Asian Pulled Pork Sliders
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Enjoy a couple of Asian Pulled Pork sliders with a twist! This is an easy Instant Pot recipe made with premade spice blends, a creamy cabbage slaw, and a special ingredient — peanut butter. The pork is slow cooked in a savory marinade that’s both spicy and sweet. It’s so tender and juicy, and the Instant Pot does all of the work for you!
Pulled pork sliders are always sure to please, but it can get a bit boring making the same thing time and time again. With this recipe, I turn this tried and true crowd favorite into something new!
My Asian pulled pork slider recipe involves a dry rub containing a couple of staple Chinese seasonings: white pepper and Chinese Five Spice, a blend of my own design. Not only that, but the meat is slow cooked in a sweet and spicy Asian marinade made with red chili paste, vinegar, apple butter, and a handful of other ingredients. The meat literally drinks up all of the sauce and, along with the spiced crust that was seared on by the dry rub, becomes unbelievably tender.
Slow cooker dinners are quick, painless, and perfect for the busy family! I recommend trying these Sweet and Sour Ribs as well for a filling, flavorful, and — most importantly – easy weeknight meal.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Pork – I use a boneless pork shoulder (roughly 3 lbs) for this recipe. It’s seasoned with a mix of white pepper, some kosher salt, and my own Chinese Five Spice blend. It’s less expensive to make at home: perfect for Asian flavor lovers!
- Sauce – The savory, spicy, and sweet sauce that the meat will cook in includes:
- Rice Wine Vinegar – A sweet, acidic vinegar. Substitute with sherry vinegar, if necessary.
- Red Chili Paste – A spicy condiment made with dried chiles. This is a very hard ingredient to replace, so I do not recommend it. If you want less heat, just add some cayenne pepper to your tastes.
- Black Bean Paste – A bitter and salty paste.
- Apple Butter – For a fruity, fresh sweetness. Use applesauce for a less sugary alternative.
- Green Onions – Possible substitutes include chives, shallots, and garlic.
- Chicken Stock – Stock is used as the base of the sauce. You could use beef or vegetable sauce per your preferences.
- Lemon Grass Paste – An optional ingredient that I highly recommend using for a delicate, floral, citrusy flavor that brightens the whole dish.
- For Serving – Serve pork sliders on toasted brioche buns with a bit of peanut butter that melts and a mixture of carrot cabbage slaw, mayonnaise, and rice wine vinegar.
HOW TO MAKE ASIAN PULLED PORK
- Season the Meat. Combine the salt, white pepper, and Chinese FIve Spice with a whisk. Pour over the meat and massage into the surface to form a nice coating.
- Sear. Pour the vegetable oil into your Instant Pot and heat. Brown the pork shoulder on all sides.
- Blend the Sauce. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by blending all of the ingredients together.
- Cook. Pour the sauce into the Instant Pot with the seared meat. Use the appropriate “Pressure Cook” setting and program it to cook for 1 hour. Once the time has passed, let the meat sit for 15 minutes before performing a pressure release. Remove the lid and shred the meat right in the Instant Pot either with your hands or two forks.
- Prepare the Slaw Topping. Add both the mayonnaise and rice wine vinegar to a bowl and stir to combine. Throw in the cabbage slaw and mix.
- Create the Sliders & Serve. Prep your brioche buns by toasting them lightly and schmering the bottoms of the buns with a bit of peanut butter. Add the shredded meat, top with the cabbage slaw, and serve!
How do I reheat Asian pulled pork in my Instant Pot?
You’ll want to reheat leftover Asian pulled pork along with all of the leftover sauce to keep it nice and juicy. So just pour everything into the Instant Pot and reheat on a low temperature until warmed all the way through.
Can I make Asian pulled pork in the slow cooker?
If making these pulled pork sliders in a slow cooker, you’ll want to first sear the meat in a skillet before transferring to the cooker. Then pour all of the sauce over the meat and cook on low for 6 hours. Shred the pork right in the slow cooker and follow the rest of the recipe as described.
How long is pulled pork good in the refrigerator?
You can keep cooked pork in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. That’s the rule of thumb for most cooked meats, actually!
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Asian Pulled Pork Sliders
- 3 lb pork shoulder boneless
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground white pepper
- 1 tsp Chinese Five Spice powder
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp red chili paste
- 1 tbsp lemon grass paste (optional)
- 1 tbsp black bean paste
- 1/4 cup apple butter (or substitute applesauce)
- 3 green onions
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 8 Brioche rolls (See Note 1)
- 8 tbsp peanut butter 1 tbsp for each slider
- 10 oz carrot cabbage slaw mix shredded
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- In a small bowl whisk together the kosher salt, white pepper and Chinese Five Spice. Rub all over pork shoulder, pressing to adhere.
- In Instant Pot or Dutch oven, heat oil and pan sear on all sides for several minutes until browned. Transfer to IP (if browned in skillet) that has been sprayed with cooking spray or oil.
- In a food processor or blender purée sauce ingredients.
- Pour sauce over browned pork in Instant Pot. Press the Pressure Cook/Manual Button (or use dial) and then the +/ – button and choose 1 hour. After the cooking time, allow for 15 minute rest before releasing pressure. If using a Slow Cooker, set to Low for 6 hours. Shred the pork in the sauce.
- Mix the mayonnaise and vinegar in a medium bowl. Add the cabbage slaw mix and toss to coat. Set aside.
- Toast the brioche roll and spread one tablespoon of peanut butter on each bottom side. Place pulled pork on top of bottom roll, top with cabbage salad and cilantro. Top with other pretzel roll and serve.
- Feel free to use whatever bread roll you like in substituting for the brioche roll if unavailable.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.