A few weeks ago, Ben and I used every available chair, fork, and floor cushion in our home to host 12 hungry friends for a big football game watch. While I can’t tell you much about the game (including its score), I can happily attest to what we served: Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork Tacos with a fresh, crunchy Peanut Broccoli Slaw.
Have you ever hosted a party for 12? This was one of my biggest bashes yet, and I knew I needed the right recipe to ensure that:
a) No one went hungry (my biggest party fear, aside from maybe running out of wine)
b) Those with dietary restrictions could still enjoy (a few of my friends are gluten free), and
c) The hostess (ahem, yours truly) could actually enjoy herself. My ideal recipe would be easy to prepare, able to be made ahead, and hands off during the party itself.
Not only did the Asian pulled pork tacos nail all of the above, but our guests absolutely devoured them.
I’m keeping this Asian crock pot recipe on file for anytime I am hosting a crowd or seeking to stock my freezer with yummy leftovers that I can thaw on demand.
Now that I’ve dazzled you with the merits of these Asian pulled pork tacos, I have a little confession.
This recipe is embarrassingly easy.
We are talking THREE ingredients, aside from the pork itself: hoisin (which I can best describe as an Asian barbecue sauce), fresh ginger, and whole cloves of garlic.
You don’t even have to chop the garlic, that’s how simple the Asian pulled pork recipe is to make. Just peel and pop the cloves into the slow cooker whole.
What Type of Pork is Used for Pulled Pork?
Because I wanted to keep this Asian pulled pork taco recipe on the healthier side, I opted to use pork tenderloin in place of pork shoulder, which is more traditional when making slow cooker shredded pork.
Pork tenderloin is much lower in fat and calories but is still incredibly juicy and fall-apart tender, especially when slow cooked in the crock pot.
The one tricky element to using pork tenderloin is that, unlike pork shoulder, it can overcook fairly easily.
Watch the pork carefully and check it a little early, and you’ll have the most tender shredded Asian pork tenderloin tacos you can imagine.
To finish the Asian pulled pork tacos, I stirred together an easy peanut broccoli slaw.
It’s salty, acidic notes and nutty crunch are the ideal contrast in both flavor and texture to the sweet, juicy pork tenderloin taco filling.
How to Serve Pulled Pork Tacos
- With Tortillas. I served the Asian pulled pork tacos with corn and flour tortillas and let my friends choose. Both tortilla piles were equally empty at the end of the night, and everyone left happy and full, so I don’t think you can go wrong with either.
- With Rice. Make it a rice bowl! Serve your pulled pork over a bed of brown rice, white rice, or cauliflower rice.
Tools Used to Make This Recipe
Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork Tacos
FOR THE HOISIN PORK:
- 4 pounds pork tenderloin trimmed of excess fat
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 6 whole garlic cloves smashed and peeled
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 14 ounces hoisin sauce
- flour or corn tortillas for serving
FOR THE ASIAN PEANUT SLAW:
- 1 bag broccoli slaw (12 ounces)
- 1 cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts chopped
- 1 bunch scallions chopped
- 1 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- Coat a 6-quart or larger slow cooker with cooking spray. Lightly pat the pork dry, then place in the bottom. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tuck the garlic cloves around the pork, then sprinkle with fresh ginger. Pour the hoisin sauce over the top of the meat. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or low for 5 to 7 hours, until the pork is cooked through. Pork tenderloin can easily dry out, so check it a little early to ensure it does not overcook. Remove the meat to a plate, shred with two forks, then return it to the slow cooker and stir it together with the sauce. Leave in the slow cooker on “warm” until ready to serve.
- For the slaw: Place the broccoli slaw, peanuts, scallions, and cilantro in a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the olive oil, rice vinegar, honey, and soy sauce. Taste and add additional vinegar, honey, or soy sauce as desired. Pour over the slaw, then toss to combine.
- To serve: Warm the tortillas in the microwave for a few seconds, covered with a damp towel to keep them moist. Fill with shredded pork, then top with the broccoli slaw. Enjoy!
- Leftover pork can be stored in the refrigerator 4 to 5 days or frozen for 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat leftover meat gently on the stove with a splash of chicken broth or water to keep it from drying out.
- Leftover slaw can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days (you can extend the time to about 3 to 4 days, though the texture will become somewhat mushy).
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