Deliciously-fall-apart-tender, this Instant Pot Asian Pulled Pork is an easy, versatile dish that can be enjoyed in your sandwich, rice bowl, or tacos! It’s a perfect recipe to make ahead of time to savor on a busy weeknight.
Instant Pot has been my favorite cooking tool for years now, and I have shared several Instant Post recipes on my blog. Today I want to share this easy, versatile, and delicious Instant Pot Asian Pulled Pork recipe. I usually make a bigger portion and stretch it for 2 meals. It’s a perfect weeknight meal for the entire family, or for saving it for another day in the freezer!
Watch How to Make Instant Pot Asian Pulled Pork
Why Instant Pot Asian Pulled Pork?
If you follow my Instagram, you are probably aware how much my family adores Korean food and how much we pig out whenever we visit Los Angeles. There are some good Korean restaurants in the Bay Area, but we just love the variety and authenticity of Korean foods in LA.
Our recent homemade Korean food is my friend Seonkyoung Longest‘s Korean Pulled Pork, which my kids raved for weeks (thanks, Seonkyoung!).
To save time, I use my Instant Pot to cook the pulled pork instead of using her stovetop method. I like that I don’t have to be physically in the kitchen while the pork is being cooked, and yet the result is as amazing as slow cooking on the stove.
Since my children were begging me for another pulled pork for dinner, I created this Instant Pot Asian Pulled Pork with common ingredients in the Asian pantry. With the simple seasonings of soy sauce, sake, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger, this pulled pork is another instant win! No pun intended.
The pork is fall-apart tender, succulent, and it’s so yummy that you want to go for seconds. As we cook the meat in the delicious liquid, the pork stays moist all the time. You’ll have enough juice to drizzle for extra flavor too!
Easy Recipes Using Instant Pot Asian Pulled Pork
Once the pulled pork is cooked, the rest is easy peasy. You can use the shredded meat to make pulled pork sandwich, pulled pork tacos, pulled pork rice bowl, pulled pork fried rice, steamed pork buns and many other different meals. Each one is just as exciting and delicious. Who doesn’t like the idea of one single batch of meat to be used in countless creative ways? To be more efficient in the kitchen, you’re more than welcome to use the same toppings for each dish in a row too.
All you need is some shredded veggies like purple cabbage, iceberg lettuce, and carrot. For the taco, you can top with fresh cilantro and squeeze in some lime juice. For the rice bowl, you can top it off with a fried egg and finish off with some green onions.
If you like things spicy, you can douse it with a drizzle of Spicy Mayo, which is super easy to make. For the best taste, I highly recommend using Japanese mayo.
Here are just some magical meals you can dish up with the pulled pork:
- Asian Pulled Pork Taco
- Asian Pulled Pork Rice Bowl
- Asian Pulled Pork Sandwich
- Spicy Mayo for a kick
In my recipe, I’ve also shown you how to get the extra char for the pulled pork by putting it under high broil in the oven. It is an extra step, but the pulled pork is guaranteed to benefit from this.
Alternative Cooking Method
You can cook covered on a low simmer for 2-3 hours, or until the pork can be easily shredded with a fork.
Slow Cooker Method:
In your slow cooker, cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours.
I hope you enjoy making this Asian Pulled Pulled with your instant pot. It is a great tool for juicy, tender, fall-apart delicious pulled pork that you and your family are happy to come home for.
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Instant Pot Asian Pulled Pork
- 1 onion
- 1 knob ginger
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 ¾ lb pork shoulder (pork butt) (2.5-3 lbs pork works)
- 2 tsp kosher/sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp oil
- Gather all the ingredients first.
- Cut 1 onion into big chunks.
- Slice 1 knob of ginger and smash 6 garlic cloves.
- Cut the butcher’s twine and season the pork shoulder (or pork butt) with 2 tsp kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper on all sides.
- Press the “Sauté” button on your pressure cooker (I use 6 QT Instant Pot) and heat 1 Tbsp oil. When the pot is hot, add the pork shoulder.
- Sear all sides of pork shoulder, about 2 minutes per side, then transfer the pork to a clean plate and set aside.
- Add the ginger slices and mashed garlic cloves in the pot, and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Once fragrant, add the chopped onion and coat with oil.
- Add 1 ½ cup chicken stock, 5 Tbsp soy sauce, and 2 Tbsp sake.
- And 4 Tbsp brown sugar and mix well, scraping the juicy brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add the pork shoulder back into the pot.
- Cover and lock the lid. Make sure the steam release handle points at “sealing” and not “venting”. Press the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button on the Instant Pot to stop cooking. Press the “manual” button to switch to the pressure cooking mode. Press “+ (plus)” button to change the cooking time to 60 minutes on high pressure. It'll take about 15 minutes to pressurize.
- [stove-top pressure cooker] If you’re using a stove-top pressure cooker, you won’t have the buttons to press. Just cook on high heat until high pressure is reached. Then reduce the heat to low but maintain high pressure for about 60 minutes.
- When it is finished cooking, the Instant Pot will switch automatically to the “Keep Warm” mode. Slide the steam release handle to the "Venting" position to let out steam until the float valve drops down, or let the pressure release naturally for about 15 minutes. Unlock the lid and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet pan.
- Shred the pork with two forks.
- [Optional] Using a ladle, take out oil/fat (top layer of the liquid). Oil stays near the surface of the liquid, so if you gently submerge the ladle, only oil goes into the ladle, leaving the flavorful liquid behind. Here I discarded ¾ cup of oil.
- Put the pork back into the pot, and give everything a good toss so that it can soak up the flavors from the sauce.
- Press the “Saute” button again to heat up and serve immediately. Or if you want to give some nice char, transfer to an oven-safe skillet.
- Put the skillet under high broil for 3-5 minutes until the shredded pork has nice char.
- You can make pulled pork tacos, serve pulled pork over rice (see the post), or make a pulled pork sandwich!
- Keep the pulled pork in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator and up to 2-3 months in the freezer.
- Stovetop: You can cook on a low simmer for 2-3 hours on the stove.
- Slow Cooker: In your slow cooker, cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours.