Instant Pot Spicy Asian Pulled Pork Shoulder

spicy pork shoulder pickled cucumbers over riceThis Instant Pot Spicy Asian Pulled Pork Shoulder is my new favorite Instant Pot dish. I have to give all the credit to the fabulous Melissa Clark for this great recipe. I don’t think this is technically a Korean dish, but I’ve labeled it as such because it uses gochujang, the inexpensive Korean chili paste that adds an incredible depth of flavors, on top of the tasty heat it adds to any dish. If you like things spicy, gochujang is like sriracha…it’s pretty much good on just about anything and is now available just about anywhere. The recipe also calls for gochugaru, Korean chili pepper flakes, which might be a little harder to find, but crushed red pepper flakes work almost as well.

This is one of those recipes that’s fun and easy to make, really hard to mess up and seems to come out great every time. You can serve like I have it pictured here, on rice topped with the pickled cucumbers, but it is also incredible on a Hawaiian-type slider roll (or any soft slider roll) with the the pickled cucumbers on top. You can also freeze any leftovers for when you need a quick fix of spicy barbecued pork. What I do is take 4-5 oz. portions and wrap them separately in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer bag and freeze. When I want some spicy pulled pork, I just pull one out of the freezer, pop it in the microwave for about a minute or two, and it’s ready to eat on some leftover rice or as a quick sandwich when you’re on-the-go. I’ve even wrapped it in a tortilla (talk about multi-cultural dining) and it was fantastic!

If you want some pulled pork that’s a little more American-style, try my Best Pulled Pork Sandwiches Ever!

Please check below for the Instant Pot Spicy Asian Pulled Pork Shoulder printable recipe.

Instant Pot Spicy Asian Pulled Pork Shoulder

A delicious mix of asian pork with aspicyand sweet ghoney arlicky guchjang sauce

Course Main Course
Cuisine Korean
Keyword Asian, freezer friendly, instant pot, pork
Prep Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Author Tom



  • 5 garlic cloves grated on a Microplane or minced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey
  • 1 tablespoon Korean chile flakes gochugaru or other chile flakes (crushed red pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4-5 pounds boneless pork shoulder cut into two or three pieces


  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil or any neutral oil
  • 4 garlic cloves grated on a Microplane
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger root
  • ½ cup gochujang Korean chile paste or other chile paste or sauce such as Sriracha
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Asian fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil


  • 6 Persian cucumbers thinly sliced (or about 4 cups sliced cucumbers)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds


  1. To prepare pork, combine garlic, brown sugar, chile flakes, salt and pepper. Rub marinade all over pork.
  2. If you have time, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to up to 24 hours. Otherwise, proceed with recipe.
  3. Set electric pressure cooker to saute (or use a large skillet). Add pork in batches and sear until browned all over, about 2 minutes per side. Add 3/4 cup water to pot (or to skillet to deglaze, then move to pot), cover, and set to cook for 90 minutes on high pressure. Or cook in a slow cooker for 5 to 7 hours until tender.

  4. While pork cooks, prepare sauce: In a small pot, warm peanut oil over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger, and saute until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Set sauce aside. (It can be made up to 1 week ahead and stored in the refrigerator.)

  5. Manually release steam. Let pork cool until you can handle it, then shred it into bite-size pieces. Pork can be made to this point up to 3 days ahead.
  6. While pork cools, strain liquid from bottom of pot. Pour off fat (or chill liquid, then scoop off solidified fat with a spoon). Reserve.
  7. Prepare cucumbers: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except sesame seeds, and let sit, tossing one or twice, for at least 20 minutes. Stir in sesame seeds.
  8. When ready to serve, heat broiler. Toss pork with sauce and 1 to 2 tablespoons cooking liquid, just enough so pork is evenly coated but not wet or runny. Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet, and broil until crisped on top, 2 to 3 minutes; it will char in places, and that's fine.

  9. Serve pork over rice or on slider rolls, with cucumbers and kimchi, if desired.

2 thoughts on “Instant Pot Spicy Asian Pulled Pork Shoulder”

  1. There is a typo in the quantity of gochujang Korean chile paste. It shows â…“ cup.

  2. Hi Joel, Thanks for pointing that out. It should be “1/2 cup of gochujang”.

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