A seriously delicious basic, Slow Cooker Gochujang Pork is the answer to life’s most pressing questions: what’s for dinner? What can we pack for lunch tomorrow? What can I bring to the potluck?
Everybody’s on the Gochujang bandwagon these days. EVERYBODY. What’s not to love? Gochujang keeps forever and adds a flavor jolt to anything and everything.
This slow cooker recipe takes full advantage of Gochujang’s most winning qualities: spicy-sweet heat, umami depth and richness, and that pungent, full-bodied flavor that’s got everyone addicted to Korean food.
Plus, a quick marinade and hands-free cooking time in the slow cooker make this an easy favorite for meal planning and prepping. Plug in the slow cooker on Sunday and create a base for endless meal possibilities all week long!
This is not a traditional recipe. Oh no, not at all! This is my modern, North American take on Korean food. The idea originated from my love of Pork Carnitas, which I’ve been making for years. Easy to make and big on flavor, they’re a constant favorite in our busy home. One batch of slow cooker Pork Carnitas keeps everyone happy and well-fed.
One day I thought, wouldn’t it be great if there was a Korean version of slow cooker Pork Carnitas? A spicy-sweet, Gochujang alternative that tastes great with rice? That’s just as easy to make and goes great with everything — congee, noodles, tacos, pizza, nachos — everything? That’s how Slow Cooker Gochujang Pork was born.
This recipe proves: Pork + Gochujang + Time = Dinnertime Magic.
The slow cooker will do its job of breaking down all that fatty pork and collagen. Two forks will easily shred all of it. Then a blast under the broiler guarantees all those crispy, caramelized bits. The end result will be a succulent, rich, flavorful, juicy heap of spicy-sweet Gochujang Pork that tastes good with EVERYTHING!
How to eat Slow Cooker Gochujang Pork:
Basic: rice, steamed veg or salad or kimchi
Korean BBQ: rice, lettuce wraps, Ssam Sauce
Bibimbap Bowl: rice, veg, fried egg, Gochujang Sauce
California Asian Rice Bowl: brown rice, cucumbers, avocado, sauce
Sandwiches: Bahn Mi-style with pickled carrot and daikon OR Cubano-style with melted cheese and pickles OR Pulled Pork-style with soft brioche buns and Lime Cilantro Slaw
Taco night: tacos, burritos, nachos, burrito bowls, etc.
Pizza night: sprinkled on top of pizza and smothered with cheese and extra jalapenos
As you can see, the possibilities are truly endless!
Slow Cooker Gochujang Pork
- Slow Cooker
- 3 1/2 lb pork shoulder
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, chopped (optional)
- 1/4 cup Gochujang (Korean fermented chili paste)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 inch ginger, minced
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp Gochukaru (Korean chili flakes)
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar (white vinegar also works)
- 2 Tbsp sriracha
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- Generously salt and pepper pork shoulder. Place in slow cooker.
- Mix marinade ingredients in small bowl. Rub marinade all over pork shoulder with hands.
- Scatter onion and jalapeno over the top.
- Cover and cook until tender and falling apart, about 4 hours on high setting or 6-7 hours on low setting. This will depend on the thickness of the meat, so feel free to check for tenderness after the minimal time allowance.
- Open lid and shred pork with two forks, directly into the slow cooker. This will ensure the pork soaks up all the sauce. Let stand 10 minutes.
- Arrange top rack in oven so that it's 3-4 inches from the heat source. Set oven to broil and pre-heat for 10 minutes (while the shredded pork stands and absorbs the sauce).
- Using a slotted spoon, remove pork onto foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle leftover sauce from the slow cooker over the pork. Broil at high heat until the pork is browned with crispy edges and charred bits, about 4-6 minutes. Watch carefully so that it doesn't burn too much.
- Transfer to serving plate and garnish with cilantro or green onion. Serve immediately or at room temperature.