Slow Cooker Korean Pork Tacos
These Korean-inspired pulled pork tacos are delicious and so easy to make!
These slow cooker Korean pork tacos are the latest recipe added to our menu rotation and we all loved them! I think they’ve even shot up to the top of our favorites.
The tacos start in slow cooker, which makes dinnertime a breeze (though you can use a covered pot in your oven too). The pulled pork has a lot of great flavor, with a subtle sweetness and hint of heat, thanks to Korean-inspired ingredients like sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and soy sauce.
Top the tacos with a quick cabbage slaw with lime, scallions and cilantro for the perfect contrasting crunch to the tenderness of the pork. The combination of flavors and textures is what makes these tacos so yummy!
Why you should sear meat before slow cooking
Searing your meat before sticking it into the slow cooker is a completely optional step, but I always make the time for it. “Searing” simply means that the surface of the meat is cooked at a high temperature over dry heat (I use my cast iron pan) until a brown caramelized crust forms. Brown food = more flavorful food and searing meat first injects more flavor into the dish than there would be otherwise. As I said, it’s optional, but it takes just a few extra minutes and makes a difference!
How to cook the pork in the oven instead
Not wanting a slow cooker recipe? No problem!
Simply sear the recipe in a dutch oven or other oven-proof pot, add remaining ingredients for the pork, then cover and bake in the oven at 300°F for about 4-5 hours until fork tender. Start checking after 3 hours.
Other ways to enjoy this recipe
This recipe actually makes a big batch of pulled pork, which is perfect for enjoying tacos one night and freezing some for another night.
But if you’d like to make something other than tacos with the pulled pork, here are a few ideas:
- Pork and grain bowls with rice or other grain. Top with cabbage slaw, avocado and extra cilantro.
- Pork sliders with cabbage slaw on soft sandwich buns.
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Slow Cooker Korean Pork Tacos
- 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 2 jalapeno peppers , finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 3 lbs pork tenderloin or pork butt/shoulder roast
- Salt and pepper , to taste
- 5 whole garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon light or dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Juice of half a lime
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups shredded green cabbage
- 2 cups shredded red cabbage
- 4 scallions , chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- Corn or flour tortillas
- Shredded pulled pork
- Cilantro , optional
- Lime wedges , optional
To make the pork:
- Combine the brown sugar, soy sauce, red onion, jalepeno, ginger, rice vinegar, and sesame seeds in a bowl and whisk until smooth.
- (Optional step) Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper and brown in a large pan set over medium high heat. Brown all or most sides, about 3-4 minutes per side.
- Place pork in a slow cooker. Pour soy sauce mixture over the top. Add the garlic cloves.
- Cover with lid and cook on low for 7 hours, on high for 4 hours.
- Shred pork slightly into large pieces and continue to cook uncovered for an additional 30 minutes.
- Shred pork completely and use immediately or store in the fridge for up to 1 week in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To make the slaw:
- Combine the brown sugar, sesame oil, olive oil, ginger and salt in a bowl and whisk until smooth.
- In a bowl toss the green and red cabbage, scallions and cilantro together. Pour dressing over the top and toss until combined.
- Use immediately, the slaw won't keep for very long.
To serve the tacos:
- If desired, toast tortillas in a dry skillet over medium heat.
- Top tortillas with pork, slaw, cilantro and a squeeze of a lime wedge.
- This recipe makes a lot of pulled pork. Stash half in the freezer for a quick meal another night.
- Depending on the jalepenos, this makes for mild-medium heat pulled pork. If you'd like to make it spicier, add 1-2 tablespoons of sriracha to the soy sauce mixture before cooking meat.