Slow-Cooker Vietnamese Pork Bowls Recipe

This recipe takes its inspiration from Vietnamese-style pork, featuring a sauce with a dynamic combo of savory and sweet. We like to cook it using pork shoulder or butt in a slow cooker, which gives the meat time to become extra tender and flavorful. It’s served atop rice with crisp pickled veggies and other fun toppings, including a sriracha mayo that delivers just the right amount of heat.

Vietnamese Slow-Cooker Pork Bowls

Makes about six servings

What You’ll Need:

For the pork:
2-3 small jalapeños
3 lb pork shoulder or Boston butt, cut into 3-inch pieces
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly-ground pepper
8 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2–3 stalks lemongrass, soft center parts only, finely chopped (optional)

For the veggies:
½ cup water
½ cup white sugar
½ cup apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
¾–1 lb carrots and/or daikon radish, julienned

Sriracha Mayo (optional):
⅓ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sriracha
Squeeze of lime juice

For assembly:
3 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1 cup thinly-sliced English cucumbers (about ½ small cucumber)
1 small jalapeño, thinly sliced
¼ cup cilantro leaves
Lime for squeezing over

What To Do:

Remove seeds from half the jalapeños, then thinly slice all of the jalapeños for the pork, leaving the seeds in the other half.

Season pork with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add pork and cook, turning often, until browned all over, 10–12 minutes. Transfer to a slow cooker. Place garlic, jalapeños, soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, and lemongrass in a bowl and stir to dissolve sugar. Pour mixture over pork. Cover and cook on low until pork is very tender, 4–6 hours, tossing meat once halfway through if possible.

Meanwhile, while pork cooks, pickle the vegetables: Place vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a pan over medium-low heat. Stir and heat through until sugar and salt dissolve, then remove from heat. Place carrots and/or daikon in a heatproof jar, then pour over vinegar mixture. Let sit for 1–2 hours, then put in fridge to chill.

In a bowl, mix mayonnaise, sriracha, and lime juice and set aside.

Once pork is done, shred meat in slow cooker using two forks. Give everything a few stirs to evenly incorporate the sauce.

To assemble, divide rice between bowls, top with pork and its sauce, shredded cabbage, pickled vegetables, cucumber, jalapeño, and cilantro. Drizzle with sriracha mayo and a squeeze of lime.

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