These Asian pork tacos are made with tender pork shoulder & light, delicious slaw & come together so quickly in the pressure cooker or Instant Pot!
I think I need an intervention.
I may have an Instant Pot addiction. At the very least, it’s an Instant Pot obsession. I love that thing! If you haven’t gotten one yet, I highly recommend it (I’ve included an affiliate link at the end). I love my slow cooker, but what I love about the Instant Pot is that even if I don’t remember to get things going in the morning, I can enjoy a relatively low-effort dinner that comes together so quickly. While it’s under pressure, I can get my lunch ready, clean up my kitchen, or even take a shower.
I am amazed at what the Instant Pot can do with a pork shoulder. You know, slow cookers are great with cuts of meat that have lots of connective tissue, meats that need low and slow cooking. The pressure cooker does the same thing, just not low and slow. It’s the best. These Asian pork tacos take less than an hour, most of that time hands-off. I mean, an hour from the time you take the pork out of the package to the time that you are parked at the dining room table (or if youre me, in front of the television, or WHEREVER) eating delicious Asian pork tacos.
I had some readers test these Asian pork tacos for me and I’m so glad that I did. I got lots of feedback that helped me make modifications to the recipe to make it so much better (or at least I thought). I started with a recipe that I found on Dinner: A Love Story for slow cooker Korean pork tacos. I modified it for the pressure cooker, but we all found that the slaw was just too oily and a little bit bland, too, so I amped it up with green onions, ginger, and soy sauce and took out almost all of the oil, leaving in just a little sesame oil for flavor. I threw some of my Japanese white sauce on top because really, everything is better with Japanese white sauce (yes, I know it isn’t authentic, but it sure is tasty).
This recipe is also extremely easy to adapt for your slow cooker – I’ve included directions in the recipe notes!
No matter how you make them, these Asian pork tacos are packed with flavor!
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Yield: 4 servings (you will have leftover pork)
20 minPrep Time:
45 minCook Time:
1 hr, 5 Total Time:
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil (such as canola)
- 3-4 pounds pork shoulder
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated (or 1 teaspoon ground ginger)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha (optional)
- For the Slaw
- 2 cups shredded Napa cabbage (about 1/2 head)
- 1 large carrot, shredded
- 1/2 cup seeded and diced cucumber (2 small)
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- For the dressing
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 3-finger pinch of brown sugar
- 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated (or 1 teaspoon ground ginger)
- 2 teaspoons sriracha (optional)
- 8-16 corn tortillas (I like to double them up to make them stronger)
- Japanese white sauce, for serving (optional)
- Remove any bones from the pork shoulder and cut the pork into 4 pieces. Season with salt and pepper on all sides.
- Preheat the 2 tablespoons of oil over medium high in a regular pressure cooker or on the “more” saute setting on an Instant Pot. Brown the pork for 2-3 minutes per side. While the pork is browning, whisk together the other ingredients for the pork. Remove the pork from the pan when brown and add the sauce. Add the pork back to the pan.
- For a regular pressure cooker, bring to pressure over medium high heat and cook for 25 minutes after it comes to pressure. Remove from heat and allow to depressurize naturally.
- For an Instant Pot, choose the “meat/stew” setting and set the timer for 25 minutes. When the 25 minutes are up, turn the Instant Pot off (don’t allow it to “keep warm” as this may cause the meat to overcook). Allow to depressurize naturally.
- While the meat is cooking, combine the slaw ingredients. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and add to the slaw. Toss to combine and set aside.
- Once the pressure cooker has depressurized, use two forks to shred the meat, discarding any chunks of fat. Turn the heat to high on a regular pressure cooker or the saute setting to “more” on an Instant Pot. Allow the sauce to reduce by 1/2 to 2/3 then add the meat back and remove from heat.
- Heat the corn tortillas and fill with the meat, slaw, and white sauce (if desired). Serve immediately.
To make in slow cooker: Brown the meat in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sauce to the slow cooker. Place the browned meat into the slow cooker. Cook for 6-8 hours over low heat (you can also do 4-5 hours on high, but cooking over low heat is preferable). Remove meat to rest on a cutting board and transfer juices from the slow cooker to a pan. Reduce over high heat. Shred the meat and mix it with the reduced sauce in the pan or in the slow cooker. Complete other steps as directed.