I have to admit, I am one of the kinds of people who once they’ve had something really good at a restaurant, I try to go home to duplicate it. It never seems to be exactly the same as when you’ve eaten whatever it is out, but cooking is all about trials and tribulations right? I guess it was sometime this past fall that Jimmy and I treated ourselves to a very RARE date night…the typical dinner and a movie. We went to see TRON in 3D (which I have to admit was awesome but why don’t they let you keep the 3D glasses for next time? #lame) well before the movie we went to Applebee’s. They had a few new things on the menu, and one of them was an appetizer that we tried, pulled pork wontons! Man they were so good! I could have eaten a whole other order on my own! They were like BBQ pulled pork inside a crispy fried wonton shell with this sweet slaw and spicy vinaigrette of some kind that had cilantro in it. Building on this idea, I came up with a similar version of that, pulled pork egg rolls. I could never really find the wonton shells needed to make the same kind that Applebees does, but this is very similar and gives you a really good app or a main course that goes great with homemade fried rice.
Pulled Pork Eggrolls
for the pork tenderloin: (regular, unseasoned pork tenderloin or shoulder, approx 1.5-3 lbs)
1 cup brown sugar
4 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp grill seasoning (such as McCormick)
1/2 cup orange juice or apple juice*
1 1/2 cup BBQ sauce of choice or Asian Sweet Chili Sauce*
plus 1 tsp curry powder and 1/2 tsp ground ginger for Asian*
* in these to ingredients, you can decide if you want a more BBQ-y pulled pork or a more Asian style pork. I have made it both ways and it works well. If you are doing BBQ, use apple juice, if you are doing Asian, use orange juice.
Make sure pork is at room temp. Add whole pork into slow cooker. If it’s too big to close the lid, cut the pork in half to make it fit where lid can close tightly. Add all dry ingredients to pork first, rubbing each side well with the rub. Next mix all wet ingredients together in a bowl and add to slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours until tender, or on low for 8 hours. This is a great smell to come home to after a long day’s work!!
After the pork has cooled, you can simply use it to make pulled pork sandwiches on soft buns, by using the liquid in the bottom of the slow cooker and reducing it in a saucepan over low heat, as the BBQ sauce. This is a great quick meal to serve with store-bought sweet potatoe fries or tots!!
To make the eggrolls, let the pork cool and tear it in a large bowl using a fork until it’s completely shredded. You will need 1 bag of coleslaw mix or shredded cabbage, large eggroll wrappers, and 1 cup of chopped scallions, softened cream cheese*, also chopped cilantro and rice wine vinegar is optional. To begin building your eggroll, take one eggroll wrapper, lay it on a flat clean surface, and wipe down all four edges with water, using your finger. Put a small amount of the pork, then the cabbage, then cream cheese(optional), then scallions, cilantro, and rice wine vinegar. Fold in each side equally, and start rolling eggroll tightly, making sure that all edges are well sealed. Repeat these steps until all ingredients are used. Fry the eggrolls in a fry daddy or in a large skillet with 2 inches of canola or veg oil in the bottom, until golden brown. This is a great way to use the pork for a second night if you have some leftover!!
You can also serve these during a football party, as a different type of snack, and here are a few ideas for easy dipping sauces:
Duck sauce (store bought) or sweet and sour (store bought)
You can make an easy sweet and sour sauce by combining soy sauce, grape jelly, and ketchup over low heat. Also, another good homemade dipping sauce is creamy peanut butter, honey, soy sauce, teriyaki marinade, sweet chili sauce, rice wine vinegar, canola oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Use almost equal parts of peanut butter, teriyaki and soy, then add other ingredients to taste. These are all super easy and just take some experimenting to make!! I hope all you fellow Asian-food fans will try this out when you’re having a craving for Applebees pulled pork wontons like I was!!