Seared Pork Tacos Arabeswith Cucumber Crema and Chipotle Salsa

The taco arabe, or “arab-style taco,” is a tried-and-true favorite for meat lovers around the world. Filled with tender pork, fresh cilantro, and an array of spices, these tacos taste even better when topped with cucumber cream and salsa.

  • Serves
    6 PEOPLE
  • prep
    30 MIN
    15 MIN
  • Skill

Ingredients List

  • 1 ½- to 2-pound boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 2 tablespoons each: salt, ground coriander, ground cinnamon (preferably Mexican canela)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons each, ground: cumin, nutmeg
  • ½ large seedless cucumber, peeled
  • 2 to 3 small cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • About 12 flour tortillas
  • 1 jar (16 ounces) Chipotle Salsa


  1. Use a very sharp knife to slice the pork shoulder into ⅜-inch thick slabs. Place them on a large platter or baking sheet in a single layer.
  2. Mix salt, coriander, cinnamon, pepper, cumin, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Sprinkle some of the spice mixture over all sides of the pork. Let stand at room temperature about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, use the large holes of a 4-sided grater to shred the cucumber into a colander. Stir in ½ teaspoon salt and the crushed garlic. Let mixture drain in the sink for 20 minutes to release its moisture. Use your hands to squeeze excess moisture from the cucumbers and then place them in a bowl. Stir in crema, lime juice, and cilantro. Taste for salt.
  4. Heat a large nonstick skillet or well-seasoned griddle over medium heat. Spray or brush a light coating of oil on each piece of pork. Add pork to skillet in a single, uncrowded layer. Work in batches if necessary. Cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes; flip and brown the second side, about 4 minutes. As pork cooks, remove it to a cutting board and tent it with foil. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, warm each tortilla over an open flame moving it around with tongs to avoid burning, until lightly toasted. Wrap in a clean towel to keep warm.
  6. Slice meat against the grain to ¼-inch-thick pieces and place in a warm serving bowl. Pass meat to serve tucked in warm tortillas topped with cucumber crema and salsa.