Sesame Pulled Pork Sandwiches

30 Apr

BBQ season is just around the corner, so it is time to think of sweet and sticky sauces and messy sandwiches!

As I have mentioned before, just because we live in an apartment and don’t have a BBQ, doesn’t mean that we have to give up on the deliciousness of BBQ, we just have to improvise.

The title of this pulled pork recipe interested me, I love sesame seeds (and beer) so this recipe was definitely one for us to try.

As I was looking over the ingredient list, I saw star anise.  Fortunately I had a few in my cupboard, so I was business to make this sticky pulled pork sandwich.

I want to share with you a funny story about star anise…

A few years ago, before Jamie and I moved to Ottawa, we had invited Jamie’s parents to come over for dinner.  We had planned a steak dinner with all the fixings.  One of the ingredients for making the steak sauce was star anise.  I didn’t have this ingredient on hand, so I added it to my grocery list.

While gathering up the groceries for our dinner, I looked everywhere in the produce aisle for star anise.  Did I ask for help?  Nope.  On my third trip around the fruits and vegetables, I found my ingredient.  I picked it up, put it in the cart and away I went.

One the day of the dinner, I was getting all the ingredients ready.  I wasn’t quite sure what to do with the star anise, because the recipe called for placing it in the frying pan.  It was way to big to do that, was I suppose to dice it?  What about the greens on top, they seemed to have a lot of fragrance so they would be tasty.  I was a bit stuck, so I called up Cherie and asked her what I was suppose to do.

That was when I learned that star anise and anise are two entirely different things!  I was supposed to have these small dried out seeds that have a licorice taste, not an anise bulb (also known as fennel).

Thankfully, Cherie and Dwayne had this ingredient at their house, so I jumped in the car drove 25 minutes to get the star anise and drove back to make the correct sauce.

I will never, ever make that mistake again.  I have learned my lesson and now when I don’t recognize and ingredient, I immediately Google it 🙂

Anyway, I digress.  This pulled pork sandwich was delicious.  We served it with coleslaw, cold pint and lots of napkins.  

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Adapted from:


  • 12 oz beer
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp toasted sesame oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 2 pork tenderloins (about 3 lbs) cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 2 tsp hot sauce
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  1. In a large saucepan, whisk together beer, tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar, 2 tbsp sesame oil, tamari, garlic and mustard powder.  Add the star anise and pork.  Bring to a simmer over medium-heat, then cover and cook until very tender, about 40 minutes.
  2. Discard the star anise, then use 2 forks to shred of pull apart the pork into bite-size pieces.  Stir in the remaining tablespoon of sesame oil and the hot sauce.  Season with salt & pepper.
  3. Serve on fresh roll and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.
  4. Enjoy!

Posted by on April 30, 2012 in Entrée, Pork


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

2 responses to “Sesame Pulled Pork Sandwiches

  1. Karen

    May 3, 2012 at 11:59 am

    That is a great sounding sandwich. Wonderful photos by the way.


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