A reader recently tipped me off about the idea of pan-frying rice papers (bánh tráng) to make a quick snack. Not only was it a great idea, it served as a unique way of making a quick serving “dish”; in fact, they acted not unlike tostadas in that sense. So to keep with the theme of rice papers, I decided to make some deconstructed spring roll “tostadas” as a quick and easy meal.
12 rice papers
lard or coconut oil for frying
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 shallot, minced
1lb Chinese cabbage (bok choy or similar), coarsely chopped
6 fresh shitaake mushrooms, coarsely chopped (dried okay if soaked for 30 mins)
2 carrots, julienned
4 scallions, coarsely chopped
Cut the pork shoulder into small pieces, cutting away any huge pieces of fat. It’s okay if the meat is well-marbled, as we’re going to render the fat out as we cook it.
Combine the pork shoulder and all of the items in the first set of ingredients. Put in a ziploc bag and refrigerate for at least four hours, overnight preferred.
Making the rice paper “tostadas” is a breeze. Simply warm up some lard or coconut oil on medium/high heat, then dip them in the oil and hold them down with some tongs. It should only take a few seconds to crisp them up. Drain them on some paper towels.
My son loves them. Once you have the tostadas ready to go, set them aside and get the rest of the dish prepped.
Rinse your vegetables, then cut them up.
Like most quick-cooking recipes, it’s important to have everything chopped and ready to go before you start cooking.
I’ve mentioned it before, but when stir-frying, using a wok and a flame make cooking a breeze. We don’t have a gas range, so we use a butane gas grill, and I love it to death. It’s cheap and the butane canisters last for a surprisingly long time (usually 1.5 hours).
Warm your grill on high heat, then add the coconut oil. When the oil starts shimmering, add the shallot and fry for about 20-30 seconds, until it’s just starting to brown. Add the pork and stir fry, stirring often, until it looks cooked through, about four minutes. Reduce the heat to med/low and let it sit under the flame to crisp a little, about five more minutes.
As it sits under the flame, it’ll crisp up a little and the fat will start to render. Stir it around every few minutes, but not too often since we want the meat to get a slight crust.
Once the pork looks nice and browned, add the cabbage, mushrooms, and carrots, and stir fry until softened, about two or three minutes.
Once the cabbage has wilted to your liking, turn off the heat and mix in the chopped scallions. Add salt and pepper to taste, then spoon some of the mixture onto the “tostadas” and serve.