This post has been sponsored by La Tortilla Factory, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support ¡Hola! Jalapeño.
A couple weeks ago Armando and I went to Mexico City to celebrate my birthday. We ate and ate and ate and still seemed hungry. It might have been all the walking, but it was probably how good all the food looked (and smelled) cooking over open flattops on practically every street corner.
There was a place kitty-corner from our hotel that wasn’t a street cart but an actual brick and mortar spot with card tables and cushy-seated black restaurant chairs out front. On our way back to our hotel one late afternoon we decided to stop for a taco because apparently the four churros I had just eaten a mile back weren’t quite enough.
What Are Tacos Arabes?
Once we sat down and were presented with the menu I realized these were not your typical tacos, this spot sold Tacos Árabes or Arabian Tacos. Tacos Árabes hail from Puebla, Mexico and, similar to Al Pastor tacos, were a product of Lebanese immigrants assimilating to their new home. Originally made with lamb— and then later more abundant and less expensive pork—tacos arabes are infused with Middle Eastern flavors of cumin, coriander, and cinnamon and served in pita bread or thick flour tortillas, then drizzled with jocoque (a thick Mexican buttermilk— a stand-in for yogurt), and chipotle salsa (because well, Mexico). They are so unique and delicious I decided to make my own version immediately when I got home.
How To Make Tacos Arabes At Home
The pork in this recipe can be store-bought pork tenderloin cutlets already pounded thin and ready to rock, but I much prefer using a boneless pork shoulder roast and taking the extra minute or two to slice it into 1/4-inch thick pieces. Pork shoulder is riddled with fat and makes a much juicer and flavorful taco.
Instead of the traditional Middle Eastern spice rub on the pork, I used La Tortilla Factory’s Al Pastor Sauce Starter as a marinade,which has the flavors of cumin, garlic, and chipotle most commonly found in Tacos Arabes and is super delicious and easy.
The pork is best grilled over a hot flame but if you don’t have a grill or just want to cook them on the stove top, a very hot grill pan or griddle will also work. Coat the pan with a thin slick of oil and then cook the pork until they are firm and have a little char on the outside.
The Carrot-Avocado Crema is my version of the tangy buttermilk jocoque traditionally found on top of tacos arabes. It has thick Greek yogurt as it’s base but then a touch of sweetness from carrots, ripe avocado, a bite of garlic, and serrano chiles too.
La Tortilla Factory’s Non-GMO wraps make the perfect bed for these tacos. They’re made with oat and wheat flour which give them a soft, chewy bite that holds up to the flavorful pork.
Make These Tacos For Cinco de Mayo + A Giveaway!!
It is my mission in life….or at least in the next couple of weeks to make sure you have fun this Cinco de Mayo. La Tortilla Factory does too! Which is why we are not only giving you this most delicious recipe to make just for the occasion but are also giving away a #CelebrateAtSuCasa party package worth over $500!
This party in a box includes:
- A La Tortilla Factory Celebrate At Su Casa Essentials
- 1 x pack of Handmade Style White Corn & Wheat Tortillas
- 1 x pack of Handmade Style Flour Tortillas
- 1 x pack of Handmade Style Chipotle Tortillas
- 1 x pack of the Handmade Style Hatch Green Chile Tortillas
- 2 x Classic Taco Sauce Starter
- 1 x Al Pastor Sauce Starter
- 1 x Barbacoa Slow Cooker Sauce Starter
- LTF Napkins
- LTF Coasters
- LTF Tattoos
- LTF T-shirt
- Mexican Flags
- Margaritaville Margarita Maker
- 7-piece Glass Margarita Set
- Nipyata Stay Classy Burrito
- Lodge 12-inch Cast Iron Skillet
- Mexican Serape Blanket
- 2 Tickets to our May 3rd Friends Who Fete Cinco de Mayo Dinner and Margarita Tasting in Downtown LA (travel not included)
So hop your cute selves over to my Instagram feed and enter!!!
- 2 pounds pork shoulder roast
- 1 (3 ounce) package La Tortilla Factory Al Pastor Cocina Fresca Sauce Starter
- 4 medium carrots
- 1/2 red onion
- 4 serrano chiles
- 1/2 ripe avocado
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 package La Tortilla Factory Wraps, warmed
- Slice pork roast into 1/4 inch thick slices. Coat pork slices on all sides with the sauce starter. Let sit at least 30 minutes.
- Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat, if using. The pork can also be cooked on a grill pan which you won't need to heat up until ready to cook.
- Meanwhile, make the crema. Peel and chop 3 carrots and add them to a saucepan with 1/4 of the red onion, and 1 of the serrano chiles (remove the stem and also the seeds if you'd like it less spicy).
- Cover by an inch of the water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook until carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and transfer veggies to a blender.
- Add avocado, yogurt, garlic, lime juice, cumin, and salt, and blend on high until smooth. Taste and add more salt or lime juice, if needed. If it is too thick add a tablespoon or so of water. Let cool in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Prepare the garnishes by making thin slices of the remaining carrot and curling them into ribbons. Slice the remaining 1/4 of the red onion into thin slices.
- Once the grill is hot (or place a grill pan over medium-high heat), place pork slices on the grill along with the remaining serrano chiles. Grill pork until well browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Chiles should be lightly charred and starting to shrivel.
- Slice the pork into thin pieces and place in the warm wraps. Top with a dollop of crema, a few carrot ribbons, and red onion slices. Dig in!
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
How do you plan on celebrating Cinco de Mayo? Have any fun traditions you look forward to every year?
PIN IT FOR LATER!
HERE’S HOW TO SUBSCRIBE
Want to be the first to know get exclusive ¡Hola! Jalapeño content? Click here to subscribe to my newsletter.
Loving the blog? If you try a recipe I encourage you to use the hashtag #HOLAJALAPENO to show us what your making. Plus, you’ll get to sift through the hashtag to see not only all of my latest recipes, cooking tips, and tricks but everyone else that’s making our Latin-inspired recipes too! You might even meet a new cooking buddy.