What are the best sides for pork taco? Pork tacos are juicy and rich, so the best sides are full of fresh vegetables, like Spanish rice, pepper and corn sautée, coleslaw, and broccoli, or avocado and mango salad. A mild side will contrast with the pork’s spiciness, like black bean dip, creamed potatoes, or sweet potato casserole.
A table already groaning with all the fixings for pork tacos may be enough for hearty appetites. But serving a zesty salad to refresh the palate and a warming starch on the side complete your meal. Which sides work best with pork tacos?
Baked Spanish Rice
Because it’s baked, this Spanish rice is foolproof and a simple, plain side for pork tacos.
Preheat your oven to a moderate 350⁰F (180⁰C).
Fry together two slices of chopped bacon, ¼ cup of diced onions, ¼ cup of chopped green pepper, and a clove of garlic.
Add six ounces of long-grain white rice and stir until coated.
Pour in two cups of chicken stock and a cup of canned tomatoes, and season with ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper.
Bring to the boil. Cover and bake for 35 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.
Mexican Creamed Potatoes
Many potato bakes are heavy with cream, cheese, and bacon. This recipe is much lighter, replacing the cream with tofu. If you’ve got any lactose issues, this will make an ideal alternative.
Bake 2½ pounds of whole potatoes for about 45 minutes at 350⁰F (180⁰C). Remember to prick them so that they don’t explode.
Blenderize one package of firm, silken tofu, two tablespoons of olive oil, one tablespoon of soy sauce, and 1½ tablespoons of red wine vinegar.
The mixture will be thick, so you’ll need to stop and use a spatula to get the mixture moving.
Grease a baking pan. Once the potatoes are baked, cut them in half and season generously. Place the halves in the pan and cover them with the tofu mixture.
Spread with a cup of salsa and bake for another 15 minutes.
Serve garnished with fresh coriander.
Sweet Potato Casserole
Most sweet potato and yam casseroles are very sweet, with marshmallows and brown sugar. This version uses maple syrup and honey for sweetness to enhance the flavors of the squash and the sweetness of the pork.
Preheat your oven to a moderate 350⁰F (180⁰C). Grease a baking dish.
Peel and slice six cups of sweet potatoes or yams. Lay the slices in the baking dish, slightly overlapping.
In a small saucepan, combine ½ cup of maple syrup, ¼ cup of honey, two tablespoons of butter, salt, and ½ cup of water.
Mix three tablespoons of cornstarch in ½ cup of water until smooth. Add to the saucepan and stir until thickened. Remove from the heat.
Pour the honey glaze over the sweet potatoes and bake for 20 minutes.
Black Bean Dip
When it’s hot, you may not feel like heavy refried beans, so serve this tangy dip on the side of your tacos. This dip is also lovely with tortilla chips.
Puree one can of rinsed and drained black beans, six tablespoons of hot salsa, 1½ tablespoons of fresh lime juice, and a garlic clove. The dip is best blended until smooth.
Garnish with chopped fresh tomatoes, coriander, and peppers.
Pepper And Corn Sautée
Meaty tacos need a colorful vegetable side, and this quick mixture is delicious and full of vitamins.
Heat ⅓ cup of butter and sautée three sliced onions until soft. Add two sliced red peppers and cook for another five minutes.
Stir in a cup of sweetcorn (tinned or fresh) and heat through. Season with salt and pepper.
Even children who despise broccoli love this fresh, crunchy salad that packs a punch of nutritious veggies.
Combine one head of broccoli broken into florets, 1 cup of halved cherry tomatoes, two sliced red onions, five teaspoons of poppy seeds, and ¼ cup of toasted sunflower seeds.
For the dressing, combine ½ cup of sugar, ½ cup of white vinegar, ¾ cup of canola oil, a teaspoon of salt, and two teaspoons of Dijon mustard.
Mix the dressing and vegetables and allow to stand in the fridge for at least eight hours for the flavors to marry.
Coleslaw is a popular summer side for tacos, and this is an unusual version that does away with the claggy mayo and adds a vinaigrette. Light and refreshing, this is a perfect side or topping for pork tacos.
Shred six cups of green cabbage and put it in a large bowl. Add two chopped green onions, ½ cup of pitted, diced Kalamata olives, and ½ cup of minced parsley
Quickly fry two cloves of crushed garlic and one slivered red pepper in olive oil. Add to the salad, along with the oil.
Make a dressing with one tablespoon of olive oil, one tablespoon of milk, one tablespoon of red wine vinegar, ¼ teaspoon of Dijon mustard, ½ teaspoon of dried basil, and salt.
Toss the salad with the dressing.
Avocado And Mango Salad
This bright salad makes a change from guacamole, and the sweetness of the fruit pairs well with the sweetness of the pork.
Slice two avocados into segments. Slice one ripe mango and one red onion. Lay the avocado, onion, and mango slices on a bed of arugula. Drizzle with lemon juice and salt.
Make a zingy dressing with half a cup of olive oil, two tablespoons of lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Pour over the salad and serve immediately.
Best Wine Pairings For Pork Tacos
Pork tacos pose a challenge to wine pairing, as you have a combination of the rich sweetness of the pork, the spiciness of salsa, and the acids of cilantro and lime.
Your best bet is to avoid high-tannin, high-alcohol wines, as spicy food heightens both.
If you like red wine, choose something fruity and spicy, like a Rioja, Zinfandel, Shiraz, or Pinot Noir, with juicy berry and cherry notes to accentuate the meat’s flavor.
Full-bodied, fruit-forward white wines are also fabulous, as the fruit can stand up to Mexican spice.
Go for citrus-driven whites to echo the lime you’ll squeeze over the tacos: Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadet, a crisp Argentinian Torrontes, or even a dry Riesling.
Don’t forget about sparkling wines: the bubbles balance out the acids of tomato and soothe a fiery palate.
Rosé wines are ideal to cut through pork’s rich fattiness and refresh the same way as beer does.
There are some fabulous Mexican sparkling wines. Look for Viña Doña Dolores, Brut Natur Reserva and Brut Natur Gran Reserve created by Freixenet’s holdings in the Queretaro region.
Best Sauces For Pork Taco
Because pork tacos are rich, they are best with fresh, zingy sauces and toppings.
Here are some topping ideas for pork tacos:
- Chopped radishes
- Chopped white onion
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Shredded purple cabbage
Salsa verde or green salsa is traditionally served with pork in Mexico, as the brightness of the chili and tomatillo cuts through the richness of the meat.
Boil three cups of water. Add three serrano peppers and six dehusked tomatillos. Turning down the heat, simmer for 15 minutes. Drain, reserving ¼ cup of water.
Blend the peppers, tomatillos, a clove of garlic, a tablespoon of diced onion, and a cup of fresh cilantro. Add the reserved water as necessary.
Another delicious salsa that goes well with pork is chiltomate salsa. Place two plum tomatoes, two slices of onion, and one habanero chili in a hot skillet.
Cook for about eight minutes, then blend to make a smooth salsa. Add water to blend, if necessary.