This slow cooker asian pulled pork is dedicated to our readers! Thanks to your questions and feedback about our other oven roasted pulled pork with asian flavors, we’ve adapted the slow cooker version or crock pot.

 spoon with slow cooker asian pulled pork

Oven Roast Asian Pulled Pork

Years ago we published our delicious Asian pulled pork recipe roasted in the oven. It’s tenders, succulent and loaded with flavor. Readers loved this version so much, made it multiple times and some even adapted it to the slow cooker. So between the questions about adapting the oven version to a slow cooker and comments about how it does work, we tested it ourselves. After several tests, we have the slow cooker version of our pulled pork recipe for you.

Slow Cooker timing on High and Low : Pork needs more time

Traditionally, crock pot or slow cooker times are usually 4 hours on High. But to really help the pork break down more and be more tender, we suggest at least 5 hours on high. We tested it at 6 hours on high after cutting the pork in two pieces and it was perfect. If slow cooking on low, we suggest at least 8 hours to ensure the pork becomes tender. Six hours on low most likely won’t be enough time to cook the pork enough to pull apart.

spooning pulled pork

Video: Saucy Asian Pulled Pork in Slow Cooker

Fish Sauce makes this super flavorful. Don’t be scared.

Yes, we get asked this all the time and fish sauce can be daunting to cook with if you’re new to it. Of course, it has a funky, strong and pungent smell. But when it’s added as part of the marinade, you don’t taste any “fishy” flavors in the end result. What you get is a super delicious, savory and umami flavor that is wonderful and satisfying. Read our article on the Magic of Fish Sauce and our favorite brands.

Our Favorite Fish Sauce Brands:

This has been our house fish sauce for decades. Great stuff! We’ll use it to make our dipping sauces as well as marinades.

100% all-natural first press extra virgin Vietnamese fish sauce. One of the best artisan fish sauce producers.

Another good fish sauce. Clean flavors, good depth. It’s the one Diane’s mom most often uses for cooking.

But what about soy sauce or other options instead of fish sauce?

Ok, sure if we can’t convince you to use the fish sauce, then here’s some other alternatives to give an “almost” equal amount of umami:

  • Soy sauce will definitely still give great depth of flavor.
  • Gluten free tamari has good flavor
  • Liquid aminos are another good option for savory umami
  • SALT! you still must use enough salt to bring out all the flavors. So taste the cooked pork, and if you feel like it still needs “something” then add more salt.

How to make Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork

  • CUT PORK in 2-3 smaller pieces: Unlike the oven version, we felt that a 4 pound boston butt or pork butt can be rather large for a slow cooker. So we suggest cutting the meat in half or in 3 smaller pieces. That way it helps break down the pork to be more tender and quicker if you’re using the 4 hour-on-high method.
  • We discussed why we love using fish sauce in the marinade. And here it is again, please use the fish sauce!
  • If you can, flip the pork during cooking. That way you can have even cooking around all the pork pieces rather than have just the bottom simmering in the marinade. You want to make sure all sides of the pork gets to cook in the luscious sauce.
  • More slow cooker asian pulled pork recipe details are in the recipe box below.
spoon with slow cooker asian pulled pork

Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork

If you’re using a 4 pound pork butt and it’s larger than your slow cooker, cut the pork into 2-3 smaller pieces. It’ll cook quicker. And, remember, don't waste the sauce!
If you have a pork butt that’s about 3 pounds or smaller and don't like too much sauce, then make half the sauce. If you're making the full batch of sauce on a 3.5 pound pork butt, you'll have plenty of sauce left over for your pasta, noodles or rice.
5 from 4 votes

Ingredients

  • 4 – 4.5 pounds (1.75-2 kg) pork butt or pork shoulder
  • oil , to coat pork
  • salt , for seasoning pork
  • 15 oz. (425 g) diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 5-6 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 onion , diced
  • 1.5 inch (4 cm) knob fresh ginger , finely grated or minced (about 2 Tablespoons (30ml))
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) fish sauce , or soy sauce (but fish sauce tastes better! try it) For Gluten Free use Tamari
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) chili garlic sauce , or Gluten Free Hot Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) spicy brown mustard
  • 1/4 cup (55 g) brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) fresh cracked black pepper , plus more for seasoning pork

Equipment

Instructions 

  • Lightly coat the pork shoulder with oil and season all sides with salt and pepper.
    Pork butt seasoned with salt and pepper
  • Optional Sear (for caramelization and better flavor): Heat large skillet on medium-high heat. Sear all sides of the pork butt or shoulder on the hot pan until the pork is brown. About 3 minutes per side. Remove the pan from heat.
    Searing pork butt on a skillet
  • In the slow cooker, add tomatoes, garlic, onion, ginger, brown sugar, fish sauce, chili garlic sauce, mustard, and black pepper. Stir together until well combined.
    Sauce ingredients in slow cooker
  • Add the seared pork into the slow cooker with the sauce and ladle the tomato sauce mixture over the pork.
    Pork added to slow cooker
  • Place lid on the slow cooker. Cook the pork for about 5-6 hours on high (8 hours on low), or until the pork is tender and easily shreds with a fork.
    Lid on slow cooker
  • During the cooking about halfway through, we like to gently flip the pork (you don't have to do this, but it helps everything cook a little more even).
    Turning the pork in the slow cooker
  • Skim off any excess fat.
    Skimming the excess fat
  • When pork is tender enough to shred with a couple forks, turn the slow cooker on “warm”. Shred the pork into pieces and stir into the sauce.
    Shredding the pork with forks
  • Serve the pulled pork on rice, pasta, noodles, as a slider, sandwich or in tacos. We also love making pulled pork quesadillas and burritos!
    Finished pulled pork in the slow cooker

Video

Nutrition Information per Serving

Calories: 361kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 44g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 136mg, Sodium: 1019mg, Potassium: 994mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 118IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 68mg, Iron: 4mg

How to freeze pulled pork left overs

If you have leftovers, then try to eat it within 3-4 days. We usually will finish it off within 4 days. But if you need to freeze the pork, then you can do it easily. Just store it in air tight bags or containers for up to 3 months. Try to eat it soon so it doesn’t get freezer burn.

The sauce is the best part: don’t waste.

The pulled pork sauce is so good, make sure to scrape every bit and piece of it into your bowls. There’s so many awesome ways you can serve the pulled pork and yummy sauce:

  • Add a big scoop-full of pork and sauce on rice. Simple white rice or brown rice and this meal is golden.
  • How about egg noodles? this would be great on egg noodles.
  • Any type of pasta that you like.
  • Make pulled pork tacos! and burritos!
  • Sandwiches and sliders would be great with our slow cooker asian pulled pork.
  • Quesadillas and nachos are always a hit and it’s what we make all the time with our pork leftovers.