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 fresh 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:
- No one went hungry (my biggest party fear, aside from maybe running out of wine).
- Those with dietary restrictions could still enjoy since a few of my friends are gluten free (these Slow Cooker Carnitas were another contender).
- AND, importantly, the hostess (ahem, yours truly) could actually enjoy herself. My ideal recipe would be easy to prepare, able to be made ahead (like this Slow Cooker Pulled Pork), 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 (along with a few pitchers of these Fizzy Grapefruit Margaritas).
5 Star Review
“Amazing! Adding these to the meal rotation in our house! So much flavor, 10/10!”— Lauren —
How to Make Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork Tacos
Now that I’ve dazzled you with the merits of these crockpot Asian pulled pork tacos, I have a little confession: This recipe is embarrassingly easy (like these Salmon Tacos). With just THREE ingredients, aside from the pork itself, and minimal prep work for the easy, crunchy broccoli slaw, these tacos will make you the “hostess with the mostess” at your next gathering.
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 crockpot.
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.
- Pork Tenderloin. Lean, flavorful, and shreds like dream. Using pork tenderloin for these slow cooker Asian pulled pork tacos keeps the dish healthy and low in fat (it’s also divine on the barbecue for Grilled Pork Tenderloin).
- Hoisin Sauce. A sweet, sticky, slightly spicy sauce used in Cantonese cooking. Found near other Asian condiments in most grocery stores, this simple sauce packs a punch of flavor.
- Garlic + Ginger. For an added layer of flavor that marries well with the hoisin.
- Broccoli Slaw. I love using broccoli slaw for entertaining (I’ll save the cabbage for this Winter Slaw). Its heartier texture and consistency mean it will hold up well sitting out at a party for several hours without getting mushy.
- Peanuts. Give the slaw some added crunch and peanutty flavor that marries well with the flavors of the pork.
- Green Onions + Cilantro. For color, freshness, and a little zip.
- Rice Vinegar. Mixed with a little olive oil to create the base for our simple slaw dressing with TONS of Asian flair.
- Honey. Naturally sweetens the dressing.
- Soy Sauce. Balances the sweetness of the honey and acidity of the vinegar while adding lovely Asian umami flavor.
- Tortillas. Reach for flour, corn, or a mixture of both. There’s no wrong way to do crockpot Asian pulled pork tacos (or Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Pulled Pork Tacos for that matter).
- Season the pork tenderloin with salt and pepper, then add to a slow cooker with the garlic, ginger, and hoisin sauce.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or LOW for 5 to 7 hours.
- Remove the meat, shred, then return it to the slow cooker to keep warm.
- Combine the broccoli slaw ingredients in a large mixing bowl, tossing to coat well in the dressing
- Serve with warm tortillas. ENJOY!
- To Store. Leftover pork can be stored in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days. Leftovers of the 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).
- To Freeze. Leftover pork may be frozen for 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before warming. I do not recommend freezing the broccoli slaw.
- To Reheat. Reheat leftover meat gently on the stove with a splash of chicken broth or water to keep it from drying out.
Tools Used to Make This Recipe
- Slow Cooker. Programmable options like this one are ideal because they prevent you from overcooking your recipe.
Hands off the kitchen and hands on the slow cooker Asian pulled pork tacos.
Frequently Asked Questions
I have not tried making this recipe in a pressure cooker so it would be an experiment. If you give it a try, I’d love to hear how it goes. If you’re looking for a Mexican-inspired pork recipe made in an Instant Pot you can use for tacos, try these Instant Pot Carnitas.
I have not tried this swap so it would be an experiment. The flavor would still be good, I imagine, but the texture would be different since broccoli slaw typically does not contain the florets only the broccoli stems.
I wouldn’t recommend this cut—it’s better for grilling or pan cooking (or even baking). If you want to keep it lean, regular pork loin is great. Pork butt (shoulder) is also another great option and classic for pulled pork. If you do switch cuts of meat, the cooking time will likely change. I’d suggest doing a quick online search for a slow cooker recipe that uses the weight and type of pork you select, then use it as a guide for the total cook time in 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 fresh ginger minced
- 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 green onions 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, combine 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!
- TO STORE: Leftover pork can be stored in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days. Leftovers of the 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).
- TO FREEZE: Leftover pork may be frozen for 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before warming. I do not recommend freezing the broccoli slaw.
- TO REHEAT: Reheat leftover meat gently on the stove with a splash of chicken broth or water to keep it from drying out.
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