Slow Cooker Vietnamese-style Pork Tacos (recipe)

At our summer cooking camp, we taught the NYT Cooking version of this recipe to our group of teenagers. It was one of the best recipes from the week, the kids loved the flavors and frankly anything served in a tortilla is going to be a winner.

While making this for my family last week, I wanted to find a healthier option for store-bought hoisin sauce, which generally contains more sugar than I like. Checking around the internet, several sites offered inspiration for making your own. Incorporating those ingredients into this Slow Cooker Vietnamese-style Pork Tacos did not take any additional time and the finished product was well received by my family.

Slow Cooker Vietnamese-style Pork Tacos

Based on a New York Times recipe, these great tasting pork tacos are easy to pull together for a weeknight dinner, and the recipe makes lots of leftovers. 

Course Main Course
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8
Author Kitchen Gadget Girl


For Pork

  • 2 TBS sesame oil, divided
  • 1 onion chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 8 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce (I prefer Red Boat)
  • 2 TBS natural peanut butter
  • 1 TBS honey
  • 1 TBS Penzey's Minced Ginger (or 2 TBS fresh ginger, peeled and minced)
  • 1 TBS Sriracha
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp Vietnamese chili garlic sauce
  • 1 pork shoulder or butt, boneless or bone-in, about 5 pounds

For Slaw

  • cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp Penzey's Minced Ginger (or 2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced)
  • 1 TBS sesame oil
  • 2 TBS avocado oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 1 tsp Sriracha sauce
  • 1 small green cabbage cored and sliced thinly
  • 2 medium cucumbers peeled and sliced into julienne
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and sliced into julienne
  • 1 Asian pear peeled, cored and sliced into julienne
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro rinsed, dried and roughly chopped

Recipe Notes

In a large cast iron frying pan over medium heat, sauté the onions in 1 teaspoon sesame oil for about 5 minutes. Add in garlic cloves and continue to cook until onions are soft and translucent. Remove from heat and set aside.

Mix the remaining ingredients, soy sauce through chili garlic sauce, together in small bowl. Add to the pan with onions and garlic, and mix well. Pour 1/4 cup of the sauce into the bottom of the slow cooker, and place the pork on top. Cover and cook on high 5-7 hours, until the pork is falling apart tender.

When pork is tender, remove from the slow cooker into a large bowl and using two forks, shred the meat. Add a couple spoonfuls of cooking broth to moisten the meat.

Make the slaw: Whisk dressing ingredients (vinegar through Sriracha sauce) together in a large bowl, and add the cabbage, carrots, cucumber, Asian pear and cilantro. Toss gently.

Serve the tacos on flour tortillas with a large scoop of slaw.