Recipe: Spicy Maple Candied Pork with Black Rice and Scallions

braised pork recipe

Sometimes it’s fun to venture a little bit outside of your regular cooking comfort zone. It’s not even really so much the fact that this black rice (also known as forbidden rice) is hard to cook, but you just have to locate it. Any Korean grocer or a big Asian market like T&T will stock the stuff. It’s pretty hardy, so if you leave it on the stove for a little too long, it doesn’t turn to mush like regular white rice. I occasionally lack attention to detail, so this is definitely the kind of rice for me!

Now, the pork! I took simple braised pork shoulder and spiced it up a bit with a sweet and spicy sugar glaze on top. The result is a spin on a classic pulled pork for lack of a better comparison. This recipe makes a lot of pork (it’s hard to find a small pork shoulder, but hey, I think that’s a good thing!) so feel free to use the leftovers for sandwiches or in a lasagna in lieu of ground meat.

What you’ll need…


1 5lb boneless pork shoulder

2 yellow onions (peeled and quartered)

4 cloves garlic

1 2″ piece ginger root (peeled)

6 cups water

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon ground black pepper


2 cups black rice

5 cups water

3 cups reserved braising liquid

1 tablespoon sriracha

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon Korean red pepper flakes

4 scallions (thinly sliced)

1/4 savoy cabbage (thinly sliced)

1/4 cup fresh cilantro (loosely torn)


1/2 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup water

3 tablespoons sriracha

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 teaspoon orange zest


For the pork, place all ingredients in a slowcooker or large, deep baking dish. Cover and let cook on low temperature (250 degrees in the oven) until the meat separates easily when pulled with a fork, approximately 4 1/2 hours.

Allow to cool slightly, shred meat with a fork or by hand, discarding any excess fat. Reserve 3 cups of the braising liquid for making the rice.

Next, place the first 6 ingredients for the rice in a large pot and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Cover, reduce to medium heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the scallions and cabbage to the pot, stirring well to incorporate, cover again and continue to cook until rice has an el dente texture, about another 10 minutes.

Keep warm on stove until ready to serve.

Finally, it’s time to ‘candy’ the pork. Place all sauce ingredients into a large pan on medium-high heat and cook until reduced by half, approximately 10 minutes. Add in desired amount of pulled pork and toss until well-coated. Continue to let the pork cook in pan until the bottom of the meat becomes caramelized. Flip over and repeat.

Serve on top of warm rice with fresh cilantro and marvel at your masterpiece on the dinner table!

Serves 5-6

Total cook time…5 hours, 30 min