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.
Homemade Tortilla Chips: Don’t let those flour tortilla scraps go to waste! Prepare a baking sheet with foil, and spread the scraps out. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt. Bake in the oven at 350°F for 5-10 minutes, until slightly golden. Remove from oven and store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. Serve with left over mini taco ingredients or salsa for dipping.