To wrap up our tribute to Ocean’s Thirteen–yeah, it’s taken me a while (day jobs can be a real time suck)–I’ve come up with two more recipes inspired by the gamblers and con men who inhabit the luxurious Asian-themed hotel casino central to the movie. Justice for Reuben is what galvanizes the Ocean’s crew, so we initially toyed with the idea of making a “Reuben’s Reuben.” But with Asian food on our brains after our Max’s Restaurant outing, Rina and I thought it might be more interesting to take elements of the Reuben sandwich and add an Asian twist (e.g. slaw in place of sauerkraut)–something a high roller at The Bank might partake if he wanted a bite to eat but didn’t want to leave the gaming table, especially when six figures are on the line.
A classic Reuben sandwich–butter-grilled rye bread layered with corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing–is a deliciously messy, gut-busting two-handed affair, not exactly gambler-friendly. My lighter, more portable alternative is The Asian Grilled Pork Slider–grilled thin slices of pork loin marinated in miso, Korean chili paste and fresh pineapple puree and crisp slaw tossed in a sesame vinaigrette sandwiched inside a toasted King’s Hawaiian slider roll dressed with wasabi mayo. You can easily down three of these sliders without missing a hand!
The Asian Grilled Pork Slider
Yields: 6 sliders
3 Thin Center Cut Pork Loin Slices (about 7-8 oz.)
2 Tbsp. Miso Paste
1 Tbsp. Korean Chili Paste (Gochujang)
2 Tbsp. Sugar
1 Tbsp. Finely Grated Ginger
1 Garlic Clove, finely minced
2 Tbsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
3 Tbsp. Sake or Rice Wine
2 tsp. Toasted Sesame Oil
2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
1/2 cup Fresh Pineapple Puree
Cut the pork loin slices in half. Using a meat mallet, pound the slices to 1/4″ thickness. Whisk together the remaining ingredients and submerge the pork into the mixture. Let the pork sit in the marinade for about 30 mins. Drain off the liquid and cook the pork slices on a well-oiled cast iron grill on high for about 2 mins. on each side. Set the pork aside to rest.
2 cups Shredded Green Cabbage
1 Medium Carrot, peeled, shredded or julienned
1 Small Asian Pear, peeled and julienned
1/2 Small Red Bell Pepper, julienned
2 tsp. Toasted Sesame Seeds
3 Tbsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Toasted Sesame Oil
2 tsp. Sugar
1/2 tsp. Sea or Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
Combine the first 5 ingredients in a bowl. Whisk together the remaining ingredients, then drizzle over the slaw and toss together to thoroughly coat the slaw.
6 King’s Hawaiian Rolls, split and toasted
2 Tbsp. Wasabi Mayo
Spread wasabi mayo on both sides of the rolls. Cut the pork into smaller pieces to fit onto the bottom half of the rolls. Layer a small handful of slaw over the pork, then top with other half of the roll.
No menu is complete without dessert, and like the slider, this one is also very gambler-friendly. My Matcha Green Tea Mochi Butter Cake is a nod to the Japanese contingent. Cut into neat bite-sized squares, this delightfully tender and chewy rice cake is perfumed with the verdant green of pure matcha powder and offers just the right amount of sweetness for the discerning palate.
Matcha Green Tea Mochi Butter Cake
1-1/2 cups Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour
1 cup + 3 Tbsp. Sugar
1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Sea or Kosher Salt
2 Tbsp. Matcha Green Tea Powder
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Tbsp. Light Rum
3/4 cup Whole Milk
1 cup Coconut Milk
4 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter, melted
Sifted the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Whisk together the wet ingredients, then gradually whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until fully incorporated. Pour the batter into a greased and lined 1/4 sheet pan and bake at 350°F for about 18-20 mins, or until cake tests done. Cool completely before cutting into 1-1/2″ squares. Dust with powdered sugar.