This slow cooker Asian Pulled pork recipe is layered with flavors that will make it hard to stop at just one taste! This is an amazingly versatile recipe that you can enjoy on sliders, nachos, in lettuce wraps or on top of salads. It is the perfect crowd-pleaser to meal prep for the whole family or friends.

A bowl of Asian pulled pork cooked to tender and soft. Topped with chopped green onion.

I can’t get enough of this Aisan pulled pork. It is so easy to make and yet packed with so many flavors.

I love a good BBQ pulled pork, but if you are like me and want to try something way more flavorful, this is your answer.

This recipe is a symphony of savory, sweet, and umami flavors all cooked in the fall-apart tender pork.

It is perfect to be served in slider buns, nachos, and lettuce wraps or can be enjoyed on its own, because it is that flavorful.

Are you Team Instant Pot or Slow Cooker?

These two cooking methods are both great options for this recipe.

If you opt for the instant pot, it takes only one hour!

I like to split a whole hunk of pork shoulder into three or four pieces which allows the meat to cook more evenly and the flavors to develop more during the marinating process.

On the other hand, it takes about seven hours to slow cook. This makes it a great recipe to prep ahead the night before or in the morning. Once all the ingredients are in the slow cooker, you don’t have to worry about it anymore until dinner is served!

Ingredients for Asian Pulled Pork

Ingredients for Asian pulled pork.

Pork Shoulder also called Pork Butt is a flavorful but tough cut. It usually has a fat layer which is perfect to use for slow-cooked pulled pork. Because the cooking process tenderizes the meat and the flavorful fat layer gets cooked down and combined with other parts.

Shao Xing Wine: This is a very widely used marinade, especially for meats and seafood. It helps elevate the flavor and create restaurant-quality dishes that would have been hard to replicate at home. My parents always say it is used to eliminate the “fishiness” of meats and seafood.

Chinese Five Spices is one of my favorite blends to use in Aisan cooking. Surprise! It has a complex and balanced flavor profile from the cinnamon, star anise, fennel seeds, cloves and sometimes Sichuan peppercorn. It is sweet and warming, earthy and aromatic and perfect to use for meats.

Smoked Paprika is a key ingredient in traditional BBQ spices. It adds a little bit of smokiness, sweetness and earthiness. It lends a great depth and complexity to the flavor profile of this pulled pork.

Onion, Garlic, Ginger are the three musketeers in my Chinese cooking. I learned this from my parents who have these 3 ingredients in almost all dishes. They create the most beautiful aroma when they are sautted in high heat for a very short amount of time (before it burns). So with no exception, they are here to add that aromatic depth to this Asian pulled pork recipe.

Coconut Aminos is an alternative to soy sauce, but with very similar taste profile. It is, however, less salty and with a hint of sweetness.

Brown sugar: To be honest, most of my parents’ Chinese cooking uses white sugar. Since I have adopted their cooking in America, I love to use coconut sugar or brown sugar instead.


How to Make Pulled Pork in Instant Pot

For best result, let the pork marinate in the fridge overnight to really let the flavor soak in.

Now let’s get cookin’.

Now the pork is cooked, we can utilize the flavorful broth that is used to cook the pork in to make a delicious sauce.

A Few Ways to Serve it Up

This Asian Pulled pork recipe is truly one of those recipes that you want to save for a meal prep for the week or a staple for a big party.

It is great to enjoy as sliders with a layer of cheese or your choice, fresh purple cabbage and sweet pickles.

Love a good nacho dish like I do? Layer your favorite chips, black beans, Asian pulled pork, shredded cheese, and purple cabbage on a baking sheet and bake at 400F for 10 minutes. Top with chopped pickles, or jalapeños and you have the best party snack for a crowd.

How about tacos? Use corn or flour tortillas slightly heated up, stuff with the pulled Asian pork, sprinkle on some crunchy veggies, shredded cheese, salsa, and a little bit of that delectable pork sauce.

For a gluten free option, lettuce wraps is a great way to go “protein style”. There are endless delicious ways to enjoy this Asian pulled pork.

I highly recommend serving up a side of my Crispy Air Fryer Potato Fries or my Crispy Sweet Potato Fries if you end up trying the Asian Pulled Pork in Slider form!

Let me know what way is your favorite in the comment section below! Can’t wait for you to try!

A bowl of Asian pulled pork cooked to tender and soft. Topped with chopped green onion.

Get the recipe:Asian Pulled Pork {Instant Pot}

This Asian Pulled Pork is sweet, savory and umami. it is tender juicy and just melts in your mouth. Perfect to meal prep for the week. You can use it for sliders, tacos, nachos or top off salads.
5 stars (1 review)

Ingredients

  • 3.5 lb of pork
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 6 garlic, smashed
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, sliced
  • Half onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tsp five spice
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika, optional
  • 1/3 cup coconut aminos

Instructions 

  • Cut a 3.5 lb pork shoulder into 3 – 4 chunks. In a big bowl, season the pork with Shao Xing Wine, Chinese five spice, salt , smoked paprika (optional) and coconut aminos.
  • Cover and let it marinade in the fridge for at least an hour (overnight for best result).
  • In an instant pot, use saute function to heat 2 tablespoon of neutral cooking oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add in onion and ginger, sautte for a minute or until fragrant. Add in garlic and sautte for another 30 seconds **.
  • Add in brown sugar and water.
  • Place the marinated pork along with any lefrover marinade in the pot (most if not all of the marinade should have been soaked into the pork).
  • Close the lid and seal well. Cook on high pressure for an hour. Do a quick release once the pork is finished cooking.
    If using slow cooker, cook on low for 7 hours.
  • Remove the pork from the broth. Then save 3/4 of the broth aside.
  • Place the pork back in the pot with the leftover broth. Use 2 forks to gently shred the pork.

Optional Step

  • Mix together 1 heaping tablespoon of arrowroot starch with 2 tablespoons of water. Pour into the broth we saved aside.
  • In a small pot, heat the broth mixture and stir contiuously until thickens.
  • Use it as a sauce for pulled pork sliders, sandwiches and more!

Notes

* The garlic should be smashed not minced. Minced garlic cooks way faster than smashed garlic cloves. 

The Nutrition Facts above are specific to the ingredients I chose to use for this recipe, which may vary.