Crockpot Asian Pulled Pork: Made with lean pork loin and flavored with soy sauce, honey, barbeque sauce and applesauce, this dish is the perfect change-up to your weekly meal plan. Plus, who doesn’t love a crockpot meal? Let the crockpot do the work for you.
My inspiration for crockpot Asian pulled pork
This recipe was fully inspired by these steamed buns. If you’ve never had them, they are like pillows of deliciousness. They are soft, slightly sweet, and anything you put on them is absolutely delicious. You can buy these steamed buns in the frozen section of an Asian market, like H Mart. I’ve eaten these steamed buns at restaurants, typically with tender shredded meat in a sweet, barbeque-type sauce. I knew I wanted to recreate that flavor profile for this dish. You can also serve this pork in a bowl format with rice and a vegetable, if you can’t find the steamed buns or want to save yourself a trip. The meat is flavorful on its own, and the sauce is perfect when soaked up by some yummy rice.
What you’ll need to make this recipe
- extra lean pork center cut loin filet, like this one
- unsweetened applesauce
- barbeque sauce, I use this one
- reduced sodium soy sauce
- reduced sodium chicken broth
- garlic cloves
How to make crockpot Asian Pulled Pork
The method to make this recipe couldn’t be simpler. The crockpot makes everything so easy. Simply combine all of your sauce ingredients in the bottom of your crockpot. The key to making this meat really flavorful and delicious is that it gets seared before being submerged in the crockpot. Any time you sear meat, you need to make sure you pat the meat dry using a paper towel. Any moisture on the outside of the meat won’t allow for that crispy seared outside we are looking for. Pat the pork loin dry with a paper towel and season it lightly with salt and pepper. You don’t want to overdo the salt here, because so many components of the sauce already have sodium in them. Then, spray cooking spray in a large frying pan and heat it over medium high heat. For this step, I used grape seed oil, because it has a high smoke point. Sear the pork loin for a couple of minutes on each side. You are not looking for the pork to cook at this point; you are just looking for some color on the outside before it slow cooks.
Once the pork has some color on all sides, submerge it into the crockpot with the sauce. Toss it to coat, then cover the crockpot and cook on high for 2.5 hours. After the 2.5 hours has passed, shred the meat using two forks, then return it to the crockpot for another hour. After an hour, here is the end result:
How I serve crockpot Asian pulled pork
- Steamed buns: steam the buns in a steaming basket on the stove top, or in the microwave under a damp paper towel. This particular brand is 125 calories or 3 WW points per bun.
- Garlic scallion mayo: mix together 1 tablespoon of light mayo, 1/2 scallion and 1 minced garlic clove, per serving. The garlic scallion mayo is 35 calories or 1 WW point per tablespoon.
- Sesame cucumbers: combine 1 sliced Persian cucumber, 1/4 teaspoon of sesame oil, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds per serving. One serving of the sesame cucumbers is 25 calories or 0 WW points.
To assemble, split the buns in half. Spread the garlic scallion mayo on each side of the bun. Add the pork to the bun and top with the cucumbers.
Crockpot Asian Pulled Pork
- slow cooker
- frying pan
- 1.5 lb pork loin
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons barbeque sauce, like Stubbs
- 1/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon sriracha
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Combine all ingredients, except the pork, in the bottom of the slow cooker and whisk together.
- Pat the pork loin dry with paper towels and lightly season the pork loin with salt and pepper.
- Spray a frying pan with a cooking spray with a high smoke point, like grape seed oil.
- Sear the pork loin for a few minutes on each side over medium high heat. The pork will not be cooked, this is just for color and extra flavor.
- Place the pork loin in the crockpot and toss in the sauce.
- Cook on HIGH for 2.5 hours.
- After 2.5 hours, shred the pork with two forks and return to the crockpot. Cook on HIGH for an additional 1 hour.
- steamed buns
- garlic scallion mayo
- sesame cucumbers
- broccoli or other vegetable