Asian-Inspired Pork Stuffed Jalapenos
When I first graduated from pharmacy school in Edmonton, I was offered a hospital pharmacist position in Fort McMurray, Alberta. For those of you who don't know, Fort McMurray is a community in northern Alberta that is a bustling hub for oilsands-related work. It's also a community in the middle of the bush, surrounded by forest and connected to the rest of Alberta by a long, never0ending stretch of highway.
At the time of the job opportunity, the city of Fort McMurray was just about to hit a big boom. The hospital job offer was a great opportunity for a new grad to "cut their teeth" since the hospital had to offer a large variety of services for the isolated and booming community.
Scott and I jumped at the opportunity to try something new and moved 4.5 hours north to Fort Mac. We lived there for two years before venturing back to central Alberta. We truly enjoyed our time there as we met some amazing people and got to experience a lot of new things as a young couple.
One of my colleagues at the hospital was a woman who had moved from Malaysia. She brought the most amazing dishes to our work potlucks including pickled spice pineapple and stuffed jalapenos that were made with ground pork. Jen's stuffed jalapenos were unlike any jalapenos I had tried before! I was hooked and have been making a version of them ever since! I wasn't a big fan of cream cheese so these meat stuffed jalapenos were right up my alley!
The recipe I am sharing below was inspired by those delightful stuffed jalapeno peppers that Jen introduced me to all those years ago. The sauce is similar to a store-bought "oriental barbecue sauce" that Jen used on her peppers - it's ginger-y and sour & sweet all at the same time!
Asian-Inspired Pork Stuffed Jalapenos Recipe
- 16 to 20 jalapenos
- 2 lbs ground pork
- 1 tablespoon minced dried garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced dried onion
- 2 teaspoon ginger powder
- 2 tablespoons soya sauce
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup small flake oats or quick cook
- 1 teaspoon salt
Ginger Barbecue Sauce:
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/3 cup soya sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1/2 cup water
- In a large bowl, dump in ground pork, garlic, onion, ginger, 2 tbsp soya sauce, eggs, oats, and salt. Using your hands, mix the ingredients together until evenly mixed in.
- On a cutting board, use a small paring knife to cut the jalapenos in half lengthwise, leaving the stems on the jalapenos. Using the paring knife, trim out the insides of the jalapenos (seeds & ribs). Try to remove as much of the seeds and white ribs as you can if you don't want the jalapenos to be too spicy. The heat comes from these parts. We don't worry too much about getting all the seeds and ribs out as we like a little bit of heat!
- Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Fill each halve of the jalapenos with the ground pork mixture.
- If you end up with extra filling, form the remainder of the mixture into small meatballs and cook them beside the jalapenos.
- Place the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through.
Ginger Barbecue Sauce:
- In a medium saucepan, mix together brown sugar, cornstarch, and ginger powder. Mix thoroughly to ensure there are no chunks of cornstarch.
- Add soya sauce, vinegar, and water.
- Mix well.
- Place onto the stove over medium heat. Heat & stir until the sauce thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes. It will be quite thick so that it will stick to the top of the stuffed jalapenos without running off.
- Once the pork filling is cooked through, pull the baking sheet out of the oven.
- Using two spoons (one to scoop and one to push the sauce off the spoon), top each jalapeno with the ginger barbecue sauce.
- Place the baking sheet back into the oven for 5 minutes until the sauce is bubbly.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!