Family dinner with an Asian touch a huge success | Life

This summer has been filled with wonderful family gatherings. Thanks to Covid-19, we now truly enjoy the joy of sitting around a large table and enjoying a meal with our loved ones. Hopefully this break from restrictions will last and during this time try to have dinner together as much as possible.

In one of our last families

dinners, we did something new. In the past we have served steak tacos, shrimp tacos, chicken tacos but never pulled pork. The tacos are a great choice for feeding a crowd, and the interactive serving style is also fun. Instead of doing Mexican-style pulled pork carnitas, we decided to go Asian and it was a huge hit. My husband Jay is so good at putting Asian flavors together and created this recipe with what we had in the pantry.

Hoisin sauce is a thick, sweet, and tangy sauce that is used in Chinese cuisine as a dipping sauce or in stir-fries. You may have also had it as a peking duck condiment with your big bowl of Vietnamese pho. It’s totally delicious and really makes this recipe sing. And don’t skip the pineapple condiment – it was a favorite addition.

Each taco should be served with a mound of coleslaw. For this dish, I dressed the coleslaw with a local vinaigrette that we are obsessed with. Original UMAMI Crave the Fifth Dressing, Dip and Finishing Sauce isn’t just a dressing, you’ll literally want to put it on everything. And we were thrilled to find out that this amazing product was created by a Kelowna family. Created by chef Justin Best, he and his sister Stephanie and wife Joanna are the family behind the label. If you haven’t heard the Japanese word umami”, loosely translates to “a pleasant salty taste” and is described as the fifth basic taste after sweet, sour, salty and bitter. Either way, go buy it – it’s in most local grocery stores now.

Beer is always a great pairing for tacos and Railside Brewing Summer Ale would be awesome with these. Grab a few growlers and head to Kelowna’s newest and best new brewery, Railside Brewing. Located just off Clement Avenue and Gordon Drive, longtime friends and home brewers Rob Leinemann and Matt Grieve built their dream perfectly located along the Okanagan Rail Trail and in the brewery district.

Tuesday through Sunday, stop for a beer and snacks, like fries, salsa, pepperoni, hummus and crackers, and more. And cycle there if you can – a growler or two would fit in your bike



Jennifer Schell Lirag is an internationally award-winning cookbook author who has been focusing on the BC food, agriculture and beverage community for over 15 years. Born and raised on a farm in East Kelowna, she has written four cookbooks: The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine & Cheese Maker, and most recently Taste Canada’s shortlist winner, The BC Wine Lover’s Cookbook. Follow her on social media at @jenniferschell8 and visit

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