Southeast Asian Black Kale Taco (with a bit of Pork Belly)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1 pound pork belly, skin removed
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Vegetable oil for frying, plus 1 tablespoon more
- 1 cup fresh egg noodles
- 3 bunches black kale (about 2 1/4 pounds ribs) trimmed, leaves chopped
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon sambal oelek, or to taste
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 5 teaspoons Asian fish sauce
- 5 teaspoons soy sauce
- 8 corn tortillas
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped mint
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Discard the brine. Arrange the pork fat-side-up in the baking dish and add the chicken broth. Cover tightly with foil and braise in the oven until the pork is very tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees F. Uncover the pan and continue to cook until the pork is golden brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board.
Meanwhile, heat about 1 inch of oil in a medium saucepan to 375 degrees F. Fry the egg noodles, stirring once or twice, until crisp and golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain and sprinkle with salt. Crumble into small pieces.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the kale and cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Squeeze dry. Stir together the sour cream, sambal, lime juice, a pinch of salt, and just 1-2 tablespoons water to make a drizzly sauce. Refrigerate until ready to use.
When ready to serve, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Add the kale and cook, stirring, until heated through. Remove from the heat, stir in the fish sauce and soy.
Slice the pork belly against the grain into 1/4 inch thick slices. Heat the tortillas directly on the flame of the stove top until warm and lightly browned in spots. Fill each tortilla with kale and small slice of pork. Top with the fried noodles, chopped cilantro and mint, and drizzle with the sambal sour cream.
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