This dynamic fusion dish blends the savory tastes of Japanese cuisine with the vibrant, fresh flavors of Mexican food. It’s a wonderful culinary crossover perfect for your next Taco Tuesday or whenever you’re in the mood for a tasty, easy-to-make dish. Not only are these tacos bursting with flavor, but they’re also healthier than your standard taco fare. Packed with lean protein from the pork, and bursting with fresh, vibrant mandarin oranges, this recipe is a nutritious yet indulgent treat.

At the heart of our recipe is the tender, lean pork loin chops. Sliced into thin strips, these morsels of meat cook quickly and absorb the flavors of our homemade Ponzu sauce beautifully. This choice cut of pork is lean yet full of flavor, making it the ideal protein base for our tacos. The pork is seasoned and cooked in a generous drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. The choice of this oil isn’t merely incidental. It adds a depth of flavor to the pork while helping it achieve that delicious, light sear when cooked on a skillet over medium heat.

Next comes the star of the show: the Ponzu sauce. Ponzu, a citrus-based sauce commonly used in Japanese cuisine, is a beautiful blend of tangy and savory. It’s composed of low-sodium soy sauce, orange and lemon juices, minced garlic, ginger, mirin (sweet rice wine), a pinch of crushed red pepper, and cornstarch to give it that perfect, saucy thickness. This delightful mixture creates an umami-rich sauce that balances perfectly with the juicy pork and offers a delightful surprise for your palate.

Moving on to our assembly ingredients, we have the soft, small corn tortillas. These serve as the ideal vessel for our loaded tacos, adding a delicate corn flavor and soft texture to each bite. The tacos are then crowned with a layer of crunchy, shredded butter lettuce. This lettuce not only adds a fresh, crisp texture to our dish but also lends a bright, vibrant color to each taco.

No taco is complete without some sweet and tangy elements. Our recipe shines in this aspect by including a generous serving of mandarin oranges. Drained from their juice, these mandarin slices are sweet, juicy, and packed with a punch of citrusy tang that harmonizes with the Ponzu sauce, creating a symphony of flavors in your mouth. Finally, the crowning glory: lightly crushed dried sesame noodles. These add an unexpected crunch and a slight nuttiness to each bite, wrapping up our flavor profile with a delightful surprise.

In terms of preparation, this recipe is as enjoyable to cook as it is to eat. The aromatic cooking of the pork, the whisking of the Ponzu sauce, and the final assembly of the tacos – each step is a sensory experience that’s both fun and fulfilling. The outcome is a plate of stunning Ponzu Pork Tacos with Mandarin Oranges that are as pleasing to the eye as they are satisfying to the tastebuds.

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Ponzu Pork Tacos with Mandarin Oranges

Difficulty:BeginnerPrep time: minutesCook time: 40 minutesRest time: minutesTotal time: 40 minutesServings: servingsCalories: kcal Best Season:Summer


This dynamic fusion dish blends the savory tastes of Japanese cuisine with the vibrant, fresh flavors of Mexican food.


    Ponzu sauce:

  • Tacos:


  1. Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and pork. Cook, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink, 4-5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the Ponzu sauce.
  3. Pour Ponzu sauce into the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the sauce thickens slightly and coats the pork. Remove from heat.
  4. To assemble, divide pork between tortillas. Top with lettuce, oranges, and crunchy noodles. 
Keywords:Tacos and Enchiladas