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Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork with Pineapple

Aside from the irresistible taste of tender pulled pork, rich peanut sauce and vibrant pineapple, there are more reasons to indulge in Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork with Pineapple. This budget meal is loaded with vitamins, can be made in an Instant Pot using the pressure or slow cook mode and makes excellent leftovers.

March 23, 2024

pulled pork roast in a serving dish over rice

Healthy Asian Pulled Pork

Tender pork, juicy pineapple, and colorful diced peppers in a rich peanut sauce topped with fresh herbs and freshly squeezed lime. Taste and nutrition make this Asian pulled pork recipe a winner. Peppers and pineapple provide vitamin C, which protects you from heart disease, cancer, and cataracts. The dish also contains Vitamins B1, B2, and B6, which help support the healthy functioning of the nervous system, and magnesium, which helps keep your bones strong. Using pork loin, which is leaner than shoulder cut, keeps the recipe lower in saturated fats.

What is the Best Pork Cut to Use?

This recipe uses boneless pork loin, a lean cut with a thin layer of fat on the top. At the store, it can be called pork roast, pork loin roast, pork center rib roast, or center loin roast. It can be confusing since there are so many different cuts and names. Pork shoulder is NOT suitable for this recipe because it is fattier and tougher, which requires longer cooking times. Another popular cut that should NOT be used is pork tenderloin because it is too lean and tastes best when roasted or grilled quickly over high heat. Purchase a 2 – 2.5 pound pork loin roast (depicted at the bottom of the photo). 

Pork loin sale at grocery store
Half pork loin sale at the grocery store.

Pork Loin Budget Meal

This recipe for Asian Pulled Pork is economical because boneless pork loin is often on sale. Sometimes, grocers sell half pork loins for $1.99 per pound. When that occurs, I purchase it and ask the meat department to cut and package it into various sizes to freeze for different recipes:

  • 2-pound pork roast
  • six-eight 1″ steaks for cutlets
  • medallions for stir fry or kabobs

For more information from the South Dakota State University Extention.

Low-carb pork roast- over cabbage
Serve Asian Pulled Pork over pre-shredded cabbage for a low-carb version.

Meal Prep and Low Carb Tips

This recipe can be made using an Instant Pot multi-cooker using the pressure cooker or slow cooker mode. Serve over:

If you are looking for a low-carb, Paleo, SCD, or grain-free option, serve over:

  • cooked cauliflower rice
  • pre-shredded coleslaw mix; see photo
  • cooked spaghetti squash
  • cooked zucchini noodles

Make this recipe on a Sunday to have plenty of great leftovers for Asian tacos or sliders later in the week. 

Ingredients for recipe

Ingredients, Substitutions and Tips

  • Boneless pork loin – a lean cut with a thin layer of fat on the top. At the store, it can be called pork roast, pork loin roast, pork center rib roast, or center loin roast. Pork tenderloin or pork shoulder should not be used. 
  • Low-sodium soy sauce –  replacements include 1) low-sodium tamari for a gluten-free diet or SCD and 2) coconut amino for a paleo and gluten-free diet. Coconut amino has no soy, making it an excellent soy sauce substitute for people with celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or soy allergies.
  • Rice vinegar is found in the Asian Food section; apple cider vinegar may be used as a replacement.
  • Mirin or rice wine can be found in the Asian Food section. If you cannot find it, double the amount of vinegar and add 1 tablespoon of honey, or use dry sherry or a sweet marsala wine. Mirin is a Japanese sweet rice wine made by fermenting a combination of steamed mochi rice, koji (fermented rice and shochu (sweet potato alcohol) for 40 to 60 days.
  • Garlic cloves – fresh minced cloves are best, but pre-crushed in a jar is okay in a pinch.
  • Crushed red pepper flakes – if unavailable, use a 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper or 1 teaspoon of chili powder.
  • Bell peppers – any color may be used.
  • Toasted sesame oil – Don’t use it in the cooking process; use it as a finishing flavor after it is cooked. 
  • Unsweetened peanut butter – use creamy or crunchy; unsweetened almond or cashew butter may be used, but the sauce flavor will be milder. 
  • Lime—Use freshly squeezed lime in the dish and serve slices on the plate. The juice from a bottle can be used in a pinch, but you won’t have the tasty wedges for garnish.
  • Fresh pineapple chunks are preferred, but unsweetened canned ones may replace fresh ones.
  • Cornstarch: For the paleo diet, use arrowroot; for SCD, use almond flour or purred beans or eliminate the thickener. 
  • Scallions – no substitute
  • Cilantro: serve it on the side so eaters can garnish it to their taste.
  • Peanuts – if you use another nut butter in the sauce, use the same nut as a topping. 

Don’t get scared by the number of ingredients. They are used in three stages. 1) Cook the meat, 2) make the sauce, and 3) garnish. The preparation goes quickly, and the final result is fantastic. 

Multi-Cooker Recipe Steps

Bell peppers and assorted ingredients on a cutting board

1

Chop produce & combine sauce ingredients.

Pork roast meat in a multi-cooker

2

Quarter meat and place in multi-cooker.

peppers added to the Instant Pot

3

Add cut peppers.

Pork roast cooked in the Instant Pot

4

Place lid on the pot and follow recipe directions for pressure cook or slow cook in below recipe card.

Slow Cooker Asian Pork Roast

5

Remove meat from the pot and shred. Add sauce ingredient into the pot.

pulled pork roast in a serving dish over rice

6

Garnish with green onion, cilantro, and chopped peanuts.

Leftover Ideas for Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork with Pineapple: Make this recipe on Sunday for plenty of ideas through the week!

pork tacos on a platter

Asian Tacos

Make Asian tacos later in the week; place the leftovers into soft tortillas and top with cabbage, radishes, pickled vegetables, cilantro, hot sauce, or slaw.

Pork sliders on a platter

Pork Sliders

Make pork sliders by placing the leftovers on mini buns and top with coleslaw. This recipe works overtime. Check out more Instant Pot Recipes.

Equipment Needed

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Pulled pork in a serving dish with peanut and pineapple
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pulled pork roast in a serving dish over rice

Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork with Pineapple

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews

Description

Aside from the irresistible taste of tender pulled pork, rich peanut sauce, and vibrant pineapple, there are more reasons to indulge in Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork with Pineapple. This budget-friendly meal is loaded with vitamins, can be made in a pressure or slow cooker, and makes excellent leftovers.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Step 1 Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless pork loin, trimmed of most fat and cut into 4 pieces
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce* see notes for paleo, gluten-free, SCD
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons mirin (rice wine) – see note** for substitutes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 bell peppers, seeded & chopped any color, chopped into 1” pieces

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 lime juiced (2 Tablespoons if using bottled)
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch *** See notes for diet substitutions

Garnish

  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, chopped

Serve with

  • 2 cups brown rice****
  • 4 cups of water


Instructions

  1. Prepare Ingredients. Combine soy sauce, rice vinegar,  garlic, and red pepper flakes in the interior cooking pot and stir to combine.
  2. Prepare Meat. Cut the pork loin into 4 equal pieces and place in the cooking pot.
  3. Add sliced bell peppers —top meat with bell pepper pieces.
  4. Choose the cooking method: Pressure cooker or Crock Pot. A) Cook—Pressure Cook Mode—Lock the lid in place, set the valve to pressure, and cook at high pressure for 55 minutes. Quick-release. Or B) Cook Slow Cook Mode—Place the lid on the slow cooker and set to low setting for 4 hours.
  5. Cool Meat. Open the cover, remove the meat to a cutting board, and let it cool.
  6. Make the rice or noodles according to the package directions.
  7. A) Pressure Cooker: Set the cooker on saute and add the sesame oil, peanut butter, salt, pineapple, and lime juice to the cooking liquid. 7. B)
  8. Mix cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon to the sauce to thicken. Cook over medium-high, stirring for 2 minutes until heated through and slightly thickened. Add more cornstarch paste to reach the desired consistency.
  9. Shred meat – using two forks and add it back to the multicooker to combine.
  10. Serve over rice or rice noodles – garnish with diced cilantro, chopped peanuts, and sliced green onion.

Notes

Calories include 2 cups of raw brown rice cooked in water and 1/4 cup low sodium Tamari

*Soy sauce substitutions: paleo – coconut amino, gluten-free – coconut amino, or gluten-free tamari; SCD use grain-free tamari

** Vinegar: if following a paleo diet or SCD, check vinegar labels for added sugar; use apple cider vinegar if doubtful

***corn flour substitutes: paleo – arrowroot: SCD – almond flour

**** Rice substitutes: low-carb, paleo, or SCD – serve over cooked cauliflower rice, shredded raw cabbage, cooked noodles, or cooked spaghetti squash

Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

Let me know your thoughts on this post!

4 responses to “Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork with Pineapple”

  1. Pork loin is convenient because it’s often on sale and freezes well, but I’m never that excited to eat it when it’s baked. I’ve tried this recipe several times and I’m surprised that the pork loin shreds so well. The added cilantro and peanuts are a great addition, along with frozen brown rice from Trader Joe’s.






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Karen the Supper Sanity Home Chef

Welcome to Supper Sanity

Hello, I’m Karen, a very passionate meal planner. As a mother of three, I have been planning family menus for years. When I was diagnosed with a digestive condition, I found it necessary to follow an eating regime that eliminated many ingredients. That made meal planning a health necessity. I’ve learned a lot and want to share my resources to simplify meal planning, shop efficiently and cook affordable homemade meals. If you wish to try new recipes, plan healthier meals, and enjoy a great dinner with your friends and family, Supper Sanity can help.

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