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Best Paleo Recipes from ‘Nom Nom Paleo’ Authors

Michelle Tam & Henry Fong, the New York Times bestselling cookbook authors of Nom Nom Paleo are back with a delicious new cookbook — Nom Nom Paleo Let’s Go! Simple feats + Healthy Eats (Volume 3). Like their other works, this cookbook is packed with their patented humor and plenty of easy-to-use, step-by-step photos and cartoons. Whether it’s a simple weeknight family dinner or a special occasion recipe, Nom Nom Paleo wants to make healthy Paleo recipes delicious and fun. The best part? All the recipes featured in the new cookbook are free of grains, gluten, dairy, and refined sugar.

While there are plenty of healthy delivery meal kits these days that cater to a variety of diets, they don’t always feature the most exciting dishes. Many of the recipes in Nom Nom Paleo’s cookbook are internationally inspired with a variety of dishes featuring Tam and Fong’s Chinese American heritage. While tasty, many Chinese classics like Char Siu (Chinese Barbecue Pork) traditionally feature ingredients that are not Paleo-friendly. As experts on the Paleo diet, Michelle Tam & Henry Fong have adapted some of their favorite Chinese recipes to fit the Paleo diet without sacrificing those traditional flavor profiles.

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Char Siu (Chinese Barbecue Pork)

Hands holding a plate of Nom Nom Char Siu, black table in the back.
Nom Nom Paleo Char Siu.

Serves 8

Ingredient:

  • .5 cup plum, peach, or apricot jam, sweetened only with fruit juice
  • .25 cup coconut aminos
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp honey (optional, not Whole30)
  • 1 tsp paleo-friendly fish sauce
  • .5 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • .5 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 lb boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 2 tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced (optional)

Method:

  1. Pour the jam into a small saucepan. (To stay paleo-friendly, be sure to use a high-quality, 100% fruit jam.)
  2. Next, toss in the coconut aminos, tomato paste, almond butter, honey (if desired), fish sauce, Chinese five-spice powder, and ground ginger.
  3. Whisk the marinade as you heat it to a simmer over medium heat.
  4. Once the marinade is bubbling and smooth, transfer it to a measuring cup and let it cool to room temperature. (Not ready to roast the pork? You can store the sauce in the fridge for up to 4 days.)
  5. Next, prepare the pork. Blot the pork shoulder with a paper towel.
  6. Then, slice the pork shoulder into 2-inch strips of even thickness.
  7. The pork strips should be roughly uniform in size. It’s fine to have fatty pieces of pork because: (1) it’s tasty, and (2) you don’t want to end up with dry char siu.
  8. Sprinkle 2 tsp of kosher salt all over the pork pieces.
  9. Place the pork in a large bowl or in a zippered food storage bags.
  10. Pour all except ⅓ cup of the cooled marinade onto the pork. Cover and refrigerate the reserved marinade.
  11. Use your hands (a.k.a. nature’s tongs) to coat the marinade all over the pork strips.
  12. Cover the bowl and refrigerate it for 2 to 24 hours.
  13. When you’re ready to roast the pork, heat the oven to 350 degrees F with the rack in the middle position.
  14. Arrange the pork on an oven-safe wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet.
  15. Roast for 30 minutes, flipping the pork pieces at the halfway point.
  16. Take the pork out of the oven and increase the temperature to 400 degrees.
  17. Brush half of the reserved marinade on the tops of the pork pieces.
  18. Pour enough water into the bottom of the pan so that you have a thin layer coating the bottom. This will keep the drippings from burning while the pork cooks.
  19. Roast for 25 minutes. Then, flip the pork pieces over and brush on the remaining marinade.
  20. Cook for another 20 to 30 minutes or until the pork is slightly charred on the edges.
  21. Rest the pork for 10 minutes, and then slice against the grain into bite-size pieces.
  22. Arrange the pork on a serving dish and garnish with 2 sliced scallions, if desired.

Wonton Meatballs

Nom Closeup of Nom Wontons on a plate.
Nom Nom Paleo Wonton Meatball

Serves 4

Ingredient:

For Meatballs:

  • .25 oz dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in water until rehydrated
  • .5 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 lb ground pork 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • .25 cup cilantro, minced
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • .5 tsp Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt
  • .5 tsp Paleo-friendly fish sauce
  • .25 tsp ground white pepper
  • .25 tsp sesame oil
  • Avocado oil

Optional Garnishes: 

  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • Dumpling Dipping Sauce
  • Nom Nom Chili Crisp

Method:

  1. If you haven’t already, rehydrate your dried mushrooms. (Pro tip: Soak them in a bowl if water in the morning so they’ll be plump and tender by the time you’re ready to make dinner.)
  2. Once you’re ready to cook, heat the oven to 400 degrees and squeeze the water out of the mushrooms. Cut off the hard stems, and finely mince the caps.
  3. Finely chop the shrimp until it turns into a chunky paste.
  4. Transfer the chopped shrimp to a large bowl. Add the pork, mushrooms, scallions, cilantro, coconut aminos, salt, fish sauce, white pepper, and sesame oil.
  5. Use your hands to squeeze and mix the meatball mixture until a sticky and tacky mass is formed. (Alternatively, use a food processor to chop and combine the ingredients.)
  6. Form a little patty and cook it in a small skillet over medium heat. Taste it and season with more salt if needed. (Not ready to cook just yet? You can refrigerate the meat mixture for up to 12 hours.)
  7. Use a 3-tbsp scooper to portion out 12 blobs of the mixture.
  8. Rub a little oil on your palms, and roll the meat into 1.5-inch balls.
  9. Arrange the meatballs in a single layer on a greased or parchment lined rimmed baking sheet. (Or arrange the balls in a greased oven-safe skillet.)
  10. Bake the balls in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked through.
  11. If desired, garnish with scallions and serve with dumpling dipping sauce or Nom Nom Chili Crisp.

Ginger Scallion Sauce

Bowl of Nom Nom Ginger Scallion sauce.
Nom Nom Paleo Ginger Scallion Sauce.

This salty, herbaceous condiment is traditionally served with Chinese-style, whole poached chicken. But the sauce is also equally great as a condiment to seafood and vegetables.

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup finely minced scallions
  • 3 tbsp finely minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • .25 tsp ground white pepper
  • .5 cup avocado oil

Method:

  1. Toss the scallions, ginger, salt, and white pepper in a large heat-proof bowl or 2-cup measuring cup.
  2. Stir it all together.
  3. In a small saucepan over high heat, warm the oil until it’s shimmering but not quite smoking.
  4. Add a tiny piece of scallion to test the heat of the oil. If you see lots of little bubbles, the oil’s ready. (Or just check that the oil reaches 375 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.)
  5. Pour the hot oil into the scallion and ginger mixture a little at a time. It’ll sizzle and boil, so be careful!
  6. Stir well and let the sauce cool to room temperature. The sauce can be refrigerated in a sealed jar for up to 2 weeks or frozen in an ice cube tray for up to 3 months.

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