Posted by: Rachel | June 3, 2012

but me no butts…

Alright, maybe that doesn’t quite work, but this week I am talking pork butt. Mmmm… every once in a while I get a “hankering” for pulled pork, and butt, which is actually shoulder (go figure), is just the ticket.

This time what actually got me going wasn’t wanting pulled pork as much as it was finding a few bottles (oh I should have bought them all, dang it!) of “sweet” soy sauce in the clearance basket at the Fiesta Mart. You just never know what will turn up in their clearance, and this kind of soy sauce, aka Indonesian or Thai soy sauce or Kecap Manis, was a great find.

sliced onions

love me some onions…

Actually, it is more akin to barbecue sauce than to soy sauce. It is a little salty, certainly, but it is thick and sort of molasses-y (if that’s a word). I love it. I can eat it on bread, or use it pretty much anywhere I would use ketchup or barbecue sauce. Mmmmmm….pork and onions in the pot just at the beginning

So I bought a pork butt, chopped some onions, and that’s pretty much it. The house smelled great, and it turned out shiny, shreddable, and just the ticket to be rolled up in a flour tortilla for a true “fusion” of Mexi/Thai! It didn’t look like much at first, but the sauce penetrated the meat a bit so the final product was (I think) really beautiful with almost a mirror finish.

Here’s a more specific “how-to” for this dish, but honestly if you can get your hands on a bottle of this stuff, and especially if you have a sweet tooth like I do, try it with eggs, different vegetables in a stir fry, in rice, in a marinade for grilled chicken, maybe even over vanilla ice cream (ok, I haven’t tried that yet)…

Glazed Pulled Pork My/Thai Style

1 3lb(ish) pork “butt”
2 medium onions
2 T garlic powder
1 T Chinese 5-spice (optional)
1 T olive oil
1 C (about) sweet soy sauce
Fresh cilantro, chopped

finished roast

shiny, sparkley…mmm!!

Slice the onions. Put them in a deep Dutch oven with the olive oil and sauté while you ready the pork. Make a dry rub of the garlic powder and the 5-spice. Rub all over the pork, add the pork to the pot and brown on all sides.

Once browned, add about 1/2 C of water to the pot (not over the meat) and 1/2 C of the sweet soy sauce over the meat, cover and cook low and slow for maybe 45 minutes. Turn the meat a couple of times to keep it from sticking.

Remove the lid and cook for an additional 1/2 hour, adding a bit more sauce and some water if necessary. Check for doneness with a meat thermometer. I find it stays nice and moist and should pull apart (pulled pork, right?) with a fork. Mmmm…

Finish it with a bit more sauce and top with fresh cilantro.

A butt this size will feed 4 if you don’t want leftovers for sandwiches…



  1. I’ve never cooked pulled pork, but I want some of it now for lunch. Virtual eating does me no good. Sigh.

    • The upside of “virtual” food is that, like food eaten standing up, it has no calories! Still it does leave one wanting… 🙂

  2. “Pulled pork” would be such a bad phrase to use in England, trust me. It does look delicious however.

    • Yes, well, “spotted dick” sounds sort of dubious around here – ah the language of food! 🙂

  3. Perfect – it looks so good. Which part of the pork does it come from? Would really liek to make this!

    • It is the upper part of the shoulder. No idea why it is called butt… but there you have it! 🙂

  4. Rachel, the pork looks delicious. As far as the term “butt” in reference to pork shoulder…it comes from the name of the barrel that pork was stored in here in New England years ago.

    • Aha! Thanks for the info… I have heard of “water butts” so this makes sense. I just never made the connection! (And yes, she added modestly, it *was* good:-))

  5. Very cool. I haven’t used that spice on pork and now really want too.

    • Yeah, I’m not the “mad skills” smoker that you are, but I made do… and it was awfully good (imo) 🙂

  6. This sounds wonderful and – what a coincidence! – I’d never heard of it before but just the other my daughter and her partner mentioned eating it in Boston recently. Now I know how to make it.

  7. That glaze is amazing… looks scrumptious!

    • I could almost see myself in the roast! 🙂 Shiny shiny…

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