Pulled pork from Vida

October 31, 2008 4:59:23 PM PDT
In this edition of Neighborhood Eats, we travel to a restaurant that is full of life.Silva Popaz saw the potential in the space and the neighborhood in Stapleton, on Staten Island which has a Bohemian feel. So she opened Vida, which means life, and her restaurant is full of it.

And one day she had an itch to dive into a pork shoulder, and from that came Vida bites.

Silva starts by piercing a pork shoulder numerous times. Then, she makes a marinade from 20 cloves of garlic, lots of cilantro, juice of five limes, some orange juice and oil. That's blended and smothered on pork shoulder, along with lots of salt, pepper and cumin.

That is covered with tin foil and cooked for seven hours.

She then pulls the pork, layers it on grilled bread with a little pico de gaillo and avocado sauce. Vida bites are hefty, but there are salads and lots of other things to choose from. It is an inviting place.

Vida is located at 381 Van Duzer Street in Staten Island.

Recipe for Vida pulled pork


  • 1 pork shoulder (8-10 lbs)
  • 5 limes
  • 1 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 large bunch of cilantro
  • 1/2 cup of oil
  • 20 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup ground cumin
  • kosher salt
  • pepper
  • 1 roasting pan
  • aluminum foil


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  • Skin off but leave attached at shank (scalp pork skin)

  • Place pork in roasting pan.

  • Squeeze limes and mix with OJ. Set aside.

  • Place garlic in food processor. Pulse a few times.

  • Place cilantro, lime, oil and OJ in mixture and process for 1 minute.

  • Prickle pork with large fork (skin pulled back) starting with bottom.

  • Pour 1/2 the mixture and salt and pepper generously.

  • Flip pork in pan keeping the skin side up.

  • Pull back skin and repeat bottom procedure.

  • Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil and bake 7 to 8 hours.

  • When ready remove foil, let cool slightly and remove skin.

  • Pull pork and some juice.

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