I’m a huge fan of all kinds of Asian food; Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, etc. I love them all. So, I came up with this recipe to pay homage to a couple of my favorite dishes, General Tso’s Chicken and Thai Pork Spring Rolls, with some Pad Thai influences thrown in for good measure…
The first thing I did was trimmed and brined my chicken wings. I cut off the wing tips, gave them a good rinse in cold running water and then submerged them in our new Game Changer All Purpose Brine mixed at full strength (instructions found here
.) using plain water. The wings brined for one hour.
For the pulled pork, instead of smoking a whole pork butt, I opted for the quicker route and used “Country Style Pork Shoulder Ribs” instead, which are really nothing more than a pork butt sliced up into long, thick strips. I brined the pork with our Game Changer All Purpose Brine mixed at full strength using Guinness Draught beer for half of the liquid volume. The pork was brined for 2 hours.
After the brine-time had elapsed, I rinsed each piece of meat well under cold running water and patted each dry with paper towels. I laid all the wings out on a sheet pan and did the same thing with the pork. Everything was coated with an even layer of Secret Weapon rub on all sides.
My Weber 22½” Smokey Mountain smoker was fired up with lump charcoal and the pork went on the bottom rack and wings on the top. I opened the vents wide open and let it ride in the 300º degree range for about one hour.
With the wings and pork on the smoker, it was time to start building my sauce. All of the ingredients for the sauce were obtained from our local Asian markets. You’ll not likely find all of these ingredients in your local supermarket, so seek out your local Asian market and pay them a visit. They’re neat grocery stores with very unique products and a lot of fun to visit.
Asian Wings & Thai-Fusion Pulled Pork Spring Rolls
The ingredients in the picture from left to right are…
- Healthy Boy brand Black Soy Sauce (NOT the same as regular soy sauce!)
- Three Crabs brand Fish Sauce
- Koon Chun brand Hoisin Sauce
- Pantari brand Sweet Chili Sauce (Mae Ploy brand also works well)
- Oakridge BBQ Secret Weapon rub
- Fresh garlic
- Fresh ginger (peeled)
- Fresh lime juice
The recipe for this is very simple, just mix all of the following in a medium saucepan and bring it to a high simmer on the stove, stirring frequently to prevent the bottom from scorching.
Oakridge BBQ Asian Glaze
- 1 cup Sweet chili sauce
- 1 heaping TBSP Hoisin sauce
- 1 TBSP black soy sauce (you can substitute 1 TBSP reg. soy sauce plus 1 TBSP brown sugar)
- 1 TBSP Oakridge BBQ Secret Weapon rub
- 1½ tsp fish sauce
- 1 TBSP peeled, microplaned fresh ginger
- 1 large clove garlic, peeled and microplaned
- juice of one medium lime
I tripled the recipe above for this cook. When combined, the sauce looks like this…
Keep it simmering on the stove, so it stays hot, until your chicken thighs hit 180º. Then, brush the thighs with the heated sauce and cook them for 10 more minutes on your smoker then pull them off. They should look like this…
Finish cooking your pork until it starts to fall apart, then brush with the Asian glaze
and remove from smoker.
Now, it’s time to start building your final plate. Start by cooking some Thai rice noodles and then cool them by rinsing with cold water to stop the cooking process. You’ll need to lay everything out mise en place for making your spring rolls because the rice sheets dry out very quickly and stick to your counter top if you aren’t quick making them.
Left to right we have…
- Asian pulled pork (see recipe above)
- Cooked & cooled rice noodles
- Do Chua (Vietnamese pickled vegetables, base recipe here. Mine uses peeled red radishes instead of daikon, plus I add cucumber, granny smith apples and jalapeno pepper slices)
- Reserved Asian glaze
- Lime wedges
- One stupid-sharp knife…
- Thai Basil
To make the spring roll, soak a rice sheet for 10 seconds in hot tap water, then lay flat on your counter top.
Layer each ingredient in a neat pile starting with the rice noodles, then add pork, do chua, glaze, lime juice, a few leaves of cilantro and one leaf of Thai basil.
No laughing at my spring-rolling techniques… First you fold the sides over, then you pull the short side over, gently pulling it tight and tucking in in under the food, then continue rolling in a tight roll the rest of the way.
Now, we just need to build our final plate… Garnish chicken wings with crushed peanuts and chopped cilantro. Add some Thai basil leaves and a few lime wedges for garnish.
The flavor I got by using Guinness in the pork brine was AMAZING! The sourness and slight bitterness of the beer when mixed with the brine and later the Asian glaze just blew my mind. The flavors just exploded in your mouth. The brine penetrated deep, all the way through the pork so every single bite had that wonderful flavor.
The chicken wings were also OUTSTANDING! The Secret Weapon rub combined with the Asian glaze and slight smokiness from the lump charcoal forming a perfect symphony of sweet, slight heat, savory, salty, thick & gooey with super-moist chicken wings beneath. The chopped peanuts and cilantro really added a whole new dimension and should not be skipped if you’re making this at home. It was truly an amazing meal!