shared Appetite and I have taken full control of Kitchen Apparel for today. Don’t worry, you’ll have the awesomely wonderful Sandra back tomorrow. But for now, you are all mine (insert lame evil laugh here).
I’ve been a big fan of Kitchen Apparel for quite some time now. Sandra’s stunning photos not only makes my mouth water, but I may have actually drooled onto my keyboard once or twice. And if you really miss her and need to hear her voice, head over to Shared Appetite, where she has kindly returned the favor of playing blog hostage for the day.
If you’ve never heard of this glorious Cambodian-inspired sandwich establishment, feel free to check out my Num Pang review. Just don’t pay attention to the terrible photos.
No individual component of this sandwich is probably going to jump out, smack you in the face, and wow you. But when their powers combine, something magnificent happens. You’ll get that feeling you had when you enjoyed your first kiss with your special someone... only so much better. (It’s okay, my wife would agree. She loves this sandwich that much.)
And listen, when you’re shopping for bread, don’t make it some little silly afterthought. It’s the biggest decision you need to make for a successful sandwich experience. You want a nice crispy crust, delicate inside crumb, and good airy hole structure. Put that Wonderbread away.
If you need some ideas, check out Carnitas Tacos with Pickled Onion and Salsa Verde or Better Than Chipotle Burrito Bowl.
I’m sure Sandra will have you go through some sort of microgreen detox program after all this meat and gluten talk. But it was fun while it lasted, wasn’t it? Wasn't it?!
Num Pang Pulled Pork Sandwich
Carnitas (Pulled Pork), recipe below
Pickled Carrots, recipe below
Pickled Onions, recipe below
Cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
Spicy Mayo, recipe below
Mini Baguettes/Rolls, halved and toasted
For the Carnitas:
8-10 pound bone-in pork shoulder (or 6-8 pound boneless)
2 tablespoons neutral-tasting oil
1 teaspoon chile powder
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon cumin
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
Cut pork shoulder in large pieces, approximately 4-5 inches. Remove excess fat. Season pork generously on all sides with Kosher salt and refrigerate overnight. (If in a rush and can’t do the overnight part, just salt pork and continue).
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large oven-safe pot (I use my dutch oven), heat oil over medium-high heat. Sear pork shoulder in a single layer on all sides until deep golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. Sear in multiple batches if needed.
Remove browned pork and blot away excess grease with paper towels. Pour in 1 cup of water and use a wooden spoon to scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Stir in chile powder, ancho chile powder, bay leaves, cumin, garlic, onion, and a hefty pinch of salt. Return the browned pork to the pot and add enough water to so that it submerges ⅔ of the pork.
Place uncovered pot in oven for 3 to 3 ½ hours, turning pork a couple times throughout the braising process. Pork is done when the meat falls apart as you try to pick it up with a fork and most of the liquid is evaporated. Remove bay leaves and discard. Shred meat with two forks (or let it cool and use your fingers) and discard any visible chunks of fat. Extra pork may be refrigerated or wrapped in foil, sealed in ziploc bag, and frozen. To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat in 350°F oven wrapped in foil and placed on a baking sheet (in case anything spills out).
For the Pickled Carrots:
2 - 3 large carrots, peeled and shredded
½ cup warm water
½ cup apple cider vinegar
⅛ cup sugar
½ tablespoon Kosher salt
Combine water, vinegar, sugar, and salt in bowl. Whisk together until sugar and salt is fully dissolved. Place shredded carrots in a bowl or jar (I like to use a mason jar) and pour vinegar mixture over carrots. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 day, although they will last for a few weeks.
For the Pickled Onions:
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup warm water
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt
Combine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together until sugar and salt is fully dissolved. Place thinly sliced onion in a bowl or jar (I like to use a mason jar) and pour vinegar mixture over onions. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 day, although they will last for a few weeks.
For the Spicy Mayo:
½ cup mayonaisse
1 and ½ tablespoons sriracha
½ teaspoon sugar
Pinch Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.