Flavorful and fall-apart tender Asian Pulled Pork in the Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Asian Pulled Pork

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: instant pot, Pulled Pork
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 6
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.


  • 1 onion
  • 1 knob ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 ¾ lb pork shoulder (pork butt) (You can use this recipe for 2.5 to 3 lbs pork (1.25 kg))
  • 2 tsp salt (kosher or sea salt; use half if using table salt)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp oil


  • 1 ½ cup chicken stock/broth (350 ml)
  • 5 Tbsp soy sauce (75 ml)
  • 2 Tbsp sake (or dry sherry/Chinese rice wine) (30 ml)
  • 4 Tbsp brown sugar (¼ cup packed, or 50 g)


  1. Gather all the ingredients first.
    Instant Pot Asian Pulled Pork Ingredients
  2. Cut 1 onion into big chunks.

    Instant Pot Asian Pulled Pork 1
  3. Slice 1 knob of ginger and smash 6 garlic cloves.

    Instant Pot Asian Pulled Pork 2
  4. 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.

    Instant Pot Asian Pulled Pork 3
  5. Press the “Sauté” button on your Instant Pot and heat 1 Tbsp oil. When the pot is hot, add the pork shoulder.

    Instant Pot Asian Pulled Pork 4
  6. Sear all sides of pork shoulder, about 2 minutes per side, then transfer the pork to a clean plate and set aside.
    Instant Pot Asian Pulled Pork 5
  7. 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.

    Instant Pot Asian Pulled Pork 6
  8. Add 1 ½ cup chicken stock, 5 Tbsp soy sauce, and 2 Tbsp sake.

    Instant Pot Asian Pulled Pork 7
  9. 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.

    Instant Pot Asian Pulled Pork 8
  10. 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.
    Instant Pot Asian Pulled Pork 9
  11. 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.
  12. 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 (takes about 15-20 mins). Unlock the lid and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet pan.
    Instant Pot Asian Pulled Pork 10
  13. Shred the pork with two forks.
    Instant Pot Asian Pulled Pork 11
  14. [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 3/4 cup of oil.

    Instant Pot Asian Pulled Pork 15
  15. Put the pork back into the pot, and give everything a good toss so that it can soak up the flavors from the sauce.
    Instant Pot Asian Pulled Pork 12
  16. 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.
    Instant Pot Asian Pulled Pork 13
  17. Put the skillet under high broil for 3-5 minutes until the shredded pork has nice char. You can make Pull Pork Sandwich, Pulled Pork Bowl, Pulled Pork Tacos, and more!
    Instant Pot Asian Pulled Pork 14
  18. To save for later, you can keep the pulled pork in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator and up to 2-3 months in the freezer.

Recipe Notes

Cook Time: includes time for pressurizing (15 minutes) and depressurize (15 minutes).


Alternative Cooking Method: 

Stovetop Method: You can cook on a low simmer for 2-3 hours on the stove.

Slow Cooker Method: In your slow cooker, cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours.


Equipment you will need: Pressure Cooker (I use 6 QT Instant Pot)


Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.