Perfectly bite-size and ready to party, these Mini Pulled Pork Tacos are drizzled with a spicy sweet soy glaze and topped with a quick-pickled apple carrot slaw. Your guests will be clamoring for more of these flavorful snacks!
Tacos are pretty much the best, don’t you think? You can have them so many ways, with so many flavor combinations. I’d wager there isn’t a wrong way to make a taco at this point.
And what makes absolutely every food even better? Tiny versions!
The recipe for these Pulled Pork Mini Tacos with Spicy Soy Glaze & Apple Carrot Slaw may look like it has a lot of steps, but I assure you that it’s far from difficult to make. The individual components can even be made ahead of time, allowing you spread to prep over several days.
These delicious bites are like a taco-take on a Bahn Mi sandwich. Sweet and spicy traditional Vietnamese and Korean flavor profiles combine to make a combination that is sure to impress. Have a little fun this gameday and impress your guests with a platter of these crave-worthy Pulled Pork Mini Tacos!
Pulled Pork Mini Tacos
Pulled pork is such an easy, versatile ingredient, and the perfect filling for large batch tacos. I provide a recipe below for a super simple Slow Cooker Lemongrass Pulled Pork, but feel to use to any basic pulled pork recipe you prefer. I’d just stick with something without much in the way of extra seasoning besides salt and pepper, unless you know the flavors will meld well with the Spicy Sweet Soy Glaze.
The addition of the Quick Pickled Apple Carrot Slaw might seem out of place with the rest of the ingredients, but the vinegar from the pickling adds just the right amount of acid to complement the fat in the cheese and the pork. The apple also adds a nice sweetness, pulling the whole dish together.
Making the Mini Taco Shells
While the main ingredient is the pork, the tiny taco shells are what make these Pulled Pork Mini Tacos something special. I learned the technique in a recipe video for RedHot Mini Chicken Tacos, and fell in love with the concept of turning regular soft flour tortillas into flavor-coated crispy taco shells. Craving these amazingly flavorful MOGO Korean Fusion Tacos I recalled from trips to Asbury Park, I decided an Asian-inspired version would be just the right thing for a game day or Super Bowl Party menu.
After cutting 3-inch diameter circles out of the larger flour tortillas (you should be able to get about 5 mini shells from each tortilla), the rounds are soaked in a mixture of melted butter, soy sauce, and salt, with a little smoked paprika for some heat. The crispy taco shell shapes are made by setting each folded round between the cups of a non-stick muffin tray, flipped over so that the cups stand upright like mounds. A little time in the oven cooks the flavors in and crisps up the shells, allowing them to keep their folded shape.
The rest of the assembly is easy. Mini taco shells are filled with pulled pork and lined up in snug rows in a 9 x 13 inch pan, and then popped back into the oven for a few minutes – just enough to warm everything through.
To serve, you have two options – you can dress the Pulled Pork Mini Tacos yourself, adding the crumbled Cotija or Queso Fresco cheese, torn cilantro leaves, and strips of Quick Pickled Apple Carrot Slaw to each tiny bite, or put the toppings out on the table for guests to add themselves. Either one works – your choice!
Looking for more mini appetizers for your game day or Super Bowl Party? How about these Pretzel Pastry Pigs or Spinach & Artichoke Pastry Swirls? Both are delicious and the perfect addition to any get-together.
These Pulled Pork Mini Tacos are sure to be a huge hit at your next party. I’ve already got friends asking for them by name! Enjoy a new crave worthy favorite this game day and Super Bowl season.
Spicy Sweet Mini Pulled Pork Tacos with Apple Carrot Slaw
- 7 large flour tortillas
- ½ cup melted butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 cup Spicy Sweet Soy Glaze, divided (recipe below)
- 3 cups pulled pork (Any recipe for plain pulled pork will do, but I include one for Lemongrass Pulled Pork below)
Spicy Sweet Soy Glaze (Makes about 1 ½ cups)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup dry sake
- ½ cup mirin
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Quick Pickled Apple Carrot Slaw (Makes about 2 cups)
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 cup apple, sliced into matchsticks (about 1 apple)
- 1 cup carrot, sliced into matchsticks (about 2 carrots)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Quick Picked Apple Carrot Slaw
- Cotija or Queso Fresco Cheese, crumbled
- Pickled candied jalapenos, to taste
- Fresh cilantro
To make the Spicy Sweet Soy Glaze:
- Whisk together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl.
- In a medium saucepan, stir together the soy sauce, sake, mirin, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Heat to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture and simmer until thickened, about 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- The Spicy Sweet Soy Glaze will keep in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
To make the Apple Carrot Slaw:
- Heat the vinegar, water, and honey in a saucepan, until simmering.
- As the mixture heats, prepare a clean pint jar and pack it with with the thinly sliced apple and carrot pieces. Pour the simmering vinegar mixture over the top of the apples and carrots, followed by the salt and pepper. Seal the jar with a lid, and shake to combine. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight to pickle the fruit and veggies. Store in the fridge and use within a few weeks.
To Make the Mini Taco Shells:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Using a round cookie cutter 3-inches in diameter, cut out 5 small circles from each large tortilla. Reserve the tortilla scraps for another use (see note below).
- Whisk together the butter, salt, smoked paprika, and soy sauce in a medium bowl. Toss each of the tortillas in the sauce to coat.
- Turn two muffin tins upside down, so that the cups stand upward. Arrange the coated tortillas on the muffin tins, folding them gently in half so that they sit between the cups (as pictured above). Set the upside-down muffin tins on baking sheets and slide them into the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes until slightly hardened – they should keep their folded mini taco shape when removed! Keep the oven on for the next step.
To Assemble the Pulled Pork Mini Tacos:
- Mix the pulled pork with ½ cup Spicy Sweet Soy Glaze. Set aside.
- Spray a 9 x 13 inch casserole or baking dish with cooking spray. Fill each mini shell with at least a tablespoon of pulled pork mixture and line them up in the baking dish in rows so that they sand up. Fill the pan with as many as possible. Drizzle the mini tacos with the remaining Spicy Sweet Soy Glaze.
- Bake the mini tacos in the oven at 350°F for about 5 minutes – just enough time to heat them through. Pre-garnish each taco with a few slices of Apple Carrot Slaw, crumbled Cotija or Queso Fresco, and torn cilantro, or allow guests to add their own toppings as desired. Any left-over glaze can be served on the side as well.
Slow Cooker Lemongrass Pulled Pork
- 3- inch grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons minced lemongrass
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 pounds boneless pork loin or roast
- 1 cup dry sake
- Combine all the ingredients up to the pork loin in a bowl and mix together. Place the pork loin in the bowl, and rub the mixture into it. Set the pork in the bowl of a slow cooker and pour the sake over it. Close the lid and cook on low 6-8 hours, until the pork is cooked and shreds easily. Pull the pork apart and drain the liquid. Store in the fridge and use within 3-4 days.