Writing a post like this makes me wish I had a time machine, so I could go back in time and relive this awesome dinner. Or even better, I wish there was the option to reach into my computer screen and have one of these tacos right this minute. Since neither of these things are going to happen, I guess I’ll relive the moment by describing these amazing tacos to you right now. They were unlike anything I’ve ever eaten (or cooked) before, because to be quite frank, I had never really tried Cuban cuisine until this dish came along. Boy, have I been missing out. The sweet and spicy plantain went so well with the caramelized pork, it was a flavor and texture explosion in a taco!
Ingredients for two
○ 400 g pork belly ○ juice of one lime ○ 3 tablespoons sweet soy sauce ○ 1 tablespoon oregano ○ 2 teaspoons ground cumin ○ 1 teaspoon smoked paprika powder ○ 1 teaspoon cayenne ○ 200 g black beans ○ 1 red bell pepper ○ 2 cloves minced garlic ○ 1 plantain ○ 1 tablespoon white sugar ○ bag of small tortillas ○ 1 head of lettuce
Making the tacos
Marinate the pork in the lime juice, sweet soy sauce, oregano, garlic, cumin, paprika and cayenne for 1 hour before cooking. Heat up two frying pans over medium high heat with some oil. In one pan, fry the pork belly until it browns and slightly caramelizes (about 5 minutes). In the other pan, sprinkle the slices of plantain with some sugar and cayenne. Fry until they have a deep yellow color with some browning along the edges (about 3 minutes per side). Remove the plantain from the pan and reheat some oil and add the other minced garlic clove, then add the black beans and cubed bell pepper. Fry this for about 3 minutes. Once everything is done and you are ready to assemble, season all ingredients with salt and pepper. Top each taco with some lettuce, the black bean and bell pepper mixture, some pork cut into slices and a some plantain. Get ready to dig in!
The combination of ingredients here just made for the perfect taco! By no means do I think the sweet soy sauce is traditional, but I was looking for a saucy ingredient that could slightly caramelize the pork. Turns out it was the perfect choice! The plantain was just so unusual but absolutely lovely, it complemented the taco very well. This was a big hit, I hope you get the chance to try it!