Date Paste and Korean-Style Barbecue Pork Tacos

Yesterday, I posted about making Gochujang and Whole30 compliant mayonnaise; mentioning that I had been using my main and mini food processors but not to worry, because the main processor was getting a workout that day.

Today’s post is why.

I was bringing a munchie for a barbecue gathering, and Korean-style pork tacos sounded good, but, I needed Whole30 Korean-style pork tacos, so…

Yeh. Lettuce wraps were a no brainer, but then there was the barbecue.

The Gochujang was a snap, and I even had enough leftover for that nice Gochujang Mayonnaise, but then, the barbecue needed a bit of thought.

Did you know that date paste is a decent substitute for sugar?

And it is only dates and water!

So, that was my first batch with the big boy food processor…

•10 oz pitted dates
•1 cup water

The method is dead simple; chop the dates finely in your food processor fitted with the metal blade, then add the water and pulse until you have a thick, well…


Transfer to a jar, cover, and stash in the fridge until needed. It will be good in the fridge for three to four weeks.

I’ve used my paste (so far) in place of the sugar called for in the spicy Korean-style barbecue sauce, which was my third big boy food processor batch – my second being that tasty Gochujang.

Note: planning made my use of the processor for multiple recipes wicked easy…

First, I made the date paste.

Second, with just a scrape out of the processor bowl, I made the Gochujang, which also has dates in it.

Third, another scrape of the processor bowl, and I am ready to make the barbecue sauce, which has the Date Paste and the Gochujang as part of the recipe so, in the end, Big Boy Processor, which has hand wash only bowl and lids, but I only needed to really wash them once!



OK, on the the sauce…

•10 cloves grated garlic
•8 tsp grated ginger
•1 onion, chopped
•2 pears, chopped
•2 Fuji apples, chopped
•5 green onions, chopped
•1 cup Gochujang
•1/2 cup lower sodium Tamari
•1/2 cup coconut aminos
•2 tbsp sesame oil
•2 tbsp Date Paste
•1 tsp black pepper
•1 tsp Aleppo pepper

•2 lb ground pork, cooked
•2 tbsp Date Paste

A note on the pork: I was planning on using this for lettuce cup tacos, so used cooked ground pork, but you might could use the sauce as a marinade and then grill sauce for chops or ribs.

Add the garlic, ginger, onion, pears, apples, and green onions to your food processor fitted with the metal blade, then pulse until well and truly chopped.

Add the Gochujang, Tamari, and remaining ingredients and pulse until you have a thick, kinda pasty sauce.

If you are using chops or ribs, slather this over them in a gallon-sized zipper bag and stash in the fridge overnight to marinate before grilling.

I was doing the ground pork thing, so I warmed one tablespoon of garlic-infused olive oil in a large pot and added the pork, cooking and breaking it up into small pieces until browned and just a bit crispity.

Stir in the sauce, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring, for one hour.

Note: I was using my new fave non-stick Dutch oven, which gave me the freedom to putter between stirring. If you are not using a non-stick pot, you will need to keep an eye on it and stir pretty often to prevent burned bits on the bottom.

The sauce was reduced, but I wanted it to be thicker, so those lettuce cups wouldn’t be too messy, so, first I gave it a taste.


I stirred in those two additional tablespoons of Date Paste and let it simmer, stirring, for another hour.


A little bit sweet, a little bit spicy, and a nice, kinda hot aftertaste.

I let mine cool, then stashed in the fridge overnight before bringing to the barbecue and reheating in the ‘wave.

Whole30 folx enjoyed theirs with Key Lime Coleslaw and Gochujang Mayonnaise in Romaine leaves, all topped with more chopped green onion.

The rest of us might have added flour tortillas and crispy fried jalapeños.



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