The flavors of these spicy ground pork tacos are complex but this recipe could not be easier!! In less than 30 minutes you’ll be devouring these spicy tacos and loving every single bite!
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Ah, tacos. What’s not to love?! These tacos are unique and bursting with all sorts of flavors and textures! I, for one, love recipes like this! You get the spiciness from the pork, that is balanced out by the coolness of the sour cream and then a big flavor punch and crunch with the slaw! It’s heaven, I tell you.
I have never met a taco I didn’t like! From more traditional tacos like my Easy Creamy Tacos to less traditional, yet amazing Buffalo Chicken Tacos!
But! What makes these spicy ground pork tacos so unique?? Harissa!
What is harissa?
Harissa is a spicy hot chili pepper paste. It’s mixed with many other flavors and spices giving it a super deep, complex flavor. Every harissa paste is different, but other spices that are usually included are garlic, cumin, smoked paprika and olive oil.
I have heard harissa called the “ketchup” of Northern Africa! It is used as a condiment for chicken, fish, rice, etc. Harissa is SOOOO much more complex and rich than ketchup! It’s has a such a unique addictive flavor that I think you will find yourself using in other dishes as well! If you are a sriracha fan, you will love harissa!
What does harissa taste like?
If you taste it straight out of the jar, it tastes much more spicy and concentrated than when cooked and prepared with other ingredients. It’s spicy, smoky and you can definitely taste the red chilis! It’s very balanced between spicy, smokey and salty. I feel like sriracha is overwhelmingly spicy and sour and ketchup is overwhelmingly sweet, where harissa has much more of a nice blend between the flavors.
Where can I buy harissa?
“Regular” grocery stores are starting to carry it in their specialty foods section, but it’s hit or miss. I buy mine at Trader Joes. More speciality grocery stores like Whole Foods, Nugget and Spouts also carry it. And of course, there is also our friend, AMAZON!! This Mina harissa from Amazon is pretty affordable if you want to give it a try and can’t find it at the grocery store.
How do I prepare these spicy ground pork tacos?
This is the order I suggest to get this on the table in literally 20 minutes!
- Begin cooking pork, breaking up the chunks of meat as you go. When the pork is nearly done, stir in the harissa, then turn the heat down and let the pork continue to cook.
- While the pork is finishing, prepare the slaw and sour cream. This takes no time at all, especially if you have pre-shredded cabbage!
- Turn off the heat on the pork and warm the tortillas. If you are in a huge time crunch, just nuke them! If you can take 5-10 more minutes, cook the tortillas in a skillet or grill pan–they just come out sooo delicious this way!
- Assemble the tacos and EAT!
What are the best condiments go with these tacos
Avocado (of course) and possibly sliced red onion or a little radish. Believe me when I say you don’t need to add much–the flavors are awesome just how they are, so keep it simple!
Can I make any substitutions?
Heck yes! The pork can be substituted for any ground meat–beef, chicken, turkey. Or make it veggie with tofu or riced cauliflower! I really don’t think you can go wrong!
Also, if you simply cannot find Harissa or don’t like too much spice, you can substitute the pork seasoning with 1 teaspoon of each: smoked paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, salt and cayenne pepper to taste.
My kids don’t enjoy the spiciness, so I have made it with the spice blend above many times.
Other recipes you’ll love:
- TEX MEX CHICKEN WRAPS
- ROASTED PASTA WITH PARMESAN AND PEPPER
- BACON AND GARLIC FRIED RICE
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Spicy Ground Pork Tacos with Cilantro Slaw
For the pork:
- 1 lb lean ground pork
- 2 tbsp harissa see note
For the slaw
- 2 cups cole slaw mix or cabbage, shredded
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1/2 tsp sugar (just a pinch!)
- salt and pepper to taste
For the sour cream
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- salt to taste
- 8 small flour tortillas
- 1 avocado, diced (optional)
- red onion, sliced (optional)
For the slaw:
- Mix together slaw mix (or cabbage) with the lime juice. Season with salt/pepper and a pinch of sugar.
For the sour cream:
- Mix sour cream with lime juice and season with salt.
For the pork:
- Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a skillet medium high heat.
- Add pork and cook, using a wooden spoon or potato masher to break up the meat.
- When meat is no longer pink, add harissa. Stir to combine until pork is well coated and cooked through (about 2-3 minutes more).
- Heat tortillas in a hot, dry skillet or grill pan. Heat for 30 seconds on the first side, until golden brown marks form. Flip, and cook on the second side for about 15 seconds (see note).
- Top each tortilla with about 2 tablespoons of the pork mixture and the slaw. Drizzle on sour cream and garnish with avocado and red onion if you like!
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